From time to time, when a thread begins to deteriorate, we'll issue a general warning within the thread to everyone to step back a bit and get back to belaboring the topic instead of one another. We call this a "thread warning." Trouble is, when we just post the thread warning in the middle of the thread, nobody sees it anymore because the conversation has already moved on to the next page. So we're basically just shouting into the darkness.
We're going to do it a little differently from now on. Whenever we issue an in-thread warning, we're going to edit it right into the opening post of the thread, in red letters, and it will say "MOD EDIT..." and then the specific warning, also in red letters so that it'll be tough for anyone to miss. Then, we'll edit into the title of the thread an announcement that there's a thread warning in the OP (opening post). It'll look something like this "MOD ALERT".
When you see the words "MOD ALERT" in the title of a thread, please read the OP of the thread before posting. From the point where the warning is time-stamped into the OP, everyone in the thread will be responsible for knowing what was in the warning, and abiding by it. After that edit is made, you own whatever you say. In most cases, that will be considered a final warning to everyone in the thread, and there will usually be no more warnings issued. We don't want to be jerks about this, but in many cases this is our last realistic option for keeping the thread open. We'd much rather find ways to get people to dial back the rhetoric and get back on topic than come in later and give half a dozen people infractions. Thanks for your cooperation!