Thanks for the reply, Gus (and those other replies as well, guys).
On the technical side of things, I can’t be much help as I’m very much a non-techie and the phpBB stuff is all a mysterious language to me.
On the majority opinion aspect, the simple answer would be that whenever a moderator proposes to warn or ban a poster, the poster should have the right to challenge that decision (a right of appeal to a neutral arbiter, which should always exist when anyone faces any kind of punishment or sanction), and if he/she chooses to do so, a poll can be put up with a link to the allegedly offending post, the moderator’s reason for taking exception to it, and the question “Should this poster be warned/banned [as appropriate] for this post?” with a choice of “Yes” or “No” for the response. The result of this poll would determine the outcome of the appeal. How about that?
Here it would probably be helpful if I explained the situation of the two warnings that have suddenly been attached to me, so that you and everyone else can understand clearly how this particular moderator is abusing the trust and authority that have been placed in her. This is how I explained it in a PM to a couple of other moderators who were wondering about the situation and PMed me to ask about it:
“[The moderator in question]… is Alien. I don’t know if you noticed, but a month or two back, after I posted something on a light-hearted thread (concerning late-night TV porn, if I remember correctly) about liking girls who are very thin, I was astounded to receive a virulently nasty reply from Alien accusing me of being a closet homosexual and much worse – the most unacceptably unpleasant and uncalled for personal attack that I’ve ever seen on Oriented or Segue (and, in my opinion, a banning offence, though I chose to just let it go by). Two or three other members who had been participating in that thread saw it before I did and took Alien to task for it, criticizing her in strong language. She realized that she had gone too far and quickly deleted the post - it wasn’t there when I went to have a look at the thread (I saw it in my e-mail notification of reply). Apparently, although I had never ever crossed swords with her before that (I make a point of not crossing swords with anyone if it can possibly be avoided), she now bears a grudge against me. Hence my further surprise when I am notified by none other than Alien that I have been selected as the first recipient of one of the new “warnings”, for a post which I consider was totally innocuous and not in any way in breach of the Segue rules and conditions for posting. I intend to respond to this in the Feedback forum and take up the matter of these warnings with Gus and the whole Segue community. The remark that you noted was my instant off-the-cuff response to this rather pathetic instance of Alien misusing her “powers” as a moderator to pursue her personal (and rather perplexing) vendetta against me.”
I then discovered that I’d received a second warning, and wrote again as follows:
“Oh-oh! I see she’s done it again. Evidently, she intends to fire off ten warnings in quick succession to get me banned from the forum. That is an abuse of her position if ever there was one! I certainly don’t intend to take the matter up with her directly – I would not even consider engaging in any sort of communication with a person like that. But I do think that Gus and the other moderators should take action to curb her excesses.”
And lastly, in a third PM, I added this:
"I’ve perused the rules and conditions (or whatever they’re called), and they are so widely worded that about 80% of all posts on the forum could arguably constitute grounds for a ban!
However, it is manifestly evident that Alien has singled me out for a taste of her vengeance, as my posts are certainly no more sexist or objectionable than many other comments on the thread and thousands of other comments on other threads. Indeed, I don’t think my comments can be interpreted as sexist or even objectionable in any way by a reasonable person – certainly, they were not intended to be so, and were written in a spirit of levity appropriate to the subject under discussion. If Alien is trying to impose her values on posters and implement a form of censorship, then she’ll do great harm to Segue and all it represents.