In my position as official old-fart here, I would like to recount a tale of my youth. Been meaning to for a while.
(Lights crack pipe as all the younguns slither off to hide).
Once there was a thing called Usenet. It had (and still has) text-based newsgroups relayed globally.
It was a relatively polite affair mostly, with trolls and spammers usually readily identified and banned.
Each year an influx of noobs arrived in September, coinciding with college intakes.
The relatively small numbers meant they were generally assimilated, and learned proper netiquette
in a few months and all was quiet again.
Then, September 1993 arrived. AOL freedisks circulated. And the influx of noobs just kept coming,
and coming, and growing... It was called the September that Never Ended.
Many newsgroups died. Some became moderated. Many of those that remained were infested with spam,
or trolls, or both. The whole approach of moderation changed, and the usefulness of the newsgroups
(and indeed, most open chat forums) dropped to almost nil. Private fora began to appear, and blogs, and ...
OK, with me so far? Why is this relevant? Impertinent whipperspanner, I'll tell ye...
History repeats itself. It is happening to Bukkit forums NOW, and started earlier on Minecraft Forums.
It began around February or march, and Minecraft went from a quaint but buggy indie game
to the darling of the gaming media. It's rocketship to superstardom dragged 100,000 trolls
along for the ride in its wake.
When I got Minecraft in August 2010 (iirc), there were maybe 100,000 users.
There are now more than FOUR MILLION, and a whole lot more who haven't bothered paying.
Thats one hell of a step for a man, and one giant chasm for moderators to fill.
There, I hope that edifies one or more of you. Benefits of senility and all that
[Footnote: This sociological analysis probably needs a better look at the underlying demographic.]