I think both schools of thought have valid points.
The site would greatly benefit from people relaxing and respecting that people are not out to get you or offend you. Some people's ways of joking is different from others and some people's tolerance/acceptance of what is and is not socially appropriate is always going to be different.
I really have no clue what the best way to remedy this other than assume people are joking when posts appear that way, if you're not sure if there are joking undertones, ask. If your topic/thread is getting off topic you are completely in the green by asking people to stay on topic or having a moderator clean up the thread. Moderators are not power hungry, being an internet mod is not all that fun and really has no benefits when it comes down to it. Any forum with legitimate corrupt mods does not last, this one clearly has.
I don't think this post was needed per-say but as someone who has run a few very successful forums in the past, I felt it might be helpful to some concerned.