I do not expect this to be a popular post. My apologies in advance. But I have to step in here.
We have deliberated and we have decided to close this topic. This post will be explaining exactly why that is.
I'd like to state for the record that we are not out to get anyone. What is a forum if you can't post your opinions? That's obviously very important. People are allowed to dislike books. People are allowed to dislike things in books. This forum should be a safe place for everyone.
That's the thing, though. Forums should be a place where people feel comfortable discussing things. We had this occur last month, for instance, the classic distinction in our community where some hardcore theorizers shot down some theories from newer, less hardcore members. We can do better as a community to balance, as always.
So that leads us into this thread. We have seen many, many reports on this thread, with many people on all sides saying things like, "this is allowed? Seriously?" That's basically everyone. This thread has been described to us privately as "toxic" and "a cesspool." Many have told us that they never want to join in the thread again. They feel unsafe in the thread. Opinions would be attacked immediately.
That's absolutely terrible and unacceptable, full stop, and we should not be okay with this being the status quo of discourse here.
We on the mod team wanted to keep this open, because we know this is a contentious issue. Some will always think we're just doing this to silence criticism of Oathbringer, because I don't know, they think all the mods are yes-men who love everything Brandon written. (Never mind that that is completely false, and any day of the week you can chat with us on works some staff didn't like, some things very aggressively so.) Just know, we have let this sit for a very long time to see how things panned out, and as you can plainly see, plenty of threads that are critical of Oathbringer are visible and active right now.
It's clear that this thread is causing people to feel unsafe, and that, as moderators, makes us very nervous. It really worries us that this might be the thread people see and it's one of the first they participate in, and they get into something that's very heated and they immediately nope out of the thread. You can very clearly see that members who briefly join the thread don't continue pages later.
Generally discourse has been very poor in this thread, with all involved thinking they are excellent at arguing, and of course, you are definitely accepting the other side, but everyone else isn't listening to your amazing arguments. Is this you? Then you should think about that. People are making others feel unwelcome, and this is a major issue.
Have rules been broken? There have definitely been attacks, and we've tried to tone things down, but the discourse hasn't really improved. I'm personally not sure what we should do as a moderator team to make better rules on things so we foster good discussion. This is a case where a thread hurts the spirit of the community while (for the most part) being within the letter of its rules.
Here are some musings: A Reddit thread generally has a limited shelf life. Comments in a YouTube video die off after a while. But forums are somewhat perfectly designed for this sort of thing to evolve, where people have intense opinions and through sustained effort, drive away reasonable discourse. It's worse in this case because so much of Adolin/Shallan/Kaladin controversy has been in this thread, and so it's continually gotten more extreme as things progress. Forum topics don't close so this could literally progress ad infinitum, years from now, and that's very concerning.
I think opinions have been said at this stage, in extensive detail, and don't need to be continued. When the cost to the community is the impression that the site is overall toxic, we need to act, so we have decided to close the thread, and hopefully things should cool down.
Just to be clear: if you like Adolin, that is not an inherently bad thing and is not a thing that is to be said dismissively. (As in, "oh, you just like Adolin, so I'm disregarding what you say.") Similarly, critique of Adolin and saying that Kaladin and Shallan are way better for each other is a completely valid opinion to have, and we expect people to (obviously) continue to have that opinion. But we can treat people way more respectfully than has occurred in this thread. Please remember that as we move forward. People are entitled to their opinions, but at some point people are just talking over each other and it hasn't been productive for anyone.
Please feel free to discuss this with me. We are always willing to listen if you have a concern, and are looking for ways to improve.