Contrary to what some people believe, staff do enjoy an open dialogue. I'll try to touch on a few points mentioned throughout the thread, but with the understanding that staff have a policy on not discussing specific players' situations.
In the past I've been pretty neutral toward jcarter's forum, and have expressed those feelings openly, on the GDB. In the interest of getting this reply posted I'm not going to look back through my own post history to find evidence of this right now, but I may come back later to edit my post with links. Basically the gist of my opinion of that forum, which I have posted on the GDB previously, is pretty simple: players don't have a right to judge the forum or its users if they themselves read it regularly or even post on it. By extension, many people who post about the jcarter forum's "evils" on the GDB are themselves posters, or people who read the forum. It doesn't even take much proof to make this statement, other than the number of unique accounts and weekly views which are readily accessible on jcarter's forum's front page. However, jcarter's forum is harmful when it reveals plot information. I don't particularly care about code information except for magick and psionics, and have been supportive of releasing more information on how the more mundane things work during my tenure as an admin and producer, even getting into fairly in-depth code discussions with some of our more code-minded (but still very capable in roleplay) players.
The simple rule of "if it offends you, don't look" can and should apply to players. Unfortunately, this is the internet, and 99% of the people need something to be outraged about if they're going to be on it.
Of course, it goes the other way as well. The endless outrage from certain people on jcarter's forum is unrelenting, and frankly, a little sad if the posters there don't play the game anymore. That's why I've come to assume that most of the jcarter forum posters - especially the most vehemently hateful ones - play Armageddon. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. It just means that they're here, like everyone else, and should be treated like any other player.
One aspect in which jcarter forum posters are treated like other players is in the expectation that they follow the rules of the game. The game rules have grown less opaque over the years, and were revised relatively recently. When we want players to follow the rules, we do what we can to encourage following the rules, and discourage rule-breaking.
That being said, there was indeed a ban wave in which multiple players were banned for rule-breaking. Most of the players agreed to cease their rule-breaking and delete their accounts on jcarter's forum, which was sufficient for being unbanned. The ban wave begun because a couple of jcarter board posters were using their access to the game to collect in-character information and spread it, harming plots, and staff as a body felt that it was in the interest of the game's integrity to shut that down. There were also other things going on that I can't comment on here.
I would estimate that we lost a total of two or three players to the most recent bans directly. It is not a number I am concerned about, and I don't feel we lost players who were bringing any semblance of quality roleplay to the game. That's not an insult to their ability to roleplay, but simply an observation on their general behavior.
We've lost a handful of jcarter board posters-slash-players to past bans because we were simply incapable of having a dialogue with them. We tried to be open and received vitriol in response. I hate to hide behind the "staff are volunteers" mantra and generally refuse to do it, but to put it frankly, staff did not sign up to counsel people with anger issues and/or the mentally ill. Additionally, staff are allowed to get angry at people that refuse to take responsibility for their own actions, and own up to the understanding that what they did broke the game's rules. The relationship is best served by severing it, with a ban.
And I will say that bans are ineffective. People come back all the time, evading their ban in sometimes clever ways. I would not mind banned players coming back to Armageddon if they are willing to use it as an opportunity to reset their relationship with staff, but that also means actually behaving according to the game's rules. But staff do get the final say in deciding who gets to play and who does not. You'll have to take me at my word when I say that we're pretty responsible with this power, and we go by the rules listed on the website/helpfiles.
The fact of the matter is that we have a very small class of jaded veterans who no longer put in effort to roleplay, and mostly work to stir the pot via out-of-game back-channels, a much larger class of new players who are either excellent roleplayers or at least put in a lot of effort to roleplay, and an even bigger class of veterans (some jaded, some not) who are good roleplayers and who do understand why there are rules on not sharing plot information (the majority of players). I prefer the latter two groups over the former. And again, that is not a knock on anyone, but an observation as a staff member of a roleplaying game with an interest in preserving roleplay. The roleplayers come first, and the people who break rules don't get catered to. They can get back to roleplaying or they can simply leave. I am fine with the player count decreasing to an extent if the overall quality of RP increases.