CAG has 60,000+ users now, and in the earlier days with much less users (when I joined and earlier), there were less people just out for themselves. Expand the user base through the years, and yes, we'll get more idjits just out for themselves, FW-style.
Quite. But that's the nature of the beast as more people join, you have to expect that there will be more "undesirables" as well, be it trolls, thieves or whatever.
The calls for higher ground haven't been silenced, far from it. This is one place that the whining, bitching, complaining and the like, on "ethical" grounds, that be discussed in here.
On top of that, previous ethical complaints have been taken seriously, and changed the SOP of the mods. As shipwreck mentioned, Walmart scam threads are immediately locked, instead of festering the ways that they had in the past. I trust the morals of the majority of the mods in charge, and thus don't think they'd allow blatant theft to be discussed in an open forum.
We've had multiple threads around recently that have drawn ire from multiple sides of CAG, and they degenerated into flame wars and general chaos. It was thought that a central location for it would be a better place to try and have intelligent discussion about these types of issues, rather than inside the thread itself.
It seems completely reasonable to me... it's at least worth the attempt. Whether or not it's successful, it's still worth the attempt to prevent radicially off-topic flamefest from spawning. I don't think it will stop offhand mentions in the threads unless almost overzealously enforced, but it gives the mods a basis to go in an delete arguments in the thread, as they are not off-topic and in the wrong thread.
I can't say I exactly like the idea, but it's not unreasonable. From what I've seen, the moderators are reasonable people... and the site is no longer what it was. It's a mature site now... it's set in it's ways, and it's users know those ways, as Shipwreck so clearly illustrates.
For good or for ill, the general morals dictating the site have already set in, and those aren't likely to change all that much unless there are gluts of new people all joining at one time... and even that likely wouldn't have much effect.