The current thread closure policy is terrible
This thread is not about that specific instance. It is just an example. This has happened many times before with many different threads about many different topics, and will happen again with other threads in the future.
Instead of closing threads because some people are instigating fights / starting insults, ban those people. Why is this not a thing? By closing threads every time they get out of hand you also punish everyone who is interested in having a civil discussion. I am not saying that people who are breaking the rules aren't punished / banned.
There is a limited of people on the forum and participating in threads. There is not an infinite amount of people posting infinite amounts of rule breaking posts. Remove those users who are breaking the rules, and eventually the rules won't be broken anymore. Then everyone else can keep the discussion alive.
It seems to me that threads with active discussions that get closed are getting derailed by a very limited number of users, one or two, who are then eventually banned, but the thread is also closed. Ban them. Don't close the thread. Or close it temporarily to clean it up. Then reopen it. If it gets derailed again then ban whoever is derailing it. Eventually the rule breaking should stop.
Referencing the example thread above, to me it seemed like the majority of people were interested in having a civil discussion. All of the insults / rule breaking seem to me to have been initiated by users who are very strongly against representation. I know this is very subjective and could easily be wrong in this specific instance and I am not asking about details of who was banned or not banned.
But here's the thing: Let's say someone opens a new thread to discuss a specific topic. The community is divided into those who support it and those who don't. One side always stays civil. The other side starts insulting users. Thread gets locked because of users who are against the suggested idea derailing the thread with insults. In a way that seems to me like weaponizing the mods to shut down discussions that they (= users who are against the idea discussed in the thread) don't like. Regardless of whether or not this happened in the linked thread - and again, it is used as an example, and I don't want to discuss why that specific thread was locked - that seems like a real possibility of something that could happen.
This problem could be prevented if threads are either not closed, or only temporarily, and rule breaking users warned / jailed / banned in order to not completely kill the discussion.