How do you deal with a problem that polarizes (I *believe* that's the word) a gaming group?
I shall attempt to explain - in one online game I GMed, an argument concerning differences in RP style between two of the players erupted into a full-blown feud, with some of the other players choosing sides and the attendant tensions pretty much ruining things for everyone else. To make matters worse, two of my co-moderators were on opposite sides of the argument.
Attempts to get the feuding players to talk out their differences in a civil manner had mixed results; both were convinced they were firmly in the right, and there were a number of unpleasant accusations made on both sides. This impasse was confounded by some of the feuding players' supporters also making accusations. Things got so bad that I had to shut the game down for almost a month.
I'd rather avoid that sort of pain and suffering with my other games. Could there have been a better way to handle this sort of thing? I'm of the opinion that it's better to talk to players before kicking them out, so I'd prefer not to get answers like, "Just boot offending players at the first sign of trouble."
(x-posted to gmworkshop)