At a site for home-based workers in a particular field, there are several forums, and one option is a forum to discuss politics. However, there is a group of 5 to 6 like-minded users who form a clique. They report other users (who have opposing political views) over minor infractions and harass them until the others either leave or blow up -- and then the user gets banned for blowing up. A ban affects the entire site, not just the political sub-forum.
This has happened to at least 18 people and has gone on for 2 years, someone even reporting them to the BBB. The members of the clique have never been banned in these 2 years. They continue to post inflammatory provocation including name-calling, derogatory attacks, and racist things, but if another user questions their posts (without being inflammatory), that other user is banned.
At first I felt sorry for the moderator, catering to the nitpickers, but after I was temporarily banned for calling the clique a bully clique (for which I received 20 "like" votes versus 5 "dislikes"), I realized I probably deserved that temp ban for personal attack, complied and went to bed.
Then overnight I received a second message citing an old comment I'd made earlier that truly was not a personal attack like the clique comment, and I was now banned permanently citing "personal vendetta".
I'd just started the forum 4 days before and I don't even know these people; how can it be a personal vendetta?
It was then that I was told the moderator has admitted belonging to the same political party and is friends with the clique. I guess I should just walk away, but this is so wrong - it's supposed to be a professional water cooler area for those of us in this field and this has happened to so many people that I know of thus far. They just want you gone if you're not like them politically, but the political forum is supposed to be for everyone in this field.
Admins do nothing; it's been tried. How should I and the other affected users respond? (I'm tempted to buy an ad.) Is it time to cut our losses and leave?