Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Bay Area
As a new member, I must say that I've seen some of what you refer to. However, I must say that I think the members of this forum are much more polite than, for example, another major forum dedicated to European arms and armor (but mostly focused on modern repros).
I do think there's value in learning when we possess a "distressed modern reproduction," but I think a lot of of us are hesitant to post our questionable pieces for fear of criticism.
I also know that collectors are great at self-delusion. I have a few pieces in my collection that I have at one time or another highly suspected are fakes, but I've gone to great lengths using poor logic and poorer research to justify their authenticity to myself. Before I came to terms with the way I was deluding myself, if someone had challenged a piece that I held dear, even though it was likely a fake, I would probably become retrenched in defending its authenticity and build resentment against that person and maybe against the forum. And the less people posting pictures of items, the worse it is for all of us.
I am torn about the solution. On the one hand, I would suggest that politeness dictates we should only comment on authenticity if the poster asks about authenticity; we wouldn't tell a friend his sword is fake if he was showing if off to us in his home.
On the other hand, if the purpose of the forum is promote knowledge about arms and armor, then if we think an item lacks authenticity, the purpose of the forum would demand that we say that it lacks authenticity and why we think so, regardless of the feelings of the poster.
As we are all students and teachers in this ongoing exchange of information on arms and armor, I lean towards the latter.
A middle ground could be achieved if a gallery section was created where a poster could make a post, but responses were forbidden. Or a note about "positive comments only." Or some other way to make the gallery more friendly.