It is funny how AQ and FE are both bad for entirely different reasons.
FE is similar to a socialist state. Liberalism disguised as Tradition is the party line, and the site is run on emotion and feelings. So you get random bans based on if the owners were having a bad day or you happened to say the wrong thing. Of course the "wrong thing" was always in the Traditional direction. Either that or you hurt the feelings of one of the cheerleaders. Its management is all over the place, skipping from one emotion based decision to another while the quality of the site spirals downward. Similar to Greece, or all the European socialist states, they are going down the tubes, yet still mindlessly following the policies that are sending them down the tubes.
AQ is similar to a fascist state. Unless you salute the owner and his henchmen, you will be exterminated. Before doing this, der Fuhror will try fear and intimidation tactics to force you to comply. Anyone who does not comply will be eradicated. Allegiance to the AQ agenda, heart, mind, and soul is required. If you do not agree with AQ mods 100%, you are vermin to be eliminated. Like the Nazis, the AQ mods listen to nobody but themselves, clueless to reality, and delusionally think their website is the most powerful force on the face of the earth. They also have personal delusions of granduer (that they are the master Trads). Plus they are prone to juvenile hissy fits and temper tantrums, just like der Fuhrer, executing people in random fits of rage or otherwise sending terror messages to intimidate the people into submission. Someone should put subtitles to that Hitler video to do a satire on AQ & Grasmeier. It would be hilarious.
I've found it difficult to write critiques of the various forums because IMO, the owners set the tone, and the personal spiritualities of those individuals directly affect the work. That said, as the above two either made their personal lives public, set themselves up as Catholic teachers or view themselves as gatekeepers for what is traditionally Catholic and what is not, their behavior is fair game (without judging their interior disposition which is for God to do).
FE devolved years ago when the owner revealed her own irregular marital status, adulterous behavior and mental health issues. I remember being shocked at the time and scandalized like many others. How can a person in her situation present herself (or himself) as a teacher when they aren't following the teachings of the Church themselves? We were all labeled prudes, a tactic still used there to this day. I am far from a prude and the bizarre things posted there still disturb me - death metal lyrics, occult symbolism, New Age material, etc. Some of the other stuff may be okay from a psychological perspective but it doesn't belong on a traditional Catholic forum. That's what the liberal N.O.s do because they lost their vertical element, not us. Anyway, the above was all posted publicly so I think it's fair game to critique and serves as a warning to Catholics to stay away. I left after the first incident and don't go back.
AQ is an irrational, unpredictable in a predictable way kind of place. The abuse of posters is cyclic. I can't add much to the above without speculating as to serv's motives which can only be a guess. Since it isn't healthy I stay away.
Free Republic is another story. The religion forum is a facade. Only the lukewarm and the deluded are allowed to stay and a Novus Ordo sociopath who harassed me still rules the roost.
I like it here so far at cathinfo. Matthew seems very balanced and fair. Running a forum is a thankless job and I'm grateful for a place to speak freely within reason and share ideas. I've stayed away from forums in past years because of above bad experiences. It's nice to be back among Trads.