This has been one of the most useful, helpful and civil forums I have seen. That said, both 'noise' and 'useful data, are relative terms. This is coming from someone who thinks majority of what is being called 'useful data' is also junk. I have seen waves of irrelevant obsessions and analysis come and go, some so easy to reject with a healthy dose of common sense. But I still browse these forums. Because, once in a while, I do get useful ideas and suggestions to buy products that are not hyped way out of proportion. If you hang around long enough you know the difference between "I tamped while dancing salsa and OMG, I pulled a God shot" vs "keep your eyes, ear, nose and brain open be persistent, you will evolve into pulling something you enjoy". Or simply know who's opinion fits your confirmation bias
So, I am actually making a case for letting everyone talk nonsense whether newbie or oldie. Hopefully, once in a while they would contribute to something useful. Now, as I understand, the problem at hand is sifting the nonsense. The nonsense that is package nicely and gift wrapped with nice graphs and irrelevant or statistically insignificant data is highly desirable while all that nonsense of type '$-$$$$$$ budget, which setup?' are extremely boring to any seasoned HBer. And, the emissions from people suffering with GAS, Gear Acquisition Syndrome, are purely revolting. I think technology can take care of some of this sifting.
1) Appearance of post in recent topics and recent post can be thresholded. There can be a cooling period or number of posts threshold before new registrant's topic or thread can appear in recent list. That time would give serious ones opportunity to do some research (an automated note with easy instructions to use search function can be sent to all new registrations) and weed out lazy jerks.
2) There could be some forums that could be kept out of the recent lists. Like, all those whose spouse does not understand their escape into GAS, can float in there, sparing everyone else from falling into abyss.
3) Have a negative rating button to threads and posters (with generous leeway) so that "really out there" ones fall out of recent lists. The offending poster are banished from recent lists for certain period.
This could achieve a required balance of weeding the consensus junk out.
Apologies for long post and dark humor.
Forget four M's, four S's are more important :-)- see, sniff, sip and savor....