My apologies but not for a moment will I accept the notion that the slippery slope does not exist, @Ammokkx
. Normalization is indeed an alive and well element, and were I one to bet I would wager quite favorably that it falls into the realm wherein people find it most convenient to "cut their losses" when cracks in the foundation begin. Socially this extends even further; the first person to leave a room often encourages others considering to do so into doing so, the first person to ask a question will often stimulate other questions to be raised. On and on it goes, so consider me not of the belief it is some myth when plenty of parallels exist. In fact, the concept itself is not actually a fallacy and only in particular cases does it qualify, contrary to what is popular to believe in our age.
I digress, while you
cannot say in good faith that a single player leaving begins to draw others, it is trend I have paid mind to and go so far as to try and wager in various topics I might be interested in. It is perhaps reliable enough to say through this with opinions aside, that if one or a few members leave, the odds of losing more - most profoundly at the start of a thread - becomes significantly higher. Even yet, in your chosen example, again I am afraid I call that a show of the exact thing I was appealing to, in that if one were to lose four members of eight, just how strong are the odds that those four remaining will commit so much? Frankly it would be considered most lucky to have perhaps two of that number who are willing to carry on regardless.
From here you will find me again in disagreement, in that I do not at all believe the thread's owner is mostly at fault. Granted there is not a dearth of Game Masters who slink from their obligations but numerically it will be, more or less is, more likely that the players will up and disappear by the number. In keeping with this, a topic owner who leaves almost automatically spells doom for the associated piece for all the reasons one imagines, more so than a player or really players, but I certainly do not excuse either faction. An unreliable person is, innately, unreliable and inconsistent be them the owner of the roleplay or just a would-be player in it. Again, citing an atypical source as your particular experience is not at all the norm; if we begun digging through the graves of countless topics, I have a striking suspicion, a hunch if you will, that we will see anything but that.
We are not discussing the issue of whether "ghosters" are responsible, in fact we were describing that which irks us, as they by their nature are very much responsible for any ill that comes to a target for their unexcused absence, the specific issue taken is that people do it at all. And more importantly, elope free of much retribution or scorn. Finding "the people that are worth your time" is an unlikely experience, as were that the case by majority, there would be many more age old topics than there are currently and many more changes of hands or custody, formal or otherwise. Simply put, as those are not seen by raw number, they can only be held as ideal.
Having players be so discourteous as to snub others is not being "set back a light amount", rather it is purely something that should be scorned and looked down upon, to the point it is taboo in highest. Furthermore, "gid gud" is not an answer to a problem more complicated than that. Thus that leaves me with my original commentary of, "If one hasn't the true dedication, time, or interest to invest in a topic until it ends or until they might bow out appropriately, do not make the effort to join in the first place." Individuals should be held responsible to their roles in whatever they pledge themselves to. Members can always of course attempt to take up buckets and cast water from a sinking ship, but that is not always a viable solution with a consistent outcome.
The second issue fundamentally taken, at least by what I was speaking to initially, is that people draft such tired, hackneyed, trite excuses for why they cannot write in a topic until they fade into obscurity or are pressured into just withdrawing. The amount of times I have heard the rationalization of their being "sick" or that they simply do not feel well, the number of "family emergencies", or the sheer amount of "busyness with school and or work", leads me to do nothing but roll my eyes at this point. It is my own failing that I expect more from people whatsoever, foolish of me to hope for as much, because at this point of apathy and jadedness I cannot be bothered to care or believe. All too many times has it been abused to the point it might as well be parody.