Being offended is about obtaining value and for mobs to obtain power.
The two way street of both trying to not offend AND the listener trying to honestly interpret what is being said goes out the window
Whenever you have a bad actor on either side of communication, it breaks down.
The common wisdom, though, is that the bad actor is always the speaker.
And its simply not true.
The other problem is, as a culture, everyone is responsible for everyone else's emotions. No one is asked to be responsible for their own.
I don't have a problem with codes of conduct per se.
I do have a problem with a culture that constantly asks people to not be responsible for how they process information. Even negative, even offensive information.
Relationship therapists teach couples to use "I" language vs "you" language to express feelings (Google it if you don't understand)
This way you take responsibility for how external stimuli makes you feel rather than making your partner wholly responsible and thus making discussion adversarial
This problem is happening in FOS projects or even just social media in general.
Everyone is a soccer player, falling down, grabbing their leg hoping to get the most people feeling sorry for them, claiming 1% if the bullies and edgelords out there are some dominant social group. It's crap
I'm not ignoring that, I'm describing what I see is an underlying cause. If online discussion tools respected the principle of setting proper expectations for each communication channel, the problem would be much milder, as the problems you describe would be limited to smaller groups of interaction, instead of being escalated to viral dimensions.
But all the rules in the world can't solve for bad actors - both speakers and listeners.
There's a fluidity to human interaction that rigidity of rule sets will never totally compensate for.
And too many rules can be counterproductive and be empowering to bad actors who thrive in increasing beaucracies, at the least by making it difficult for everyone else so they look good by comparison. Then the whole focus gets lost. More time is spent navigating, adhering to, debating rules than the primary focus...
And trolls love thst shit.
Despite that, for groups where people come from very different origins and cultures, it is better to spell out the expected rules of behaviour to some degree. "No rules" only works when participants are homogeneous enough that all them already know the rules.
On the other hand, when a statement is made about you ("what you did is wrong") you always have a chance to discuss the facts. When a statement is made about personal feelings ("I feel offended by what you did") no discussion is possible any more: I can counter your interpretation of facts, but I cannot possibly argue about your stated feelings. You won, period. This seems to me the danger of the "I language".
If you're not interested in moving forward together then I or you language doesn't really matter.