|In my opinion, spam should not just be ridiculed, it should definitely be deleted straight away. I've got a scheme up my sleeves designed to stop this kind of activity, but we'll have to see how long that takes me to put in place (likely timescale: a very long time).|
With regard to moderation - there are different kinds of moderation activity. Firstly there's maintenance stuff: In my experience almost no one gives a crap about editing the topic summaries if you do it properly - people feel little or no personal attachment to that, and I think you can really do some good on the board by improving those and putting some more detail into them. Similarly, thread titles with typos in them can be changed (and probably should be because it makes it easier for people to find them in the search facility or via google).
Then there's the moderator as local guide. I don't think there's any shame in trying to nudge conversation in the right direction or pushing people to try a little harder in what they're writing - trying to encourage them to put some effort into the first posts in threads, explaining that they'll get better responses if they can pull out some decent questions worth debating or summarise the position of another thinker rather than just sticking in a link and saying "what do you think". That, I think, is also completely legitimate.
Then there's the direct intervention stuff - delete posts / delete threads kind of moderation. In my opinion there are a number of occasions in which you should feel prepared to use these things, remembering of course that you have other moderators precisely to reign you in if you go too far. Duplicate threads on topics that have been discussed before should generally be locked and people directed to the old one. Spammy comments should be deleted - spammy threads too. You have to decide whether you need to delete people who are radically off-topic, remembering that it is your job to do the boring, slightly intrusive work that keeps the board feeling useful for other people.
And finally there's the in-post moderation stuff, which can really divide people - if there's an overly large image, making that an appropriate size is totally required moderational stuff. If there's an unlinked link or a broken image, then you should go in and fix it and feel no compunction about it. If someone's written a realllllllllllly long word that breaks the site, then you shouldn't feel bad about sticking a couple of spaces into it. And - on occasion - you'll see bits of the old board's functioning sticking its ugly face through in threads (really nasty quoting formatting for example) and you might want to neaten that up. I don't think anyone would complain about that.
On the other hand there's typo-fixing, formatting adjustments and the like and basically there are differences of opinion about that stuff. Certainly you should never ever ever change anything which alters the meaning of another user's post. Many moderators feel that altering anything about another user's post is totally innappropriate. Others feel that getting rid of enormous spoiler spaces or random extra line breaks is ok. I think you can go pretty much up to and including fixing random bits of Word-created punctuation and odd double-line spaced formatting if they really piss you off and on occasion I've corrected someone's spelling, but there's a sizeable and completely plausible contingent who think that's never appropriate. But basically, act according to your conscience and other people will act according to theirs and the board should manifest out of that.