What more deserving a place to throw around the word "idiot" than a group responsible for a room of people giving a standing round of applause to a man showing them how to use a paper towel? Seems fitting, really. In any event, even if you're a fan of the site, you have to wonder what kind of environment you're making for yourselves when such a tame word isn't allowed.
Yes I see no reason to not be able to use the term "idiot" on ted.com. I get that the term is seen very negatively but as long as it is not being used in direct prejudice it should not be that serious of a word. It should be used sparingly but still used.
No, we really shouldn't feel free to call each other any names on ted.com. The aim of the site is to find ideas worth sharing, and name-calling really doesn't fit in with that goal. If you can't say something nice to someone, maybe you should go say it on Twitter instead.
I don't think that we should ever just feel free to call someone an idiot. Sometimes the word slips out and that is understandable, but we should never become comfortable with calling people idiots. That applies to ted.com or anywhere on the internet. It also applies to real life as well.
People should not feel free to call others idiot on ted.com or any other website for that matter. I do not care what the website is or what its purpose is people should not go around calling others idiot just because they feel like it. It is rude and hurtful.