Software might be neutral, but the people making it are not, so the idea it is possible to remain in the middle is complete bullshit.
As we've seen with mstdn, Purism and even masto main, unless you come down hard and consistently on hate speech, harassment and abuse, it will spread. Period.
Bigots exploit the alleged neutrality of people to spread their hate and violence.
I believe in free speech too. What I don't believe in is endless harassment and abuse.
It's very easy to do both.