www. O S N E W S .com
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
"A great disturbance in the force..."
By special contributor KLU9 on 2017-02-13 22:58:41

The news is that after 15 years the IMDb is closing down its message boards, but the story is their creation in the first place: a tale of Apache, mod_perl, PostgreSQL, C, and XEMacs, all served up on a BeOS bun in a Bristol-area cafeteria; of missed deadlines, missed opportunities and misplaced innocence given the scale of comments, comment spam and trolling up to that point. Brought to you by Colin M. Strickland, a developer whose CV has long read "you can blame me for the message boards" (and yes, he does go by the initials cms).

 Email a friend - Printer friendly - Related stories
.
Post a new comment
Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30
.
Too bad
By WorknMan on 2017-02-13 23:13:01
It's really a shame about shutting down those boards, but I imagine moderating them must've been a nightmare, with all the trolls and douchebags who inevitably show up to the party. It's just another example of why we can't have nice things.
Permalink - Score: 5
.
RE: Too bad
By Rugxulo on 2017-02-14 00:14:25
> It's really a shame about shutting down those boards

What did we expect? Random "fans" talking about mindless entertainment isn't exactly a crucial technical discussion. It's not important or necessary for society to function.

The irony is that all of the same users will just go elsewhere, and they'll end up with the same problems.

> but I imagine moderating them must've been a nightmare, with all the trolls and douchebags who inevitably show up to the party. It's just another example of why we can't have nice things.

That is a HUGE understatement. While I only casually browsed, silently, out of (morbid) curiosity, things had really devolved in recent years.

It was a P.R. nightmare because every actor/actress was constantly under attack, almost always for off-topic (political, religious, private/personal, etc.) reasons. I'll bet the lawyers got involved. It really was that bad, and it wasn't just harmless opinions but full-on libel, hate speech, and even character assassination.

Seriously, there's just no other way to view it. It was a tool (mis)used to piss others off and destroy people's reputations. Of course you can't exactly avoid or fix that, the Internet is too big, but it just attracted the wrong crowd. It wasn't for movie fans to discuss their favorite shows but moreso for angry and dejected psychos with an axe to grind.

Seriously, it was VERY easy to find such contentious discussions. I don't know if it's the era we live in or what, but the world has really lost it's marbles, everyone is angry and almost encouraged to attack others. It's impossible not to pity some people who live under such heavy public scrutiny.
Permalink - Score: 3
.
RE[2]: Too bad
By Alfman on 2017-02-14 01:56:10
Rugxulo,

> What did we expect? Random "fans" talking about mindless entertainment isn't exactly a crucial technical discussion. It's not important or necessary for society to function.

The irony is that all of the same users will just go elsewhere, and they'll end up with the same problems.



I think it depends a lot on the target audience. I would think some are inherently more mature, I'm thinking back to the dice job boards for IT professionals. It was nice to be able to hold discussions with other professionals like myself. While there were disagreements in the community, for many years it operated smoothly enough IMHO.

In the end, that community was ruined too, but it wasn't because of what you'd think. Dice themselves hired some evangelical "moderators" to steer the discussions and this was when the community really devolved. They decided freedom of speech wasn't in their interests, they even banned me for asking why they were censoring innocent posters who had not violated any TOS. Eventually the entire board got taken down because their own moderation ruined it.

I've never had to moderate a community, I guess it's hard to strike a balance. I probably wouldn't be a good moderator because I like to be involved in the discussion :) I think it's best to have very light moderation, although on huge public boards where there are thousands/millions of users, I don't suppose there's any easy solution.
Permalink - Score: 3
.
RE: Too bad
By judgen on 2017-02-14 02:01:37
There were never any douchbags in the BeOS community. or i have been very, very lucky.
Permalink - Score: 3
.
RE[2]: Too bad
By WorknMan on 2017-02-14 02:01:40
> Random "fans" talking about mindless entertainment isn't exactly a crucial technical discussion.

I mostly agree with you, though movies with real substance could spark some interesting conversations. Plus, it was a handy place for me to go if I watched a movie and had a question about the plot, or whatever.

> I don't know if it's the era we live in or what, but the world has really lost it's marbles, everyone is angry and almost encouraged to attack others. It's impossible not to pity some people who live under such heavy public scrutiny.

People have always been angry. The anonymity of the Internet just gives them an outlet to vent. You want to stop the trolls and hate speech? Then make real identities on the Internet mandatory. I think that's the only way to accomplish it, because asking them nicely ain't gonna do shit.
Permalink - Score: 3
.
RE[3]: Too bad
By Alfman on 2017-02-14 02:35:19
WorknMan,

> People have always been angry. The anonymity of the Internet just gives them an outlet to vent. You want to stop the trolls and hate speech? Then make real identities on the Internet mandatory. I think that's the only way to accomplish it, because asking them nicely ain't gonna do shit.

I don't know about that, there are plenty of people being overtly hateful in real life with no anonymity at all.

Secondly, I usually refuse to sign up with a real identity because I object to being tracked more than absolutely necessary. For sites requiring mandatory info, I sign up with garbage information. Judge me if you want, but when employers or anybody looks me up, what I do/say in my private life is none of their damned business!
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE: Too bad
By Macrat on 2017-02-14 02:38:48
> It's really a shame about shutting down those boards, but I imagine moderating them must've been a nightmare

More like LACK of moderation.

A handful of accounts have been doing most of the posting. Not all trolls either, just some really lonely people using the boards as their personal chat rooms.

Something simple like limiting how many posts an account can make per day would have helped out quite a bit.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE[4]: Too bad
By WorknMan on 2017-02-14 03:26:57
I'm not judging you at all. I'm just saying either we don't have anonymity, or we have trolls and hate speech. And spam. And douchebags in general.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE[2]: Too bad
By Soulbender on 2017-02-14 08:16:14
There was that obelix guy...
Permalink - Score: 2
.
Dumb
By terra on 2017-02-14 09:18:50
> Founded in 1990, it thus predates the invention of the World Wide Web by several years,

What? World Wide Web is invented in 1989! He thinks he knows everything so he didn't even bother to look it up for a few seconds.
Permalink - Score: 1

Read Comments 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30

Post a new comment
Username

Password

Title

Your comment

If you do not have an account, please use a desktop browser to create one.
LEAVE SPACES around URLs to autoparse. No more than 8,000 characters are allowed. The only HTML/UBB tags allowed are bold & italics.
Submission of a comment on OSNews implies that you have acknowledged and fully agreed with THESE TERMS.
.
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
WAP site - RSS feed
© OSNews LLC 1997-2007. All Rights Reserved.
The readers' comments are owned and a responsibility of whoever posted them.
Prefer the desktop version of OSNews?