Linked by KLU9 on Mon 13th Feb 2017 22:58 UTC
Internet & Networking

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).

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Too bad
by WorknMan on Mon 13th Feb 2017 23:13 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

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.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too bad
by Rugxulo on Tue 14th Feb 2017 00:14 UTC in reply to "Too bad"
Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09

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.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Too bad
by Alfman on Tue 14th Feb 2017 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Too bad"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

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.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Too bad
by Lennie on Wed 15th Feb 2017 12:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too bad"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Moderating for a large audience is almost impossible. I like how Slashdot had people which had high scores be able to do some moderation. I like the idea, not sure if it always had a good effect.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Too bad
by Alfman on Wed 15th Feb 2017 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Too bad"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lennie,

Moderating for a large audience is almost impossible. I like how Slashdot had people which had high scores be able to do some moderation. I like the idea, not sure if it always had a good effect.


Stack exchange does it too based on a point system, but I feel it has encouraged group think and confirmation bias, which isn't so good for users who want well rounded answers. Frequently some questions that are exactly what I'm looking for (and I'm sure many others) are closed down. Sometimes the moderators close the entire topic because of allegedly poor quality answers, even when the questions and answers were all relevant from an independent point of view. I get the impression that the moderators closed the topic simply because they disagreed and not necessarily because the answers were bad. Of course sometimes the answers are bad, but I feel the down-voting is far more appropriate than shutting down the topic.

They usually ban questions that ask the pros and cons between multiple choices, aka "which is better", but this is actually very useful information as long as the choices are all well represented.

They do well at keeping out spam and harassment, but I also have some disappointment that the moderation shuts down some good viewpoints.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Too bad
by Lennie on Fri 17th Feb 2017 14:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Too bad"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Man there were a lot of typos in my comment. :-(

You are right, and my advice would be: moderation should be done in moderation. :-)

Opinions and things which are clearly wrong should not be voted down or closed down.

What is clearly wrong should be pointed out why it's wrong. It might turn out you, if you are that moderator, are wrong and the person can actually explain why.

Even an other opinion can help you understand something about other the motivation, etc. from other people.

Edited 2017-02-17 14:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Too bad
by WorknMan on Tue 14th Feb 2017 02:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Too bad"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

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.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Too bad
by Alfman on Tue 14th Feb 2017 02:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too bad"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

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!

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Too bad
by WorknMan on Tue 14th Feb 2017 03:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Too bad"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

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.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Too bad
by leech on Tue 14th Feb 2017 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Too bad"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

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.


Sorry, but trolls and douchebags are pretty much a fact of life at this point. They always have been, you just don't have as much choice in dealing with them now, unless there are ignore buttons.

The Internet on the other hand should allow anonymity. I agree with the other person, I tend to put in garbage information if a page tries to ask for it. Even Facebook I use a fake name, they don't need to know all my info. Not even sure at what point people decided that putting their personal life up on the Internet was a good idea.... I've always thought of it like the Old West, without all the smells.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Too bad
by WorknMan on Wed 15th Feb 2017 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Too bad"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Sorry, but trolls and douchebags are pretty much a fact of life at this point.


Yes, but the anonymity of the Internet gives them an outlet they wouldn't otherwise have. Now, if you think anonymity is worth putting up with the trolls, I think that's a perfectly valid position. I'm just trying to make people understand that they're going to have to choose between the two.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Too bad
by Alfman on Wed 15th Feb 2017 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Too bad"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

Yes, but the anonymity of the Internet gives them an outlet they wouldn't otherwise have. Now, if you think anonymity is worth putting up with the trolls, I think that's a perfectly valid position. I'm just trying to make people understand that they're going to have to choose between the two.


I don't think that's a fair characterization of either of our positions though. We don't believe anonymity is the primary cause or outlet for bullying. I think hateful rhetoric starts at home and in schools right in the open with parents who don't do anything to stop it. They might even be spreading it themselves. By the time they are social network users, their behavior becomes an extension of what they are already doing in real life.

I don't know what the solution is, but even if you hold the opinion that eliminating anonymity would stop it, I don't think that is really feasible. How would you actually pull this off?

Edited 2017-02-15 20:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Too bad
by judgen on Tue 14th Feb 2017 02:01 UTC in reply to "Too bad"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

There were never any douchbags in the BeOS community. or i have been very, very lucky.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Too bad
by Soulbender on Tue 14th Feb 2017 08:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Too bad"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

There was that obelix guy...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Too bad
by Kancept on Tue 14th Feb 2017 15:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too bad"
Kancept Member since:
2006-01-09

There was that obelix guy...



LULZ

Reply Score: 1

RE: Too bad
by Macrat on Tue 14th Feb 2017 02:38 UTC in reply to "Too bad"
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27

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.

Reply Score: 2

Dumb
by terra on Tue 14th Feb 2017 09:18 UTC
terra
Member since:
2012-11-01

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.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Dumb
by Vanders on Tue 14th Feb 2017 10:01 UTC in reply to "Dumb"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Yay! You've completely blown apart the entire story with one simple fact! Oh but hang on...

In March 1989, Tim laid out his vision for what would become the web in a document called “Information Management: A Proposal”.
The web was never an official CERN project, but Mike managed to give Tim time to work on it in September 1990.

By October of 1990, Tim had written the three fundamental technologies that remain the foundation of today’s web...

By the end of 1990, the first web page was served on the open internet, and in 1991, people outside of CERN were invited to join this new web community.

So great, yes. Tim "invented" the World Wide Web by writing a paper about it in 1989, but nobody else could use it until 1991. So the original article is entirely correct; 1989 pre-dated the web by a couple of years.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Dumb
by KLU9 on Tue 14th Feb 2017 11:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Dumb"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

Even by 1995, when I started using Mosaic for the web, most of my net time was still spent on USENET. Waiting for those damned jpegs to display line by line...

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Dumb
by Sauron on Tue 14th Feb 2017 15:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dumb"
Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

Even by 1995, when I started using Mosaic for the web, most of my net time was still spent on USENET. Waiting for those damned jpegs to display line by line...

Ah, I miss those days! ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Dumb
by grat on Tue 14th Feb 2017 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Dumb"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

What, no gopher, or fsp?

Slacker.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Dumb
by ezraz on Tue 14th Feb 2017 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Dumb"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

What, no gopher, or fsp?

Slacker.



I spent plenty of time gophering around the early internet. Gopher, USENET, and FreeNets were the ish back then.

Of course AOL, CompuServe, and apple's sparsely populated eWorld were out back then.

There was still an active BBS community too, I would sometimes dial those things up to chat and trade stuff.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Dumb
by KLU9 on Tue 14th Feb 2017 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Dumb"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

No, I wasn't into gophers...

Reply Score: 2

If anyone believes this excuse..
by bassbeast on Tue 14th Feb 2017 17:14 UTC
bassbeast
Member since:
2007-11-11

I have a bridge they might be interested in. We all know which movie the SJWs had a shitfit over anyone disagreeing with their virtue signaling over (Ghostbusters 2016) and pretty much anyone and anything that didn't toe the party line were attacked.

Several reviewers even expressed they were afraid to review the movie for fear of attack after seeing what happened to Angry Video Game Nerd (who simply said he won't go see any crappy Hollywood remakes) who got doxxed and calls for someone to go kill him and his family. I close with a forum post by a user on that very same message board who frankly said it better than I ever could..

"Really now? His very politely expressed opinion that the film was poor? That's why this board is closing? Politely stated opinions you don't agree with?

Good lord you're insufferable. Whomever you are. Hershey, Hestia, whichever pathetic tantrum-throwing whiner. In the 15 years I've used IMDb there have always been trolls and makers of offence, and it never stopped me from having solid conversations about film and perusing information or perspectives I'd not have found otherwise. I never thought the chaff was worth more than roll of my eyes, on some occasions a chuckle, and on very rare occasion a click of the report button.

While I am sure the general boards may well have become more vile -- they were never bastions of internet etiquette and so I avoided them -- the trolls were never a real problem until thin-skinned, melodramatic ninnies like yourself came along. Good riddance. "

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1289401/board/nest/265922738?ref_=tt_bd...

Reply Score: 2

RE: If anyone believes this excuse..
by leech on Tue 14th Feb 2017 21:13 UTC in reply to "If anyone believes this excuse.."
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

That is perfection!

I actually refused to see the new Ghostbusters for the same reason, we really should boycott Hollywood remakes of 1980s shows. Just watch the damn 1980s movie, it will always be better. The next director/producer that gets drunk watching a fantastic movie and thinks 'I could do that story better.' deserves a bomb.

I think it was after the Spielberg / Tom Cruise War of the Worlds that I started thinking that remakes need to end. Then they started 'but it's a reboot!' and it got more terrible... then while watching the new Total Recall, and all I could think was "I should be watching the one with Arnie...."

Reply Score: 2

...and Hollywood lost some power...
by TemporalBeing on Tue 14th Feb 2017 21:43 UTC
TemporalBeing
Member since:
2007-08-22

...as it was that much harder for them to read the undulations of their fans that feds them, siphoning the life force out of the youth to keep the Hollywood demi-gods young.

It won't last long though...they'll soon figure out another means to devour their victims in order to maintain their status and control over society

Reply Score: 2

a good place
by defdog99 on Thu 16th Feb 2017 00:56 UTC
defdog99
Member since:
2006-09-06

A good place for movie discussion and user reviews is the Facebook group "The Cinefiles".

Reply Score: 1