Reply 20 of 31, by CelGen
gerry wrote on 2021-03-03, 09:30:Namrok wrote on 2021-03-02, 17:12:
Every forum I've been on that died, died because the all consuming leviathan of politics finally visited it.
Sounds like you've been on some forums with fairly dramatic downfalls!
it's true that in forums where the dominant form of discussion is 'political', should 1 side 'win' by taking control, the victory itself dooms the forum as it becomes an ever quieter echo chamber
Facepunch Forums. What an apocalyptic end that came to that place.
Gaming and Half-Life 2 mod oriented community forum with a rich branching of other groups and communities and a massive wealth of Hammer/Lua guides and coding support. Unofficially it replaced the Steam forums when they closed. Think SomethingAwful, but nicer. When politics heated up in 2016 the forum began to break up into groups as people either left because either you were with one group or against the will of the whole forum nonsense, the HL2 modding community and Garry's Mod was nearing ten years old and development had pretty much stopped and the forum owner himself had moved on to other projects and was now running a business. When the plug was pulled (and then plugged back in again briefly) there was a scramble to save what they could but large portions of the site failed to migrate to the Internet Archive and a lot of actually useful posts and discussions were deleted due to GDPR compliance.
In the later years several members who had political disagreements with other forum users (or got permabanned in the 2016 election TOXX thread) spun off a clone of the forum which served to replace it once Facepunch closed for good. Knockout briefly had promise however when you have a subgroup of a community go off and make their own community you both lose a major portion of the original userbase either because they aren't interested in moving or they were not aware it existed and whatever mindset this subgroup has in common becomes transparent. Unfortunately in this instance as people came over many left soon after because their political orientation, beliefs or how they were educated was now judged and enforced under new rules. The bickering continued into the developer, administration and moderator pools, forcing the forum development to go open-sourced because nobody wanted to fix a site (which two years later is still listed as "beta") where not agreeing some megacorp was bad got you branded a sell-out. Both administration and moderation cycled out and forum ownership changed hands and once again a subgroup of a subgroup causes the cycle of people leaving, people getting the boot because they don't agree on the same things and group discussions become entirely one-sided and toxic to the point nobody besides a small group wants to post anything.
While they are still active and statistically their userbase remains at around 2000 people, the stats show the damage is done. Nobody is leaving but likewise nobody is joining. The gross percentage of active users when polled only lurk.
Another one was Nekochan.net. Funky name but for years it was the unofficial discussion forum for all Silicon Graphics hardware and software support, plus third party software porting and development. SGI themselves linked to and recommended them on their website so they were a pretty big deal once you got around the administrator liking anime a little too much.
As time progressed many users who provided help and support gradually thinned out as they themselves were just administrators and as SGI's hardware was decommissioned the purpose behind doing anything with SGI evaporated. Eventually the site owner lost interest SGI himself and again, out of GDPR compliance one day the entire site, any documentation and any other useful bits of information that had not been scraped to elsewhere were deleted. From its ashes the remainder of the community attempted to piece things back together under a new forum under new management and like above, new management has new rules. The entire original third party software tree (dubbed "Nekoware") was declared obsolete and a new draft on how to compile, pack and upload updates, software and ports was enforced creating a mess of two repositories and marginally compatible packages.
"It's science. I ain't gotta explain sh*t"