Five years of BBS 📅


Hey take that over here.



Haven’t I already been there? What happens when containment is breached?


Interesting…I’m wondering, then, do you ever find yourself wondering what’s going on? I mean, it seems like everyone else would be in a conversation that includes the person you have muted, and there you are, floating through in your own little bubble—??

If they did try to contact you, would you even know it?


One thing I have noticed is the possibility that hobbyhorse newcomers who may want to automatically shut down a thread they don’t like for 4 hours at a time exploit this feature by posting comments designed to be flagged. Not sure how to solve this beyond the mods’ current vigilance but something for you to be aware of.


It’s something to be aware of, though I think the more expert of them try to play nice and like a few things. It’s a hard problem really. As @codinghorror said (Perhaps in slightly different words), there’s really no substitute for vigilant moderation.


Not really. As I said, I’ve had occasion to Mute very few users since I started using the script. Currently there are four on my list (I usually delete them from the list when, as often happens, they get suspended or banned by a mod). They’re the kinds of borderline trolls described above and I’m not really interested in comments they make as they add absolutely no value to any thread they’re in as far as I’m concerned.

I do see others responding to them and sometimes quoting them. In those cases if I feel there’s reason to support the commenter a Like my own comment backing up or expanding on their point without reference to the Muted user works fine.

That’s a good question, but as I understand it a DM from them would show up in my mailbox despite the Mute script and the lack of alerts. I’ve never seen one from them, probably because they dislike me as much as I dislike them.


I don’t think any of the criticism was undeserved.

I still miss the lounge and the many people that left here to seek out greener pastures elsewhere.


I agree, but that’s a separate issue. Members criticised as trolls and such who attained TL3 and gained access to the Lounges took it as an opportunity to claim (falsely) that BBS management was enabling cliques via favouritism. I also miss the TL3 Lounges and the sense of community they engendered amongst the regulars but somehow the site seems to be surviving without them.


It’s really hard to boil trust down to a simple metric. I think @codinghorror was working with the idea that reading was the most important factor. I get where he was coming from on some level, but measuring posts viewed isn’t exactly engagement.

A place for people of a certain trust level to talk together has value in my opinion, but those on the outside will always view it as cliquish as well. These aren’t easy things to engineer.


I agree. Back channels should be for actual mods, not for a cabal of “elite” regulars with enhanced flagging power to talk about gen pop behind their backs. I was never a big lounge user, IIRC, back when I made the required level somehow, but it was a set up I think inadvertently lent itself more to divisiveness than cohesiveness. But I’m often an outsider and contrarian, so I generally see such a hidden concentration of power as anti-egalitarian.


I agree, but when things played out the users criticised for persistent trolling (unsurprisingly) used their discovery of the discussion as a way to trollishly and falsely accuse the site management and mods of favouritism and such on the basis that the Lounges were their creation. If you go back to the Meta threads discussing the end of the Lounges you’ll see what a headache it was for the site owners, one they didn’t need given all the work they put in to make this place civil.

The Lounges themselves weren’t the problem, it’s that they were enabled by the Discourse system and sanctioned by the owners. @Skeptic has it right when he says the TL3 Regulars Lounges had:


That’s a headache for sure. But how to deal with false accusations? It seems like standard fair for moderators.

When the only requirement to get in is reading a certain number of posts, the argument for it being favoritism sort of crumbles. Moderate accordingly.


To a degree, yes. They always have to deal with Regulars who are “disappointed with BoingBoing”, for example. This was just a particularly bad case that they might want not to replicate. [ETA: as @ficuswhisperer notes below the fallout also included the loss of a lot of valued members]

I should mention that I also agree that, if they were to reinstate the Lounges, different or additional barriers to entry besides TL based on posts viewed should be in place. Perhaps the ability to create those Lounges and also decide which TL3 members can join it (and see it) might be one of the privileges of gaining TL3 status, but that would be a change to the system they’d have to make.


Yeah - it’s surviving but a huge toll has been taken. Anyway this has already been discussed to death and I’ll stop ratholing on this topic.


Happy 5 years. :beers:


This is the first I’ve heard of a great troll purge and the demise of the lounges. I obviously haven’t been paying very close attention to BBS operations or politics recently. For all the good they may have represented, I think the nature of the lounges also helped create a sense of entitlement, that the BBS was some people’s private playground, sometimes enabling dogpiles on un-favored posters, and pushbacks when admin made any changes. There are both positives and negatives for the forum that come with a sense of ownership by dint of being a “regular” with special access.


I’ll be on my fainting couch.


It happened last year. Anyone interested in reviewing how bad it was can slog his way through these two threads but I don’t recommend it (also this is not an invitation for anyone to derail this thread into a rehash of these events and is my final post here on the matter of the Lounges):

Now back to a discussion of the new and improved future of the BBS!


Is that a new Discourse feature? :slight_smile:



For the thing entirely, i’m still not certain on this whole complete separation of comments and articles into the site and BBS.

I’d prefer comments be displayed under the articles, even if the base-system was kept separate. The fact i have to open a new tab to view/make comments still seems a bit odd.

That said, for everything else i am very impressed, one of the best moderated sites i visit IMHO, well done :slight_smile: