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Are pseudo-anonymous forums superior to “social media”?

Are Internet forums better than social media?

  • Yes

    Votes: 69 89.6%
  • No

    Votes: 3 3.9%
  • It’s complicated; see post(s)

    Votes: 5 6.5%

  • Total voters
    77

haxan7

Volunteered as Tribute
May 9, 2016
7,684
17,493
885
h*ck
I enjoy scrolling through memes on Instagram as much as the next guy, but this is a question that’s been in the back of my mind. I’ve never been one to share much of myself on traditional social media. I didn’t care about how many friends I had on Facebook when it was new and I don’t care about what people think of me on Instagram now.

I do however spend a lot of time here. Are people who frequent “old school” Internet forums an exception to the rule or is this actually superior to typical social media and everyone else just needs to get on our level?
 
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Jethalal

Member
Dec 19, 2020
922
1,670
420
I like these more. I believe a mix of these and private messengers like Telegram is much better than something like FB. These can be used for discussion and messengers for communication with colleagues, relatives, etc.
 

MrMephistoX

Member
May 18, 2007
5,970
3,154
1,410
For sure I’d take Era even over Twitter were they not humorless woke cunts😉 Reddit is about the only exception you can generally have a good conversation there if you find a good community. Otherwise it’s all hot takes and people trying desperately to go viral.
 
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VHSamurai

Gold Member
Jan 10, 2021
106
179
355
Apples and oranges, IMO.

I don’t use social media but I enjoy forums.

I’m sure a good deal of it is nostalgia of when forums were a big deal back in the 90s. Regardless, they’re fun. I guess I’m a creature of habit.
 

Stiflers Mom

Member
Apr 27, 2012
8,691
13,327
1,150
Mmh, I think these things all have their perks.
I don't use FB for "the comment wall" on profiles much, but the groups over there are a godsend.

And, a lot of people tend to forget that you are kind of your own editor of content on these sites. If everybody just writes shit, maybe you have shit friends and are subscribed to the wrong sites and groups.
 

UnNamed

18+ Member, acts like 12 year old console warrior
Dec 21, 2006
1,426
2,304
1,505
Somewhere in Bananaland
I see lot of communities who shift to services like discord or telegram, but everytime I tried to join these services I quit immediately.

Telegram, Discord, socials, are basically chat with lot of rumor, cringe jokes and a depth of discussion near to zero.
If you want to discuss, forums are the only option, where you need to think before posting. Not always but most of the time.
 

Soodanim

Member
Feb 24, 2012
6,533
1,796
915
Your common social media is about the short and quick, even if you get into comment threads. It’s not conducive to proper discussion, which is why it’s often just one liners. It’s also filled with pushed content from algorithms now, which influences everything both discreetly and indiscreetly.

Message boards/forums have always been the opposite of that. You have to seek them out in the first place, and once you’re there the format is long form replies where things are sorted by updates by default (customisable) so discussions only die naturally.

Social media is a quick fire mess
Message boards are a slower niche
 

Amory

Member
Jul 10, 2008
10,986
1,133
1,030
Connecticut
10,000% yes. Forums are my favorite part of the internet. Semi long form conversations on any number of topics, conducted under pseudonyms, with reasonable moderation

It's the perfect happy medium. I think forums are going to come back in a big way as people realize more and more that traditional social media is just making them unhappy
 
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DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
29,300
70,115
1,375
USA
dunpachi.com
Yes, internet anonymity is a gift. I quickly realized (Myspace + early days of facebook) that it was foolish to give up anonymity so easily.

Plenty of pundits and sci-fi books warned us what would happen, but it is amazing how quickly people slid into it and became addicted, and how quickly the medium was abused to harass and cancel people in the real world.

Kinda ironic, because I remember my parents warning me about strangers on the internet and not giving out personal info, as if I would for some reason treat the internet differently than I would a stranger on the street. Yet nowadays their house is wired with Alexa speakers, they coordinate their social lives through facebook, they join new video-sharing apps and link them under the facebook umbrella, and then text me the generic link to join (I don't).
 

lock2k

Member
Jun 13, 2018
6,061
9,291
645
Brazil
Yes, internet anonymity is a gift. I quickly realized (Myspace + early days of facebook) that it was foolish to give up anonymity so easily.

Plenty of pundits and sci-fi books warned us what would happen, but it is amazing how quickly people slid into it and became addicted, and how quickly the medium was abused to harass and cancel people in the real world.

Kinda ironic, because I remember my parents warning me about strangers on the internet and not giving out personal info, as if I would for some reason treat the internet differently than I would a stranger on the street. Yet nowadays their house is wired with Alexa speakers, they coordinate their social lives through facebook, they join new video-sharing apps and link them under the facebook umbrella, and then text me the generic link to join (I don't).
There is a perception that the web was sanitized as the big companies made them idiot proof and more official and easy to work with (not taking a jab at your parents, I mean for the population in general that isn't tech savvy) but it's more evil than ever. The old days were actually safer for a lot of things.
 

DKehoe

Member
Jun 19, 2007
6,538
2,964
1,405
Seems a better format for actually having a conversation.

Also forums just display stuff chronologically in a way that you can easily understand. No algorithm making it hard to go back and find something.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
29,300
70,115
1,375
USA
dunpachi.com
There is a perception that the web was sanitized as the big companies made them idiot proof and more official and easy to work with (not taking a jab at your parents, I mean for the population in general that isn't tech savvy) but it's more evil than ever. The old days were actually safer for a lot of things.
My parents are both fairly educated. My dad has a MBA and has worked with computer systems for as long as I can remember. Which makes it funnier that they're naive about this stuff.

For my dad, I think these technologies are a fulfillment of talking to the computer a la Star Trek or video-chatting with someone on a pocket device like in many other sci-fi universes. He gobbles up new phones, new apps, and new accessories, each and every one has a specific purpose. He's the kind of person who thinks starting your morning coffee via smartphone app is cool. They're the generation that clapped and voted for Patriot Act. They don't actually care, I've realized, about being observed.
 

lock2k

Member
Jun 13, 2018
6,061
9,291
645
Brazil
My parents are both fairly educated. My dad has a MBA and has worked with computer systems for as long as I can remember. Which makes it funnier that they're naive about this stuff.

For my dad, I think these technologies are a fulfillment of talking to the computer a la Star Trek or video-chatting with someone on a pocket device like in many other sci-fi universes. He gobbles up new phones, new apps, and new accessories, each and every one has a specific purpose. He's the kind of person who thinks starting your morning coffee via smartphone app is cool. They're the generation that clapped and voted for Patriot Act. They don't actually care, I've realized, about being observed.
Sorry. I didn't mean to assume something like that, I meant specifically tech savvy with the new stuff, but it does make it funnier because your dad has an I.T. background. But I really meant the general populace that didn't grow with the internet, stuff like that.

This quoted part is really interesting though.
 
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Slings and Arrows

Formerly 'Boswollocks'
Apr 19, 2019
9,323
15,352
780
Away with the fairies
I've said many times before and for many years, that the internet went to shit as soon as anonymity was removed.

When 'Hugeschlong69 and 1337sniporzxxx became John Townsend and Steven Murphy, their posts went from anonymous trolling with no person in mind, to a targeted attack by a person, to another person.

But, that's all by design. Nobody would give a rats-arse about facebook or twitter if it was 100% 4chan style usernames.
 

Stilton Disco

Member
Aug 22, 2014
7,059
7,888
780
England
Social media and websites wanting people to use their real names was sold as a way to prevent trolling, but it was always only ever about getting data on people that could be sold on.

I'm old enough and a massive bloody nerd enough to have been online since the 90's, when everyone knew to never, ever give out your real name or personal details to others online, and the internet, as well as the world at large, was a damned sight better back then for it.

The whole world started to got to hell in a hand cart after smart phones opened the Internet up as accessible to any idiot, and then big businesses realised they could trick those idiots into pouring their innermost thoughts and desires out for all the world to see, and make huge stacks of cash from.
 
Last edited:

dr_octagon

Member
Apr 25, 2009
755
312
965
It's similar to how email was thought to soon disappear because of so many new ways and cool ways to communicate. It may not be exciting but it is reliable and that's the reason it has endured. SMS is the equivalent for the mobile phone.
 
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Magenta Mage

Banned
Dec 1, 2020
94
117
335
Forums are still social media. It all falls in the same category, there's no meaningful distinction between this website and Twitter where you can make an anonymous account.
 

Trogdor1123

Member
Mar 2, 2012
8,589
2,114
865
I think there is a push to more detailed and engaging conversation in forums. Obviously that is for a number of reasons. There needs to constantly be moderation on a forum to stop group think which can't be done on social media.

The fact that social media is run by algorithms is also part of the problem
 
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Trogdor1123

Member
Mar 2, 2012
8,589
2,114
865
Forums are still social media. It all falls in the same category, there's no meaningful distinction between this website and Twitter where you can make an anonymous account.
Only on a superficial level is that true. Once you get into the mechanisms that run each they are very different.
 

NeoGiffer

Member
Nov 29, 2018
1,378
4,758
435

It’s complicated; see post(s)


 

Happosai

Member
May 13, 2020
1,525
1,912
420
33
South Central, Mexico
myanimelist.net
Social media is a hot mess and I never liked it. I didn't mind Myspace when I was in my late-teens but I left before the site was sold. Facebook was one I tried avoiding and an idiot ex of mine back in the 2000's made an acccount for me on there. I tried it and felt miserable using social media at the age of 19-years old (back in 2007). I cut the friends list and my acitivity on Facebook down to 50 persons or less back in 2014 and would only occaisionally drop in to use live video to broadcast some concerts I had going on. It all turned into something that felt juvenile to me and I finally pulled the plug on Facebook about a year ago. The account is still there but will probably become spam bait considering that I only check it around Christmas or my American parents' birthdays. Never got into the whole mess of others out there like Twitter, Instagram, etc. I didn't even bother trying. I started posting on forums for anime back in the late 90's-early 2000's and liked when gaming was part of discussions. NeoGAF kind of welcomed me back to something that's allowing me to output the information I need and intake without being overwhelmed. I like the basic PHP/SQL structure and won't be getting involved with social media again for anything. Not all forums are better...just this one.
 

Moogle11

Member
Feb 7, 2020
1,523
1,462
565
No.

I enjoy forums more for sure, but I don't think any of online discourse has been a good thing for society/humanity. They all allow too much spread of lies, misinformation, they all make it easier for people to find their echo chamber, they all allow nobodies to pose as informed people who should have a public voice etc.

My enjoyment of forums is just staying away from any kind of series, especially political discourse (an occasional thread like this) and sticking to shooting the shit about hobbies and other random stuff. They're much better than social media for that.
 

TindalosPup

Member
Nov 1, 2019
864
1,809
505
The Middle of Nowhere
Forum participation is relatively new to me (I've only been here a little over a year), but I can tell you I get a lot less harassment here than I ever did on Facebook (and I have more confidence it'd be addressed in a reasonable time frame if it did occur)

Being stalked and harassed isn't easy to avoid when all you're information is out there. The minute a fake facebook dedicated to disparaging me happened and I had to provide my ID to them to shut it down, after over a month of reporting it, it became a huge reality that Facebook is sort of evil, or at least gives 0 shits about it's users.
 
Feb 18, 2013
762
1,296
760
I like forums like this because the threads are stickier and the community smaller but twitter is also interesting because of the incredible networked pace of it all. I definitely discover more on twitter than I do on forums, but I contribute and discuss more on forums than twitter.
 

s_mirage

Member
Jan 2, 2012
2,289
24
670
I see lot of communities who shift to services like discord or telegram, but everytime I tried to join these services I quit immediately.

Telegram, Discord, socials, are basically chat with lot of rumor, cringe jokes and a depth of discussion near to zero.
If you want to discuss, forums are the only option, where you need to think before posting. Not always but most of the time.

Same. It mystifies me why so many communities where sharing information is really important (game modding, etc) have moved to Discord. On a forum it's really easy to separate topics and find info, but on Discord even though you can set up separate rooms it tends to turn into an ugly looking and hard to follow mass chat/info dump. Yes it's got real time chat, but other than that, what am I missing?
 

MayauMiao

Member
Feb 14, 2018
3,635
6,285
530
Sticking to forum because I don't need REEE like insects stalking what I do in life just because they are not happy about my politics. Also, I learn enough that social media is cancer.