When users are abusers

Running a fan board is a tremendous act of love and a helluva lot of effort. In the best cases, the site masters are adored and appreciated by the people who use the boards. In the worst cases, stuff like this happens:

THE SaintsForever website has shut down its popular message boards after the man who runs it was subjected to “a never ending stream of abuse.”

Over the last eight years Keith Legg has seen SaintsForever become one of the most popular forums on the internet for Saints fans to discuss everything from tactics and signings to the price of pies in the concourses at St Mary’s.

In a statement posted on the site to explain the closure of the forums, Legg said: “Unfortunately, this site has become more of a burden than a pleasure.

Here’s an excerpt from his statement:

Unfortunately, this site has become more of a burden than a pleasure to me and I have to constantly deal with issues created by a minority of people who have it in for the site, or me in particular.

I fully appreciate this is allowing the minority to spoil it for the majority and for a long time now, I’ve resisted my gut feeling to shut the site for the very reason that I “didn’t want to let the bastards win”. I have met many great people via this site and had some superb support over the years, which has made this decision all the harder.

But when I receive a never ending stream of abusive emails, threats, lies spread about my private and professional life, damage to my property, abusive phonecalls, anonymous letters to my employer and hacking attempts to the site and my emails… it really is not worth it when it effects me and most importantly, my family.

Of course, all the above is done by gutless anonymous cowards with little grasp on living in the real world and being able to act like normal human beings. Unfortunately the internet is a haven for these type of saddos and I can only see it getting worse.

I don’t know the backstory here, but it’s easy to imagine it happening in any fan site. I wish I had a magic solution to this kind of garbage. In this case, the board’s admin team decided to step in and pick up where Legg left off, but not without disruption:

As already stated, the Admin Team have been busy setting up a brand-new message board.

We are starting from scratch, so everyone will need to re-register – but, once you’ve created an account, you should be able to post straight away.

As it’s a brand-new board, on a new host, there is always the possibility of teething problems – if this happens, please accept our apologies and bear with us as we sort it out.

I guess it serves as a reminder of the fragility of fan communities.

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