No. of Recommendations: 2
So... fun though the previous discussion was, I wonder what could actually improve the Fool. Here we are in the digital age, wandering through the cybersphere the way farm kids used to wander through the dusty streets of the closest little town. (They probably still do that somewhere.) The Fool's boards have gone from cutting edge technology to ... quaint.

And yet I don't think the technology is the Fool. I think the Fool is the community. The community is getting a bit long in the tooth, with retirement boards and taking care of parents boards more active than boards that younger people might frequent. Still, the community is solid and has a depth of expertise that I have not seen elsewhere.

It comes with a diversity of thought that impresses me regularly and -- perhaps unique to a short period of time that will not come again -- extraordinary ability to communicate via the written word.

So how would I like to see the Fool improve?

- I would like to see the community expand.
- I would like to see all the boards require payment again, with liberal use of Post of the Day credits for people who actually contribute to the mission. (Remember those? Those were some really good writing back in the day.)
- I would like to see the Fool use its broad expertise for good in the world. Not TMF the company, but the community here. And not by contributing to the annual Fool cause, though that's also good, but by going out into the digital world and providing benefit to people who need it.

ThyPeace, or we can just peter out, of course.
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- I would like to see the community expand.
- I would like to see all the boards require payment again


Requiring payment to view and reply on these boards is a good way to shrink, not expand them. If payment was required, I can guarantee it will shrink by one since I would be leaving.

PSU
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<<Requiring payment to view and reply on these boards is a good way to shrink, not expand them. If payment was required, I can guarantee it will shrink by one since I would be leaving.

PSU>>


Make that two. I don't pay for ANY internet content.


Seattle Pioneer
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<<Requiring payment to view and reply on these boards is a good way to shrink, not expand them. If payment was required, I can guarantee it will shrink by one since I would be leaving.

PSU>>



Make that two. I don't pay for ANY internet content.

Seattle Pioneer


Curious, what did you do in the early oughts when these boards charged a fee? Don't remember if it was free to read but I paid $29.95 in 2002 and 2004 for 2-year memberships.

George
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When I joined TMF in 1994, I was only on free boards. I do not remember ever paying anything.

Eventually, I did try a couple of the "services", but stopped those after a couple years.

😑
ralph
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It was free when I started and I was comped during the paying years. There's enough other things out there that I wouldn't pay for the service now.
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Curious, what did you do in the early oughts when these boards charged a fee? Don't remember if it was free to read but I paid $29.95 in 2002 and 2004 for 2-year memberships.

TMF gave me a free membership for all the fabulous content I provided to the boards.

PSU
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<<It was free when I started and I was comped during the paying years. There's enough other things out there that I wouldn't pay for the service now.>>


Ditto


However, I don't take the services the Fool provides me lightly. I think they do an excellent job of policing the discussion boards and generally provide a worthwhile service.


I wish them good fortune finding revenues to support the service. Just not from me.


Seattle Pioneer
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<<Curious, what did you do in the early oughts when these boards charged a fee? Don't remember if it was free to read but I paid $29.95 in 2002 and 2004 for 2-year memberships.

TMF gave me a free membership for all the fabulous content I provided to the boards.

PSU>>


And very wise in doing so!



Seattle Pioneer
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Curious, what did you do in the early oughts when these boards charged a fee? Don't remember if it was free to read but I paid $29.95 in 2002 and 2004 for 2-year memberships.


Like many others, I started on the boards when they were free, and was comped during the short time it was not free. The reason it went back to being free is because the community shrunk massively during that time.

Kathleen
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<<Curious, what did you do in the early oughts when these boards charged a fee? Don't remember if it was free to read but I paid $29.95 in 2002 and 2004 for 2-year memberships.


Like many others, I started on the boards when they were free, and was comped during the short time it was not free. The reason it went back to being free is because the community shrunk massively during that time.

Kathleen>>



That's very true.


Unfortunately, the experiment with charging for the privilege of being a Fool ended the real Happy Time of Fooldom.


Nothing has matched that peak since, I regret to say.


Those....were....the days, my friend,
we thought they'd never end....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GielMXWQlbw
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Interesting history. I came to the Fool during the pay-to-play time, and found the money to be well worth the price. Probably the best value I've ever had on the Internet. I would also note that it was at that same time when systems like FaceBook were growing, so I'm not convinced that the drop in activity is fully due to the subscription price.

We could, of course, ACTUALLY create a paid swarm, where people who have paid their money get twice as many recs as those who have not.

ThyPeace, ducking for cover now. :)
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Interesting history. I came to the Fool during the pay-to-play time, and found the money to be well worth the price. Probably the best value I've ever had on the Internet. I would also note that it was at that same time when systems like FaceBook were growing, so I'm not convinced that the drop in activity is fully due to the subscription price.


BTW, TMF still has paid boards:
https://www.fool.com/services/

HTH,
Kathleen
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Interesting history. I came to the Fool during the pay-to-play time, and found the money to be well worth the price.

I only paid the subscription price once, after that I got so many incentives that I never had to pay again. It's been a fun and profitable 18 years. I met lots of interesting people and interesting ideas. A few people have tried to shut me up but they have yet to succeed. One hand clapping makes no sound, you need both right and left hand to clap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs4hRCFNtLg

Thanks Fool!

Denny Schlesinger
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs4hRCFNtLg

That was cool.

ThyPeace, clapping.
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No. of Recommendations: 8
Interesting history. I came to the Fool during the pay-to-play time, and found the money to be well worth the price. Probably the best value I've ever had on the Internet. I would also note that it was at that same time when systems like FaceBook were growing, so I'm not convinced that the drop in activity is fully due to the subscription price.

The TMF boards at the peak were pretty amazing. TMF appeared in the 90s right as the stock market was taking off and the discount broker emerged. Suddenly, you really could make money as a small time individual investor and TMF would show you how! Back then, it seemed impossible to lose money in the stock market, so everything seemed to work. It was like capturing lightning in a bottle. The stock boards were great, but there were tons of other boards that were really interesting. LBYM had hundreds of posts a day. Retire Early Home Page. Mechanical Investing. Martini Club. Even Buying and Selling a Home. Nutty, interesting stuff you just could not find anywhere else. I didn't even know stuff like that existed.

However, the dot.com bust punched TMF right in the face, not to mention the customer base, and TMF seemed to never really recover. They moved from "you can do this, and we'll teach you how" to "pay us and we'll tell you what to do." Fair enough, but a different thing from the roll-up-your-sleeves empowerment that was the earlier model.

Then they split off the paid stock boards from everything else, taking a number of the best financial posters with them, which left the free boards worse off. Again fair enough, but the free boards started to die, and then along came Facebook, so TMF started being less of a social place. Competition in finance emerged too, like Bogleheads and the various retire early forums. As the free boards started to die, posters increasing migrated to other, more interesting forums.

Bottom line is the free boards have been dying for a long time, and die a little more each year. Solutions? I don't have one. You can't capture lightning in a bottle twice. I don't know how to re-energize something that has been dying for almost two decades. But that's still a great run. It was cool to see it at its peak and be a part of it.
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You can't capture lightning in a bottle twice. You can do it as often as you wish.

Back when they thought electricity was a fluid, they thought they could dissolve it in water and, in a sense, you could (and still can) even though electricity is no longer thought to be a fluid.

You can capture lighting in a bottle if you want.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyden_jar
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Bottom line is the free boards have been dying for a long time, and die a little more each year.

Said by someone who obviously does not visit Saul's board ...
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Bottom line is the free boards have been dying for a long time, and die a little more each year.
---------------------
Said by someone who obviously does not visit Saul's board ...


He gave a pretty accurate description. Along Saul's board has attracted a loyal crowd, the number of posters or number of unique posters doesn't come close to some of the active boards from years ago.

PSU
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Where would one see such data?
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Where would one see such data?

Here's a good project for you. There are over 34 million posts. Just look at the number in the url of a post on these forums. Your post was 34251060. Now go in the url and edit to find the 1 millionth post. Note the date. Then change it to 2 million. Again note the date. Do it for all 34 million posts. Put it in a spreadsheet. Calculate the number of days between each millionth post. Somebody did this a few years ago and there was a definite decline in number of posts over time.

PSU
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Except that approach would not distinguish between free and paid boards. A decline in the level of activity on paid boards would likely indicate something different than a decline in activity on free boards.

Seems like, in order to say anything very meaningful, one would also need similar stats for some other investing communities. E.g., suppose the root cause was actually that people were investing more and more via ETFs and therefore had little need for boards talking about individual stocks. That might lead to a decline in traffic on both types of boards ... without actually saying anything negative about the boards themselves.
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Except that approach would not distinguish between free and paid boards. A decline in the level of activity on paid boards would likely indicate something different than a decline in activity on free boards.

I doubt the paid boards have a large effect. Just from being here a long time, your example of Saul's board as proof that the boards are not declining isn't that all convincing. A look at the board shows there are approximately 20 posts per day. In the heyday of TMF, boards like LBYM would get that many in an hour. Go look at Apple. That used to be one of the most active stock boards. The board just went 5 days between posts.

PSU
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Just did a quick check on Saul's. In the last year there were 13763 posts, which based on 250 trading days is 55 a day.
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Just did a quick check on Saul's. In the last year there were 13763 posts, which based on 250 trading days is 55 a day.

Ummm…people post on non-trading days, too. So based on 365 days, that's only 37.7 posts per day.

And just for comparison with other free boards:

LBYM started 2006 with post #680045 and ended 2006 on post #750858, for a total of 70,813 posts, or 194 posts per day. LBYM started 2018 with #901174 and ended on post #905296, for a total of 4,122 posts, or 11.3 posts per day - only 5.8% of the number of posts in 2006.

And if you want a stock board to compare to, the Apple board started 2018 at post #208280, and ended 2018 at post #208810, for a total of 530 posts, or less than 1.5 posts per day. Compare that to 2006, where it started at post #117167 and ended at post #131593, for a total of 14,426 posts, or 39.5 posts per day. So 2018 had less than 4% of the posts that there were in 2006.

I'd say the data speaks for itself - the volume is lower than it used to be, and a single board where posting activity may be growing doesn't make up for that.

AJ
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All of this is anecdote. LBYM is not a stock forum, so not comparable to Saul's. Apple is, but interest in specific companies varies over time so the posting there most likely has to do with the interest in Apple as an investment as much as it does overall participation.

And yes, people post on non-trading days, but not nearly as much ... indeed, I notice a dramatic fall off at 4pm Central. So, just dividing by 365 doesn't really paint an accurate picture of interest in stock forums ... this is not Twitter.

To make reasonable comparisons we really need some overall figures divided by, at least paid and free and the free should be divided by investment vs social. Otherwise, we are just citing anecdotes and pretending it is data. Moreover, we need some figures for other comparable sites. If the issue is a general movement of investors from individual stocks to EFTs, then the issue is not TMF.
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All of this is anecdote.

Yes, it is, and here's some more anecdotal evidence. Rather than looking at individual boards, I can say for certain that the activity on all of the boards I frequent has decreased significantly since TMF's heyday. I used to almost dread going on vacation for a week and not keeping up with TMF, because I knew I'd have pages and pages of messages on boards like "Help With This Stupid Computer" to scroll through. It's still one of the most active boards I peruse, but it's nothing compared to what it was (and, if you look at the questions that get asked, it's hard to blame its decline solely on computers getting less "stupid").

As for stock boards, you could say that individual stocks wax and wane in popularity (though, considering Apple is one of the biggest stocks in the world [currently 3rd in the US by market cap], I'm not sure if that's a valid argument), but looking at my favorite boards as a whole (which is still anecdotal, but I also think it's decent enough to at least hint at how things have changed), all of the stocks I've followed have dropped off a cliff as far as participation goes. Apple is the only one that gets regular posts (and even that one is a bit more than a trickle of posts). Costco has one person regularly posting sales and earnings analysis, but otherwise it has very few posts. And that's basically all I ever see with stock boards (every now and then a Microsoft post will pop up).

If the issue is a general movement of investors from individual stocks to EFTs, then the issue is not TMF.

The original post about the decline in participation wasn't singling out the types of boards being posted to, but about the TMF boards as a whole. A general movement from individual stocks to ETFs wouldn't explain the overall decline in the boards (or a decline in the financial boards that aren't specific to investing in stocks). It might explain some of it, but for years TMF's boards were kind of a "Come for the investment advice, stay for the sense of community" thing. (Many, many friendships were built solely from people knowing each other on TMF. There would be TMF-wide mourning when a popular poster died. Etc. You don't see much of that anymore.)

There is undoubtedly an effect from general sentiment about stocks and investing (as another pointed out, the dot-com bust really kicked TMF's boards). But as someone who's been on the boards for 20 years at the end of this month (wow), the community as a whole has definitely shrunk, and I'd be hard-pressed to blame it solely on investing trends. I'd blame it on a combination of that with TMF's ill-fated paid subscriptions, the realization that a lot of TMF (the company)'s investment success may have been more due to luckily picking a few winners and coasting on those results, and the rise of other avenues for discussion (e.g., Facebook).

dsbrady
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Methinks thou dost protest too much.

Seriously, saying that a 96% drop in posting on APPL is because interest in the stock had waned, when APPL had the largest market cap in the world during part of 2018? I don't think that shows a decrease in interest in the stock.

And besides, the concern that was originally voiced was about the posting volume dropping on the free boards, not just stock boards. When 2 of the largest free boards show >90% decrease in posting volume from 2006 to 2018, it may only be anecdata, but it's pretty convincing anecdata.

AJ
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I know that for me, personally, I'm finding it harder to find useful information about my stocks here at the Fool.

Case in point: For a long time, every day after the market closed, I would go to the Fool's Investing News site. In the upper-right corner was the daily results for the S&P 500.

https://www.fool.com/investing-news/


Now they only display the 5-year return.

So when I want to know what the market did that day, I go elsewhere where the information isn't so hard to find. And once I'm somewhere else, how likely is it that I'm going to come back to the Fool to talk about stocks?

I'm still here most days, but for the social boards. It really is a positive feedback. People stop talking about stocks here, which makes people stop coming here to talk about stocks.
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Seriously, saying that a 96% drop in posting on APPL is because interest in the stock had waned, when APPL had the largest market cap in the world during part of 2018? I don't think that shows a decrease in interest in the stock.

What has waned is controversy over APPL. These days it's kind of boring.
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the activity on all of the boards I frequent has decreased significantly

Which makes it still anecdote since we don't know what is happening on the boards you don't frequent.

A general movement from individual stocks to ETFs wouldn't explain the overall decline in the boards

Why not? I would think many ETF investors would just plunk their money down and largely ignore the issue except for periodic quick peeks.

I'm not arguing that there has been no change. I am merely pointing out that people are drawing conclusions in the absence of data. Not only do we need broad spectrum data about TMF, but we need comparison data from other sites before we can make any sensible conclusions.
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People stop talking about stocks here, which makes people stop coming here to talk about stocks.

Reminds me of that old joke:

Don't go to that restaurant! Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore! It is so crowded it takes over an hour just to get a table.
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I'm not arguing that there has been no change. I am merely pointing out that people are drawing conclusions in the absence of data. Not only do we need broad spectrum data about TMF, but we need comparison data from other sites before we can make any sensible conclusions.

We're drawing conclusions about posting activity on TMF based on our long history here. We don't need to compare TMF to other sites. TMF may be decreasing in number of posts for reasons other than investing interest. The statement made as others have already pointed out is that TMF has less posts per day than it did years ago.

It seems you are so in love with Saul's board that it's clouded your overall view. Saul's board is popular now because of the investing success of several members. If that investing success would ever decline, I would predict that it's popularity would decline.

Since you didn't like aj's LBYM board example were posting volume used to exceed Saul's board by several times, we can look at the Mechanical Investing board because it is an investing strategy type board like Saul's. Below are several years of posting numbers data:

2006 14,356
2010 6,873
2014 6,778
2018 4,046


Divide by trading days? Really. I hope that's not a reflection on the type of analysis being done there.

PSU
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Casual observation is enough for me to see that board activity is down, at least for those that are of interest. There did seem to be a drop off at the time they changed the paid boards from an individual service board to a collective Premium board that activity fell. Even finding those boards can be difficult if not going back to the original email that might have recommended a stock.

On top of it, if any of those stocks are also discussed on Saul’s board or previously, the NPI board, the premium board was seldom useful. Far less quality discussion compared to those free boards.

Maybe board activity is healthy still but it certainly must be in political boards or a few community boards that I seldom ever look at.
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All of this is anecdote. LBYM is not a stock forum, so not comparable to Saul's. Apple is, but interest in specific companies varies over time so the posting there most likely has to do with the interest in Apple as an investment as much as it does overall participation.

And yes, people post on non-trading days, but not nearly as much ... indeed, I notice a dramatic fall off at 4pm Central. So, just dividing by 365 doesn't really paint an accurate picture of interest in stock forums ... this is not Twitter.

To make reasonable comparisons we really need some overall figures divided by, at least paid and free and the free should be divided by investment vs social. Otherwise, we are just citing anecdotes and pretending it is data. Moreover, we need some figures for other comparable sites. If the issue is a general movement of investors from individual stocks to EFTs, then the issue is not TMF.


You are making it way too hard. My claim was the boards are dying. That is objectively true. Posting volumes are way down. It doesn't matter if you are talking about the stock boards or the social boards, posting volumes are tiny compared to what they used to be. Yes, Saul's is an active board, and new-ish too, which is rare. But it is the only popular board that is comparatively recent creation. There used to be tons of equivalents.

TMF was originally more than just about picking stocks, it was sort of a lifestyle brand. Living below your means was a big part of it. TMF would publish (I believe daily) articles on all sort of topics, like how to buy a car, how to shop for insurance, how to raise your credit score, avoid mutual fund fees, etc. The social boards were very popular, and many posters used the boards almost like a personal blog.
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We're drawing conclusions about posting activity on TMF based on our long history here.

How many boards do you follow? How many are there in total?

Even if one was sure about the pattern, explaining the pattern requires information from other sites. If TMF is down and InvestorsHub is up, that is very different than them both being down.

I only reference Saul's board because it is a conspicuous example of a board that is growing rather than shrinking.

The problem with citing any one board is that one has no clue to the reason. Is it a decline in the overall population of TMF or a decline in the interest in mechanical investing.

Admittedly, posting occurs on investing boards on other than trading days, but again, my anecdotal observation of the boards I follow is that it is often the case that posting is light on off days. It changes the number, but not the principle.
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Admittedly, posting occurs on investing boards on other than trading days, but again, my anecdotal observation of the boards I follow is that it is often the case that posting is light on off days. It changes the number, but not the principle.

On Saul's board, it averages 40.6 posts on trading days and 31.4 posts on non-trading days. That means your observations are not that accurate. Also my anecdotal observations is that all boards I visit (stock, personal finance or social) have less posts on weekends which would be non-trading days for the stock market. It could be that the stock market being open or not has no effect on posting. It could be that a lot of people post during work days and spend their weekends doing chores, spending time with family or any other activity that keeps them away from the computer.

PSU
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Posting volumes are way down. It doesn't matter if you are talking about the stock boards or the social boards, posting volumes are tiny compared to what they used to be.

There was a purge of right-leaning posters a year or two ago. That may have had a chilling effect on post totals.
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The problem with citing any one board is that one has no clue to the reason. Is it a decline in the overall population of TMF or a decline in the interest in mechanical investing.

If it was just the MI board that declined, then I would say it was just interest in MI.* However boards like 77's Foolish House of Pigskin, while still active, is a pale shadow of what it once was. I'm pretty sure people still like the NFL. Beer Loving Fools is about dead. Weight Lifting Fools is dead. AMZN was a hugely popular board at one time. If it isn't dead, it might as well be. Same with AAPL. Retirement Investing is really the only retirement board at TMF anymore, and it isn't very active. The original Retire Early Home Page used to be one of the most popular boards at TMF. Saul's board is newish and still active, but it is clearly the exception.


*The MI board got big enough it actually split into two boards, MI and Foolish Workshop. Foolish Workshop is dead.
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The only purge I have seen reflected here was of people with multiple logins ... not based on anyone's political orientation.
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Which makes it still anecdote since we don't know what is happening on the boards you don't frequent.

Yes. As I said in my very first sentence ... it was anecdotal.

Why not? I would think many ETF investors would just plunk their money down and largely ignore the issue except for periodic quick peeks.

Because I was referring to ALL the boards, not just the investing-related ones.

dsbrady
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Summary:

It's dying.

No it's not.

It's dying!

No it's not.

It's dying in this 17 ways!

We need more data.

Whether it's dying or not, perhaps the question is better put this way. Does TMF have a place in this modern world of memes, pictures, and cat videos? I would argue that it does, simply because the written word is one way (not the only way) that people like to communicate. I have watched many a board grow and die over the decades. TMF isn't my first forum style board (Vax Notes had that honor) and I even used to be a Pern MUSHer. You know what it feels like when things get quiet.

And yet this is an unusual mode of communication, somewhere between the enormousness of mass media and the intimacy of a private conversation over coffee. It serves a purpose similar, in my mind, to the barber shops, corner bars, and book clubs of previous decades. A place to get some advice, offer some information, make connections. It is, I think, something that is very much needed in this world.

On a somewhat related note, I recently learned that when someone shares a quote or meme or video on Facebook without commenting on it (and sometimes even if they do comment), you can click on the 3 little dots on the right side. That will bring up a series of possible actions. You could snooze your friend who posted it, but if you still want to see their personal updates, you can instead snooze -- or hide completely -- the underlying source. So whether that's "I'm not right in the head" or "Scary Mommy" or "Religion Of Your Choice Inspirational Quotes," you can make it disappear. The benefit is that once you get rid of it, you can see the original content that your actual friends are posting. I have one friend who is a fantastic photographer, another who is a professional french horn player, a third who has been sick and getting better. Those are much more important to me than the humor,the cat videos, and the divisive political stuff. I recommend trying it.

ThyPeace, also, it's dying. No it's not.
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On a somewhat related note, I recently learned that when someone shares a quote or meme or video on Facebook without commenting on it (and sometimes even if they do comment), you can click on the 3 little dots on the right side. That will bring up a series of possible actions.


The best action is deleting FB for being the troll haven it is. I will say, I may get frustrated with TMF on occasion, but compared to FB, it's a walk in the park - And it has the added bonus of not stealing all my info the way FB does to it's customers.

Kathleen
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"" The community is getting a bit long in the tooth, with retirement boards and taking care of parents boards more active than boards that younger people might frequent. Still, the community is solid and has a depth of expertise that I have not seen elsewhere.""

That was one thing I noticed when I came back. Very few posts on the parenting boards or family boards. But much more on caring for aging parents.


While I agree with your goal, I doubt your tactic of setting up a paywall would help to accomplish the goal.
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""There was a purge of right-leaning posters a year or two ago""


What was the history behind this?

c
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What was the history behind this?

Unfounded rumor and paranoia.
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"""There was a purge of right-leaning posters a year or two ago""


What was the history behind this?

c "
***************************************************************
Politics.
And as is the case with politics, one group thinks another view is evil.
And comments tend to become personal affronts to both groups.
And personal affronts always require mobilization of the hordes.

So basically people were posting after having a few too many cocktails.

The FIRE board split into the Campfire and the Liberal Fires - which still
take occasional pot-shots at one another though are largely on speaking terms
with posts arguing about safe withdrawal strategies.
A group of posters went to form a Facebook group - which continues on with
a somewhat more conservative bent to the posts.

Howie52
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""A group of posters went to form a Facebook group""

Which posters?


c
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""A group of posters went to form a Facebook group""

Which posters?


c


----------------

I am sure I am leaving out quite a few but off the top of my head....

2828
CathCoy
Averagej0e
wolverine
decath
colovion
ascenzm
arrete
hunzi
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""There was a purge of right-leaning posters a year or two ago""
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What was the history behind this?


My tangential contact with the viciousness that had erupted was here on the Improve the Fool. At this point I don't recall the specific spark that began the conflagration. But it was either during Trump's campaign, or not long after he had won. And the discussion was hijacked to a political focus, with the Trumpists spewing a divisive skewering anger that became very personal rather than political, and was really dirty. I was pretty floored, because I stay away from the political boards and knew a few of those people from elsewhere--and had never suspected. AverageJoe was one of them. I knew him exclusively from the Words Words Words board. I think we lost more than Joe from that board, and it certainly has suffered.

=sheila
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I am sure I am leaving out quite a few but off the top of my head....

2828
CathCoy
Averagej0e
wolverine
decath
colovion
ascenzm
arrete
hunzi


CathCoy....haven't heard THAT name in QUITE a long time. I got to know her when she discovered the Health and Nutrition board, and decided to stump her simplistic, unproven cultish approach to avoiding cancer. If she'd simply have been a proponent of that approach and accepted the appropriateness of pro- and con- discussions, that would have been fine. But she was out to decimate opponents, regardless of the lies she had to tell to do so. And by "lies" I include easily identifiable and provable lies, ie, completely twisting the words that had just been posted by others. She became unbearable--there, and on 2 other health-related boards--and after a few temporary suspensions, the Fool banned her permanently.

arrete is a name I haven't encountered in a very long time either. Can't recall the board where we intersected. Biotech?

=sheila
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CathCoy....haven't heard THAT name in QUITE a long time. I got to know her when she discovered the Health and Nutrition board, and decided to stump her simplistic, unproven cultish approach to avoiding cancer. If she'd simply have been a proponent of that approach and accepted the appropriateness of pro- and con- discussions, that would have been fine. But she was out to decimate opponents, regardless of the lies she had to tell to do so. And by "lies" I include easily identifiable and provable lies, ie, completely twisting the words that had just been posted by others. She became unbearable--there, and on 2 other health-related boards--and after a few temporary suspensions, the Fool banned her permanently.

arrete is a name I haven't encountered in a very long time either. Can't recall the board where we intersected. Biotech?

=sheila"

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They are all quite pleasant on the Facebook site and post regularly.

Howie52
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Thank you.


c
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Although the "purge" has been cast as political, I believe that the explanations provided by Tony (Aruba) had a great deal to do with violations of the Fool's Terms of Service, rather than anything regarding the politics involved. My recollection is that it took tech to track down what was going on, rather than reading the boards, which leads me to believe that there was some kind of bot-war happening. I do not remember the specifics and am not as smart as AJ when it comes to finding information that has receded into the Fool's older posts.

ThyPeace, actually, I could have just stopped at "I'm not as smart as AJ."
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...Although the "purge" has been cast as political,....
Seems no one has listed 'any' lefties purged. Those trolls still plague the boards.
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My recollection is that it took tech to track down what was going on, rather than reading the boards, which leads me to believe that there was some kind of bot-war happening. I do not remember the specifics and am not as smart as AJ when it comes to finding information that has receded into the Fool's older posts.

<blushing> Here's the thread I think you were thinking of https://boards.fool.com/rec-fraud-update-32776066.aspx?sort=... and it appears that there were bots involved. To find this, I just looked for posts by TMF2Aruba by sorting the board by author.

For others who are interested in the whole history of the "purge" you can look at the posts on this board for a couple of months before Tony's post. There are several long threads.

AJ
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"For others who are interested in the whole history of the "purge" you can look at the posts on this board for a couple of months before Tony's post. There are several long threads.

AJ"

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Hate to disagree - but the purge dates back a month or so earlier - here is a link
to the "ooofficial" statement by the henchmen of the time:

https://boards.fool.com/recf-and-fool39s-rules-32714244.aspx...

And as one of the people who had read some of the original content deemed as
violating TMF rules I would say that TMF was stretching their rules. Of
course that was my opinion then - and I have not seen anything that has
caused me to change that opinion. The site is TMF and they can choose who
and what is said. They cannot change the minds of readers.

The rec thing came about a little later and involved a different "purge" issue.
However, they were "interesting" times in the Chinese sense.

Howie52
I will stretch my memory a tad - and as I recall there were complaints about
some poster's "empathy". Empathy has always seemed a little judgemental to me.
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Ah, right, I had forgotten about the prior banning of a bunch of people. I saw, tangentially, some of the hateful things that were posted. I can't claim to have seen all of it, but of the things I did see, many were far outside the bounds of "normal" discourse.

The follow-on attack with the doppels and bots would seem to indicate that someone may, just possibly, have gone a little over the edge. (A bit.) I am hoping they have all walked back toward calm in both actions and words, because that direction is one that ends up with someone getting hurt or someone ending up in jail, or both.

ThyPeace, recalls reporting posts that were very specific about who should be killed and how, for example. Oh, and I do recall posts from liberal members that were removed for similar reasons. Whether any of the liberal posters ended up being banned, I don't remember.
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Recollections do not always come through as others recall. Not a problem
but people do tend to remember in such a way as to support their views.
Tends to be human nature.
I recall meeting a fellow in Russia who waxed on rhapsodically about Stalin's
time in power. He remembered life the way he wished - even though he mentioned
losing family members to the political powers that were.

Howie52
I tend to see banning as the folks doing the banning admitting they are not willing
or able to make a counter argument. But I also tend to be more open minded than other
folk about what other folk may believe or say.
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I found the second chapter rather childish/vain. ie, 'how can that opinion have more rec's than my opinion?!!!' Someone must be multiple rec'ing!!! Ban Them!!!
(sort of like the repeated attempts to ban non-believers on the climate change board)
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