How to Leave a Forum in Style

Bob Leggitt | Friday, 28 September 2012 |

Bored? Need some attention? Then why not leave an Internet forum? It can be so much more fun than joining. You get to make a massive, long post that’s entirely about you, and you get to be important for approximately 15 minutes. Not necessarily important in a good way, obviously – but there's no such thing as negative publicity…Best of all, you don’t even have to leave. You can go back the next day if you like… Well, you can if the administration are not so stupid that they actually think you really do want to leave, and end up locking you out of your account. But as you read this article, please remember that it's not advice. It's a warning. A warning to all those forum members who are considering, however casually, that this might in some way be a good idea. None of the content in this piece is intended to refer to any specific real content posted on any real forum by any actual individual. Names used are picked at random and do not refer to any real people...

MINDSET AND POST CONTENT

There’s absolutely no point in doing this if you’re not going to make a proper song and dance about it. If you just say you’re leaving due to time constraints and you wish everyone well, no one’s going to be the remotest bit interested. So, this is how it has to be… Since the day you set foot on the forum, you’ve been a victim, a martyr, and a scapegoat. What you have endured, has been a breathtakingly stark and emotionally-excruciating violation of the European Bill of Human Rights (don’t forget to say which Section)… Now, obviously, there won’t be any examples you can link to on the forum itself which would gain you anything like the sort of sympathy you want, so make your ordeal powerfully mysterious, as follows…

I do not wish to make a big deal out of the awful mental torture I’ve suffered courtesy of the Private Messaging system…

Drive the point home with a completely meaningless, but convincing, classic forum cliché…

…You know who you are…

Now escalate your trauma into a medical matter, whilst exhibiting a level of selflessness of which the Archbishop of Canterbury would be proud…

…But I would not want anyone else on this forum ever to have to go through what I’ve been through. It is all well and good that my doctor has been able to prescribe strong medication to quell the deep, deep depth of emotional turmoil I have suffered, but when the tablets run out, the mental scars do not go away, and I bring this to public attention purely out of concern for others – I have no concern for myself.


You can find the above post in full at Total Satire, in I Am Leaving This Dating Site

Well done. You now have people’s attention. So it’s now time to single out a member who once disagreed with something you said, and call them a dickhead. But don’t just say: “Pete – you’re a dickhead.” That’ll sound like you’re being vengeful and you can’t take criticism. Instead, try something like…

I want to say a particular thanks to Pete, who has helped me through one of my most difficult periods on the forum. I was feeling incredibly low and my self-esteem was in tatters. But Pete helped restore my self-esteem. He showed me that however viciously I was being abused in the confines of the PM system, there’s always someone less fortunate than oneself. By consistently posting useless information, posting incredibly stupid ideas, disagreeing with things which even a retarded family of plankton can see are correct, and generally being the biggest dickhead I’ve ever seen on any forum in my life, Pete has shown me that my problems, in comparison, are small. I thank him for this valuable lesson from the bottom of my heart.

Next, take the most stupid, petty, pathetic beef you’ve ever had about another member on the forum, and milk it into oblivion, whilst simultaneously reminding everyone what a fantastic member you are…

Before commencing with this post, I have been recapping on some of the appreciation all the great members here have shown me. It did not take me longer than five weeks to receive 100 Likes, and that total has been sharply rising ever since. I must express gratitude to those of you who’ve Liked a multitude of my posts. That’s been one of the things which got me through the darkest moments of trauma. But I must also question the aims and methods of members such as Tom. Tom, I have discovered, has Liked posts from everyone on this forum, at least ten posts per actively posting member… Except for mine. He has never Liked any of my posts, ever. He has, however, Liked posts which are connected with my posts. For example…

  • He has Liked posts which have directly stated that my posts are tedious.
  • He has Liked posts which have indirectly stated that my posts are tedious.
  • He has Liked posts which have directly stated that I am talking crap.
  • He has Liked posts which do not in themselves say I am talking crap, but which are made by members well known for frequently saying that I talk crap.
  • He has Liked posts which I have literally, in the next post directly underneath, proved wrong. Even knowing that these posts are wrong (because I have already proved it directly below), Tom has still come along and Liked the post I’ve proved wrong, but not Liked my post, which proves wrong the post he’s Liked.
I can only assume from this that Tom has a personal vendetta against me. I feel that he may resent my intelligence, but I do not hate him for this. In fact, I feel sorry for him. It obviously takes a lot of time and work for him to go around Liking every post made by every member who has the same jealousy of my insightful brilliance. I very much hope that now I am leaving, he is able to reclaim his life and take a break from carefully selecting and Liking about 500 forum posts per day.

Finally, you must imply that the forum is now overwhelmingly likely to collapse. Your vast importance as a member of course has a huge bearing on that, but it’s not the only factor. Inevitably, you have now paved the way for a widespread epiphany among all other good members. Based on the teachings of your game-changing post, they can all now see that the forum is stupid, badly run, full of idiots, bullies and lunatics, and the good members will all follow your example and themselves quickly leave. Only the idiots, bullies and loonies will remain, and the forum will not be able to survive on stupidity alone. This is a turning point. In the course of one post, you have transformed the forum from a prosperous and viable concern, into a doomed and unsalvageable impending wreck. Before your post, the forum was alive and buzzing. Now it is the Titanic of cyberspace, and only time stands between this moment, and its tragic demise.

GREAT! SO I'VE BASICALLY SHUT DOWN THE FORUM?... WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

Nothing. One or two members who are desperate for Likes, and have the brains to realise that you’re not really going anywhere and will return to Like their posts within a week, will follow your epic with fawning comments on what a sad loss to the forum this is. Then (usually within minutes) everyone forgets about you and the forum continues as if nothing’s happened and you never existed. Two or three days later you go back to the thread and announce your return, saying you’ve been amazed by the level of support and people begging you to come back – even though it’s only two posts from known ‘Like-fishers’ and neither of them have even vaguely asked you to change your mind.

And that’s pretty much it. You left the forum, and now you’re back. You now look slightly silly (well, a total prick, if I'm honest), but, er... Good fun, wasn't it?

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