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Monday, April 2, 2012
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

A while back, during one of our infrequent (and never very long) online chats, Karen mentioned that one of the reasons she invited me to contribute here at KKB, is that I am ‘sane.’ I confess that my first instinct was to cackle, “Boy, do I have you fooled!” but she continued, saying something along the lines of, “I know you wouldn’t go deleting old posts if we fell out.”

Delete old posts?

That stopped me in my tracks.

Honestly, think about it.

Who, I thought in my innocence, would do such a thing? There is no benefit to anyone, unless causing someone pain can be considered a benefit.

It’s vindictive. It’s hateful.

And it hurts innocent bystanders—people who participated in discussions over topics dear to their hearts. People who shared personal memories and experiences with readers. People who bonded through the comments and went on to form friendships and/or partnerships online and in their day to day lives. Even people who never posted a word but were moved/entertained/comforted by the words of those who did.

Those people would also be harmed by any sort of mass deletion of material from what is, in essence, a community.

And they would be absolutely innocent of whatever crime the vandal felt s/he was a victim of.

That is the thing that I can’t get over, that’s why I almost couldn’t believe normal people¹ would be actually capable of doing this.

Until this Friday, when it happened at a forum I’ve belonged to for even longer than I’ve posted in romance blogs.

On March 30th, B took it upon herself to delete almost 30 threads (some of them close to 7—yes, you read right, seven—years old, and some of them including pictures of members who have died, members who left years ago, people who never harmed her in any way).

People are angry about it, but many more are also hurt—and baffled.

And what angers me is that some members are dismissing those feelings of anger and hurt and confusion. “Don’t pile on the hate for poor B, it’s not as if she really hurt you.”

I wonder how they would react if all those threads had been truly lost forever² 


¹ There are people who do worse, but I don’t consider them normal.

² It took over twelve hours of very hard work by a handful of dedicated people, all volunteers, to recover most of it (it’s very technical and I don’t get any of it, but the balance is that about 24hrs worth of posts and comments were lost).



  • Ya see, people are that crazy!


  • Jane G
    April 2
    8:47 am

    Not a nice thing to do, but you really cannot count on old discussion threads on forums you don’t control sticking around forever.

    They might disappear due to server/software upgrades or other non-malicious acts by the administrators/owners.

    If something’s important to you, make sure to keep your own copies!


  • Oh, I’ve seen it more times than I care to remember. It’s because of that that my husband and I, when we started our gaming guild, only gave admin rights to the forums to (you guessed it) ourselves. It is also for that reason that I back up everything having to do with the internet on a regular basis, this includes my mini blog. Anything anyone puts effort and love on that has to do with online interaction, should be frequently backed up not only because of the batshit crazy, but also because there are malicious people out there with enough know how to do a lot of damage from the outside (most hackers even do it for shits and giggles alone). I am glad to hear they were able to recover most of what was lost. 24 hours is nothing compared to years and years of threads and posts.



  • Wow AL this is the first time you’ve encountered this? Lucky you. I’ve been online since the mid nineties on all types of forums and have seen this time and again. People mostly delete all their own posts. I’ve never understood the point of this, but oh well. But I’ve been in plenty where they’ve taken down the whole board.i am vigilant about backing up and keeping copies of everything.


  • I was flattered when Karen asked me to write for her blog but I was even more flattered when I realized that meant she was trusting me with access to all the old posts. I’m glad I don’t seem like the kind of person who would do a vindictive flounce!


  • Ms Holcomb, I had already dealt with a narcissistic asshole who deleted all his posts–making everyone else’s comments in response to his, seem absurd and pointless.

    But this asshole of the female persuasion deleted entire threads, including many to which she hadn’t ever posted. That’s the part that stunned me.

    It’s not comparable to what hackers do, because hackers have not participated in the communities they harm. This woman had met and had relationships with several of this forum’s members (she even lived with one of them for over a year). Many of the people she tried to harm were–in her own words–her friends.

    Willaful, we both know you are not that kind of person and we are both very happy you agreed to come on board.


  • Anon 76
    April 4
    9:12 pm

    Oh the stories I could tell about batshit crazy and vindictiveness on the internet. Most all of them involve the romance genre as, at that time, and to this day, it is a world I travel to frequently.

    My commas are all out of place in that last bit and wording off but it’s because my fingers want to type more and my brain is saying “NO!”


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