Just a heads up to anyone trying to log onto the forum today, ProBoards have forcibly shut it down. Here is the message now showing instead:
“In accordance with Section 25(a) of the ProBoards Terms of Service, this forum has been taken offline.”
So why did this happen? Well, firstly some nudity was posted some time ago in a thread dedicated to the most beautiful women on earth – as will always inevitably happen. It was removed after warning came through from ProBoards. In the warning I did notice something interesting, ProBoards suggested that anyone wishing to post nudity on their forum must upgrade their package to a premium format. In other words, pay money to post nudity. I told members told avoid posting something with an exposed nipple or what have you, because refusing to do so faces board deleted within 48 hours of a warning not acted upon. If you do act on a warning within 48 hours, you’re good.
Then came warnings about pictures of clothed women. Remove those posts, said ProBoards, or we’ll delete your forum within 48 hours. So we did, in a timely fashion. All of this was being posted in the off topic sub forum by the way. A sense of vindictiveness started coming to me.
Then came a warning to delete the off topic sub forum entirely. Despite the fact that no rules were being broken within it. Upon asking ProBoards to point out which topics and/or posts were violating rules, they simply presented us a link to their Terms And Conditions. I knew what was happening, they didn’t like us or our posts, couldn’t find a legit reason to penalize us then simply resorted to Section 25(a), a clause in their TOS allowing them to delete boards at their own discretion.
(a) By ProBoards
WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS AGREEMENT, PROBOARDS RESERVES THE RIGHT TO, IN PROBOARDS’ SOLE DISCRETION AND WITHOUT NOTICE OR LIABILITY, DENY — USE OF THE WEBSITE AND/OR SERVICES TO ANY PERSON FOR ANY REASON OR FOR NO REASON AT ALL, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION FOR ANY BREACH OR SUSPECTED BREACH OF ANY REPRESENTATION, WARRANTY OR COVENANT CONTAINED IN THIS AGREEMENT, OR OF ANY APPLICABLE LAW OR REGULATION.
Section 25(a) is the reason given for closing a board when they can’t pin something legit on you, such as piracy or something like that. Often I’d remove spam posts linking to piracy. The board was actually quite clean. So what was the real reason behind it? Most likely a moderator at ProBoards took exception to the (civilized) opinions held in the off topic forum, could not find a rule that was technically violated, then decided to delete it.
Another thing I should add – along with calling ProBoards out on their “pay us to post pictures of women” policy, they also demand payment to change the URL. For example, from manlymovie.freeforums.net to forum.manlymovie.net. I found a way around that, masking the URL (legally) using my own host/domain. It doesn’t change it, but makes it look better. I decided I simply didn’t want to pay these assholes, not with that attitude. So I’m sure that contributed as well.
And so, if you’re wondering where the forum went, there it is. That is what happened.