IMDb to delete all of its message boards

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May 2, 2017, 3:15 PM EDT (Updated)

In what may come as a shock to fans of the site, IMDb, the Internet Movie Database, has announced it will be shutting down its extensive message board system on February 19, 2017.

In an open letter, IMDb wrote:

After in-depth discussion and examination, we have concluded that IMDb's message boards are no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide. The decision to retire a long-standing feature was made only after careful consideration and was based on data and traffic.

This is a bittersweet announcement for a former message-board fan like me. I was a fan, because if I ever had any questions about garbled dialogue, someone on IMDb would have an answer. I’m a former fan, because any question I’d ask would invariably devolve into a fight invoking Godwin's law. It really was the best of boards and the worst of boards.

Fans who want to continue their dialogue can migrate to one of IMDb's many social media accounts.

IMDb is a venerated and venerable site: It turned lists of actors and movies into a searchable database back in October 1990 -- predating the World Wide Web by almost three months. IMDb has 250 million monthly users worldwide. According to Alexa, it's the 49th most popular site on the internet.

But even as IMDb taketh away, it also giveth: The Amazon-owned site will be launching new but currently unknown features some time in 2017.