Film site IMDB to shut down message boards
Film information site IMDB has announced that it is shutting down its message boards.
The site, which gets 250 million visitors per month, said the chat areas of the site were "no longer" proving useful to users.
Most users now preferred to talk about films and actors on IMDB'S social networks, it said.
One media commentator said the boards were "terrible" and deserved to be shut down.
IMDB said the decision to close the message boards had been made after "in-depth discussion" about them. It concluded that the amount of talk on the boards and the topics they covered were not a "positive, useful experience" for the majority of its users.
It said the decision was also driven by considerations of how much traffic was flowing to the boards and analysis of who was using them.
IMDB said there was far more engagement with its editors and staff via its accounts on various social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Users have two weeks to archive any messages or information they want to keep and to swap contact details with other users.
The boards and private messaging systems will close on 20 February.
"We regret any disappointment or frustration IMDB message board users may experience as a result of this decision," it said in a statement.
Sarah Perez from news site TechCrunch bid "good riddance" to the message boards and said the chat rooms were one of the "worst places to socialise on the internet".
Ms Perez said the lack of moderation meant the boards were home to "pointless and hateful commentary".
IMDB, or the Internet Movie Database, lists information about films and actors. It was founded by Briton Colin Needham in 1990 and sold to web retail giant Amazon in 1998 for $55m (£44m).
Many other sites have cut back on messaging and comment systems because they became inhabited by trolls who harassed other users.