The Internet Movie Database message boards have been a place to discuss plot details, the best and worst scenes, and a myriad of other vaguely film-related issues, for almost two decades.
The message board, which was introduced in 2001, is reportedly one of the most used services on the website.
Despite that, the company has announced plans to shut it down as of 19 February. It claims the decision was based on traffic, as users turn to social media as their place of choice to discuss films.
“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,” a statement on the site reads.
“The decision to retire a long-standing feature was made only after careful consideration and was based on data and traffic.”
While its given reasons for shutting down the message boards were based on traffic, IMDb is not the first website to close its comment sections.
Various websites and online publications have closed their own comment sections citing concern over positive user experiences, and targeting harrassment, trolling, racism, sexism and homophobia.
In its announcement, IMDb added that it understood the message boards were an important part of daily users’ visit, which is why the announcement was made weeks in advance.
“Because IMDb’s message boards continue to be utilised by a small but passionate community of IMDb users, we announced our decision to disable our message boards on February 3, 2017 but will leave them open for two additional weeks so that users will have ample time to archive any message board content they’d like to keep for personal use,” the statement reads.
“During this two-week transition period, which concludes on February 19, 2017, IMDb message board users can exchange contact information with any other board users they would like to remain in communication with (since once we shut down the IMDb message boards, users will no longer be able to send personal messages to one another).”