IMDb is shutting down its infamous message boards

They just weren't a friendly place to talk about movies.

Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

IMDb's message boards were supposed to encourage discussion among movie buffs, but that's not how they've turned out. If anything, they've developed a reputation for haters and trolls -- you'll even find naysayers ragging on people who like Casablanca and Citizen Kane. And apparently, IMDb has had enough. The Amazon-owned database is shutting down the boards on February 20th after determining that they're "no longer providing a positive, useful experience" for most users. Data and traffic helped influence the decision, IMDb adds, suggesting that they weren't popular enough to warrant keeping around.

While the closure will be unfortunate for those users who just wanted to explore plot theories or enthuse about their favorite actors, the warning signs were everywhere. The IMDb boards haven't had strong moderation, making it all too easy for hollow commentary, personal attacks and even racism to go unchecked. And as our TechCrunch colleagues note, message boards aren't as vital these days -- why go to IMDb to chat about a movie when you can share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter? While the news is unfortunate, you probably won't see too many people mourning this loss when there are other, healthier options.