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The bulletin boards

A lively bulletin board community has grown with the site's expansion, with the forums currently boasting over 42,000 members, contributing up to 5,000 new posts every day.

As of March 2012, the boards contain more than eleven million posts.

The first, basic version of the boards appeared in 1996, but the lack of admin controls proved too tempting to abusive users, resulting in the boards being abandoned.

Successive versions of the boards have offered more sophistication, and after several years using the vBulletin software, we moved to the excellent XenForo software in August 2011, becoming their biggest UK installation.

The boards now cover a huge range of topics, with over 30 themed forums covering subjects from politics, football, music, film, local issues, transport to knitting and cooking.


Occasionally, the boards have made national headlines, most famously when police commander Brian Paddick joined the boards to discuss issues with Brixton's online community about local police practices and the growing drug problem in the borough.

For a while, a frank and fascinating debate took part with the maverick cop - Britains's highest ranking gay officer - until the right wing tabloid press caught wind of a chief policeman posting on an "anarchist site."

Maliciously quoting Paddick out of context concerning his comments about anarchism, a scandal was created which eventually resulted in Paddick being hounded from his post (he later successfully sued the The Mail on Sunday for damages).
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More recently, the site hit the headlines when a survivor of the London 7/7 Terrorist bombs starting posting on the boards the day after the explosions (under the name of 'Badger Kitten').

Her deeply moving and passionate personal account of her experience made for compelling reading, with her online blog eventually being taken up by the BBC.
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A more light hearted tale emerged in late 2005 when a mischievous poster invented a totally fictional account of 'crack squirrels', safe in the knowledge that with so many journalists reading the site, it stood a good chance of making the news on a slow day.

Sure enough, a few days later, the BBC, ITV and a host of national newspapers ran the story!

The site also earned the accolade of being described as 'the naughty corner of British politics' by news site The Register commenting on the fate of a 'Save Tony Blair' petition that had caught the attention of mischievous urban75 posters.



The boards are looked after by a team of unpaid moderators - their names are listed on each forum and on the front page.

Mods are made up of long term, regular posters who have been suggested by other posters as being good for the job. New mods are only elected if every existing mod agrees. No mod can be 'fast tracked' into the job by another mod.

There is no hierarchy as such amongst the mods and we all have an equal say in how the boards are run (although the truth is that we're generally too busy to spend much time discussing mod stuff).

We try and keep the number - and the influence - of mods to a minimum as we believe it makes the site easier to manage and doesn't burden the mods with endless admin policy arguments (some sites have tried a more-mods-than-posters approach and many have ended in disaster as a result).

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