Forum Security in the age of AI

Krissa Lox

Active Member
It might be another time to re-evaluate the costs vs benefits ratio of forum management again, as increasing ability of AI-generated mimicry of... uh, let's call it 'spirited Christian debate' ... might present new challenges that could become a real headache to guard against.

I know I have been an ardent supporter of forums in the past. There are some purposes I think they serve better than other communication methods. But I also think continuing technological advances make them disproportionately cheap and easy for others who aren't here for Christian gaming fellowship to exploit or attack, and that maybe time and resources might be better allocated to more active and/or defensible community areas instead.

I think at this point I'm the only one here who doesn't use Discord? Though I know a couple others share my preference for forums over it, but really has there been much activity here over the past couple years in the way of actual conversation rather than either announcements that could be handled just as well by either a static webpage or blog format, or random one-off posters who sign up just to post one thing and then never return again?

While it's nice to have the forums here as an option, these days I mostly hang out with NAFO peeps who have a pretty strong online community whose population also includes a lot of both Christians and gamers, so I do have fellowship options elsewhere if it would serve the greater good to let the forums go.
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While it's true that most of our community activity has moved to our Discord server, I still believe there's a place for forums. The key difference between our forums and our Discord server is that we have significantly more control over our forums. Yes, we pay annual fees for hosting, domain registration, forums software licensing, and a paid forums theme, but the forums will continue on even in the event of Discord as a platform failing or deteriorating to the point that we'll be motivated to seek alternatives.

The way we have XenForo configured makes it easy and convenient to moderate and filter new posts and accounts before they're publicly visible, though there are probably changes I could make to improve the efficiency further.

TL;DR: Yes, Discord is great communication, but we don't own it like we own our forums. There's still a place for forums even in 2024 and if Discord goes sideways, we still have a digital "home." Discord serves the purpose of synchronous (real-time) communication and forums serve the purpose of asynchronous communication and archiving.
keep in mind discord selss ALL text to ai companies. Ai is not true ai....we are a long way away. the forums are more secure as they can be nade invisible to non logged in guests if required. use good AND a password manager..bitwarden is free, secure, and open source. modern LLM...aka not the overarching danger foljks are making it to be....