We’ve Been Here Before (Redux of the Forums Shutdown)

Editors Note: This was sent to us by chatter Vincent Ferrari (<vincenzof>) and is unedited by us. Echoes of the threats of a chat and live stream shutdown are obvious.

Forum Moderator Emails
Forum Moderator Emails

It was October(ish) of 2008 and the TWiT forums were the place where viewers could discuss the shows, of course, but mostly we just hung out there and chatted with each other. It was a strange little family of people with diverse interests and the discussions didn’t always center around TWiT. In fact, for the most part, they went all over the place and we liked it that way.

Originally, the forums were for paid subs only. Back in the old days, you could chip in $2 a month and for that sum you gained access to the forums. Eventually, they went full free, and I don’t remember where they were in October 2008. We were having a discussion about a statement Leo made on the forums about “working for free.” Many of us long-time listeners scoffed at the notion that anything he did for TWiT was “for free,” and noted based on many things, that he was not only not “working for free” but he was being paid quite well. Our objection wasn’t that he was making money, but that he continued to perpetuate this crazy idea that he wasn’t being paid for what he did.

The conversation got heated, and divisive with many people throwing names back and forth at each other, and it ended up with a bunch of people throwing up their hands in disgust and leaving the forums altogether. Some stayed, though, and this one thread just kept going on and on. The discussion eventually came down to people arguing that those of us who “don’t like it should just leave” and the ones who were balking at it saying “but we pay for it and this is the place to talk about it.” It got uglier and uglier, and Leo himself stepped in at one point, saying that he had had “enough shit” from the forum, and he isn’t working so hard so that people could make him miserable. He said he would no longer be looking at the forums, and then upgraded the people who disagreed with him the most and had been there the longest to moderator status.

Things settled down for a bit and me, along with a few of the old “regulars” moderated the forums until another tantrum over content, in which Laporte decided that he had enough of us discussing things and that the forums were a “cesspool” (sound familiar? *cough* Twitter *cough*) and needed to go. He then proceeded to ban everyone he made a mod entirely, and later would close the forums down. They would re-appear on another server for awhile, but eventually disappear. The most active and enthusiastic community behind TWiT was not only killed, but it was eviscerated and people were shamed for not just drinking down the Kool-Aid. Incidentally, I still have the emails that say I was upgraded, then banned, lest you think I’m playing games.

Why am I telling you this? Because it shows a pattern. To an extent, Leo is right. It’s his ship and he can run it how he wants. But, when he does that, it really cuts through the happy horsecrap of “we’re all about input” and “we love feedback.” None of the shows have feedback on them any longer (aside from Tech Guy which is heavily moderated), the forums are gone, and any medium on which Twit can catch criticism is frowned upon, dismissed, or utterly demolished (consider how hard Leo is on Facebook and Reddit). He exhibits a total lack of class when anyone dares question him or his decisions, and seeing him lash out at critics over the years has made me less and less inclined to support him and TWiT in any way. I do enjoy the shows. I get a lot out of them, but it seems like, at this point, they’re just coasting and “riding it out.” I should’ve been way more excited about the Screen Savers reboot than I am, but I just see it as an attempt to recapture what was lost a long time ago, but we’ll hear over and over again how this is a sign that he listens to the fans and does what they’ve been asking for.

Only time will tell but the more I read here and on another site about the machinations that go on behind the scenes, the more I think this ship has not only sailed, but hit an iceberg and is on its way down as the violinists play and a woman floats on a door.

17 thoughts on “We’ve Been Here Before (Redux of the Forums Shutdown)”

  1. This article is right on. As soon as Leo encounters any criticism, whether on the original forums, or Twitter, or the chat room, it’s go to go.

    Leo is incredibly insecure. He needs adulation from his audience like the rest of need air. He can’t take any criticism at all, because deep down, he knows he’s a fraud, that he doesn’t know anything, that he’s wrong A LOT.

    Silencing his critics is the only way he can keep up the charade.

    Of course, if just ONE of his employees is ever offended by his misogyny or off-color attempts at humor, it will be over.

    But for now, Leo keeps on riding that rain of self-destruction.

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    1. Leo is simply an entertaining, sort of nutty, poster child for narcissistic personality disorder. Without the therapeutic support of the ‘first’ Mrs. Laporte, Leo’s trainwreck style of NPD has become a source of amusement for us all, his story a cautionary tale for everyone in the public eye.

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  2. Never knew he had forums. It doesn’t surprise me in the least. I wonder if still has his Leoville forums?

    I hope one of the contributors does a write up on the tip I sent in. It’s nothing secretive, just read the Gold Digger’s blog entries recently. She’s trying her hand at PR now.

    Thanks TD

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  3. great post! i used to donate that $2 … then he went on some rant about wasting money registering the word “netcast” and how he hated the word podcast. I cancelled my donation because I felt he obviously had too much money to even consider doing that. Since then, I questioned all the monetary dealings.

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  4. Leo I know you read comments on TD
    You sir are a fraud, the reason your getting more drama lately as you put it is your viewers are and always have been smarter than you, you have not bothered to learn anything new in the tech world, buying a new smartphone every month does not earn you the title tech guy, your memory on top of that is failing so when you continue to ask your caller 3-4 times what OS he is using and then proceed to give him info related to another OS proves my point

    Your stupid cartoon voices u use to degrade someone and to mask your stupidity worked back in your puppet days when folks weren’t as computer literate as most folks are now so give it up.

    I expected you to be a bit more humble and hopefully apologize after the self in flicked penisgate episode especially since us trolls were looking to lynch you, yet what I see is an arrogant lying Troll instead.
    Good thing about Karma is it will be coming around big time your way , for all the sexual abuse toward every female co-worker you’ve encountered , for all the unjustified firings of your talents and co-hosts, for all the lies your not man enough to owe up to, your continues mocking and abuse towards other celebrities is border line slander and I’m hoping folks likes Mark Cuban and Kim Komando sue your ass off for slander , if you forgot just type your name and Mark and Kim into YouTube search , lots of video evidence
    my point is how you treat people is how your going to be treated, if your the biggest Troll on Twit or your radio show expect nothing but Trolls for viewers in return because anyone with a normal IQ already wrote you off.
    I repeat look in the mirror Leo , your the problem the sooner you realize that the sooner you can save you own ass.
    -stop playing the victim card,
    -stop trying to pull off some half ass psychological mind games on your listeners , my dad was a psychologist so I know what I’m talking about, if you wanted to manipulate peoples minds you should have stayed at Yale University and enrolled in their psychology courses instead of dropping out.
    -I noticed in your chatroom and on your social media sites viewers want you to man up to your last mistake ,
    start by going on your inside Twit podcast and telling the truth , instead of blaming Bruce or trolls or whom ever just sit there and tell the truth
    I’m sure we here at TD can put up a document or partition for us 1.000’s of trolls demanding you tell the truth on air to all your viewers.
    maybe then we will ease up on you.

    Go live on inside Twit with your “wife” and come clean for all the lies and drama and hurt you’ve caused by your stupidity, greed, lies

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      1. On second thought Ohno I changed my mind

        That’s a terrible summary!

        You could never get into law school with such poor summations.

        Have I mentioned I am an attorney?

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    1. Hi Jason, You never responded if you were Jason ‘The Devil’ Cortez, the MMA fighter? Have you not answered me because you are concerned a lot of the TD guys would be, um, into, and you know what I mean by into, getting choked out by you? Don’t worry, they’re all actually obsessed with Chad and won’t hit on you.

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  5. I do remember those forums back in the Leoville days and actually paid for access to that board.

    Like many here, I was a huge Leo fan during the TechTv days, but he’s become such a degenerate and so disrespectful to everyone, I can’t stand the fat dude.

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    1. I too spent a good deal of time in the Leoville forums, some people don’t remember but he had an IRC under the Leoville name back then too. It was tons of fun back then, about the only rules in the IRC back then were no tech questions in the IRC. Tech questions were politely asked to be put in the forums under the correct topic. The other rule was to keep the language family friendly, but we had an invite only channel for regulars of IRC where you could use foul language. Also there was a huge fight over politics/religion once after which Leo threatened to shut down the forums & IRC. After that the topics of religion & politics were banned. Fast forward to the TWiT days and the IRC became Nazi Germany and the forums were shut down. It’s a sad state of affairs what happened to TWiT, but Leo has brought it all on himself.

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