This has nothing to do with metal but it is extremely relevant to the state of forums and online communities in 2017. IMDB is a couple of years older than METALSETLISTS and runs on a vastly different scale with much greater problems. All food for thought.
I want to thank many of you who privately reached out during the last 48 hours. Your kind words are appreciated, and I'm sorry you are disappointed. I also thank those who have very publicly reinforced my decision with your various comparisons to the worst despots in the history of humanity, "power" this or that, etc.
METALSETLISTS, like all forums, had members that required a little more attention or understanding. However, others felt so invested -- more like entitled --... in regards to the site that they could say or do anything. Not a chance. Let me tell you what it means to be truly invested in METALSETLISTS: 13 years of domain and various dns fees (about $1000) licenses / upgrades for various forum software and components (about $2500); 5 or 6 physical servers (easily $5000); 13 years of colocation (about $100 monthly, $1200 annually for 13 years... about $15,000); paying a graphics artist for logos / assets and other graphics-related software (probably $500)... just with these line-items, we're around $25,000. With all other expenses over the years, the number easily goes well past $30,000. And in terms of time, no one spent more -- even with absences -- building and maintaining it. Not even close. Your post counts sat on top of this foundation; they are no more without it.
METALSETLISTS was never monetized; it was never about that. Aggressive moderation (mostly at the time of registration) kept the worst elements of many online communities out. It's wonderful that people felt comfortable enough to call METALSETLISTS a second home. Unfortunately, too many others became oblivious that it was my home too (and first) and a home for those that came before them. Completely unacceptable. It has only gotten worse since we returned in October. I refuse to support it any longer.
I wrote in my Road Ahead post that metal is in a state of decline but we were going plow forward because I think it is important to do so. The bad behavior of a minority hasn't changed that. We give life to music every time we play it, listen to it, or engage it socially. METALSETLISTS will be continued in the future at an appropriate time along the vision I laid out in the post but without the forum as a critical component. There is history within the old forum, and it deserves a public archive.
To those of you that wish to continue as a community in the context of a forum, I encourage you to do so. Don't use the METALSETLISTS name; no one is authorized to do so. Be metal. Create your own unique identity, and make the community your own. METALSETLISTS did it; you can too. Metal will be better for it.