Not Just the Money
- BuyDarkMarket: How Hackers Became the New Mafia by Misha Glenny
Vintage, 432 pp, £8.95, July 2012, ISBN 978 0 09 954655 9
Message boards are online forums typically concerned with a single subject, whose users can post public messages in ‘threads’ to do with a particular aspect of that subject, or exchange private messages. Most message boards are small operations that barely manage to cover the cost of server space. Users are brought together by a shared (usually offline) interest and tend to number in the hundreds or thousands. While Facebook requires that users’ online avatars mirror their legal, offline identities, almost everyone on message boards uses a pseudonym. While exchanges are frequently untruthful, gossipy or abusive, they also allow their authors’ personalities to surface in a way that would not be possible face to face or in anything they published online under their real names.