Online Forums

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From a positive viewpoint, online forums provide a platform for people to come together and discuss interests that they're equally passionate about. On the flip side, they're also relatively closed communities in which trolling, bullying and other forms of online abuse often take place 'under the radar'. Our bite-size explainer video will quickly fill you in about online forums.

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What are online forums?

Online forums are communities in which people gather to discuss similar interests, usually anonymously.

They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text and are at least temporarily archived.

Depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might require approval by a moderator before it becomes visible.

Forums can be attached to larger sites. They can spawn sub-forums, each of which may have several topics, and within each topic, each new discussion is often labelled as a thread.

For more information on the associated risks and online safety tips for parents and carers, watch our explainer video, available to those with a National Online Safety membership.