I have belonged to a lot of online forums in the past. Most were concerned with preparedness, homesteading, gardening, survival, freedom/liberty or other topics I am interested i.
I have left several of those forums over the years for various reasons.
Some of the reasons:
1) They no longer met my needs or interested me. Same people posting about the same things over and over to the point that I got bored.
2) Too much DRAMA! Oh yes, we have all experienced forum drama, I am sure!
I just hate Drama Llamas, but the species pops up all the time on internet forums. The ones that ALWAYS have some of crisis going on and totally unloads to their "internet family". The ones that insist their factoids are THE end all and be all and if you disagree you are attacking them personally! Yeah...that is the fastest way for me to *exit--stage left* when a forum attracts too many of the drama llama species.That is why I left homesteadingtoday. The drama there was overwhelming!
3) Poorly moderated forums. This can run the gamut from non-existent moderation to overly moderated forums. I have seen it all...mass bannings of members because they mildly disagreed with a mod, not banning *trolls* even when it was painfully obvious they were trolls, etc. Bad moderation was why I left frugalsquirrels forum.
4) Too many trolls!!! They derail every discussion, frustrate those that are there for serious discussion and just generally annoy all. If the mods don't get a handle on it quick, it can destroy a forum community. (Backwoodshome used to have a huge troll problem, but they seem to have a handle on it now. I go there once in a great while)
5) When the *tone* of a forum becomes very uncomfortable....examples of this are when members or mods begin pointedly attacking people that belong to a *group* they don't like.I left survivalistboards when a mod (now a former mod, so I have heard...haven't been back there in more than a year) began making fun of mentally challenged/mentally retarded people. I am currently withdrawing from another forum as they constantly attack gays/lesbians by members making statements that "all faggots are going to hell", "all sodomites should die", etc. Yes, that is their opinion and they are welcome to it, I just won't be a party to encouraging such crap. (Since I am currently slowly leaving said site, I won't name it)
6) Forums that charge money for various things....wanna be a *gold* member? It'll cost you to read posts on threads in the *gold* section! Want an avatar pic? It'll cost you! Want to see the members list or our super secret section of pdf files? It'll cost you! Also forums that constantly scream at their members about how much it costs to run the site, how they pay for everything out of their own pocket and it is bankrupting them, etc., etc.Also, group buys constantly being offered and the site owner or mods haranguing members that do not participate.(Another reason I left frugalsquirrels)
7) Finding out that forum admin. is not what/who they purport to be. I left one forum not only because of some of the above reasons (like #6), but also because I found out that the admin's character was not what they presented it to be.(Goodbye pioneerliving)
8) Sometimes I leave a forum simply because of one individual. I had an individual stalk me online and follow me to a forum I frequented. They caused me a lot of grief and hassles in my offline life as well. So, I quietly exited that forum and went on with my life.
9) Sometimes it is a combination of several of the above reasons. Life is far too short to deal with a lot of crap that you invite into your home by switching on your computer!
How to exit a forum (AHA! Now for the practical aspect of this post!)
I generally send a private message to the forum administration informing them that I am leaving the forum and would they please be so kind as to remove my name from the member roles. Surprisingly, even this polite request can be met with aggression and a combative attitude! Be prepared for that! Many forums will keep your name and info on the board, not allow you to delete posts you may wish to delete, etc. Especially if you have posted information they consider valuable/informative.Also, the more members they have, the more money they can get from their advertisers.
If it appears that exiting the forum politely with cooperation from the administration is impossible, then I simply just quit going to the forum. If the forum sends me emails "Hey, you haven't posted in a while, what's up?", I mark them as spam so all future emails from them will be dumped in my spam folder (which I empty without even looking at it)
Once, and ONLY once, I pulled the *Flounce*.
I threw a screaming fit that even bled over into the chat room the forum had.
Not proud of it, and not the way you should leave a forum. A quiet exit where you just make fewer and fewer posts until you are completely gone is best.
It invites few comments except maybe "What-ever happened to Lamby?"
Much classier than a screaming flounce!