Topix (website) Definition

Topix (website) Definition

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

#1 Mar 3, 2013
Topix (website) is a discussion board website. Topix LLC, the controlling company, has its headquarters in Palo Alto, California.[1]

Topix began as a news aggregator which categorizes news stories by topic and geography. It was created by Bryn Dole, Rich Skrenta, Bob Truel, Tom Markson, Mike Markson and Chris Tolles, many of whom founded the Open Directory Project. In March 2005, the Knight Ridder (later taken over by The McClatchy Company), Tribune Company and Gannett media companies purchased a 75% share of the company.[2] On April 1, 2007, it acquired the domain name and invited volunteers to edit the topics of their choice, on top of over 100 journalists and editors from various newspapers already signed up. Yet some time in 2012 they took that volunteer edit option away without any communication to the thousands of committed who did volunteer, for many for years & uploaded thousands of stories [3]

Topix went on to create a community news editing platform, and popular forum system, allowing users to comment on news articles and the goings on of local communities.[4] Topix also created forums, organized by locality as well as by subject matter, which allow visitors to post comments whether or not they are relevant to a particular news story.

HistoryThe founders of Topix initially wanted it to be a news aggregator, with specific pages for each and every United States community. As Topix matured, most of its growth occurred in small cities and towns in the United States. The people who commented in the Topix forums wanted to focus the discussions on more traditional small community gossip.[5]

[edit] UserbaseTopix's main userbase consists of posters from small cities and towns in the United States, particularly those with several thousand or hundred residents. Few people from major American cities use Topix. Topix has a large following in Appalachia, rural areas in the Southern United States, and the Ozarks. Discussions that traditionally took place in person in rural areas began to be posted on Topix. Chris Tolles, the chief executive of Topix LLC, said that Topix is very popular in "the feud states."[6]
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

#2 Mar 3, 2013
Negative gossipMany posters, using anonymous accounts, posted negative gossip about people within small American towns. A. G. Sulzberger of The New York Times said that "The same Web sites created as places for candid talk about local news and politics are also hubs of unsubstantiated gossip, stirring widespread resentment in communities where ties run deep, memories run long and anonymity is something of a novel concept."[6] He added that "Whereas online negativity seems to dissipate naturally in a large city, it often grates like steel wool in a small town where insults are not easily forgotten."[6] Various local governments censured the Topix forums. Many lawsuits resulted from content posted on Topix.[6] When Topix began removing all negative posts, people stopped posting on Topix, so the company stopped removing all negative posts.[5]

On February 03, 2009, Mark and Rhonda Lesher filed a defamation lawsuit against anonymous posters on . According to the Leshers' petition, over 1,700 defamatory statements were made about them by anonymous posters on . The 365-page petition includes 2,568 counts of defamation, libel per se and defamation per se against the anonymous users. Although Topix was not a party to the lawsuit, it was forced to reveal the IP addresses of the posters and the dangers of unmoderated anonymous posting on Topix were brought to light for the first time in the public eye.[citation needed]

Initially Topix charged money to people who requested that Topix take expedited removal of negative posts. After thirty states' attorneys generals protested, Topix stopped charging. Jack Conway, the Kentucky Attorney General, said the charging scheme "smacked of having to pay a fee to get your good name back."[5]

By 2010 Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal questioned the website's practice of charging $19.99 for expedited review of slanderous comments in local forums. According to a press release from ConwayÂ’s office,[7] the tools provided by to remove the abusive posts are ineffective unless consumers agree to pay the fee. Topix CEO Chris Tolles accused the pair of grandstanding and intimidation, insisting the site operates with appropriate and timely oversight.[8]

[edit] ServicesLocal news pages for US and international cities
News pages categorized by subject
News and blog search engine
Forum system
Community news editing platform.
Blog page featuring popular blogs
Local classified ads
Local news feeds for web portals such as CNN's
Cowardly "judging" of user posts, usually reserved for when a poster makes a valid point and no effective rebuttal can be made, with the following labels:
Incendiary (website)
Schmahl Spew

Anonymous Proxy

#3 Mar 3, 2013
Are you admitting your convictions now, DSM Loco?

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