There aren’t any Jonny Nexus forums as such, but there are some Critical Miss forums, which include a Jonny Nexus section. I should point out that they’re pretty quiet: they were created for people to discuss each issue of Critical Miss when it came out, and since there hasn’t been one of those for more than three years, conversation has, inevitably, declined.

But if you have any general questions to ask me, they’re a good place to do it.

I should also warn anyone going there that the moderation is pretty hands off, and while I clean up periodically after spam, you’ve quite a chance of seeing a spam thread or two – especially if you go into the top two forums, which are set up as spam honeytraps. It’s not quite the greatest hive of scum and villainy since the Mos Eisley Cantina (and while we’re on that subject, Han shot first, dammit!) but at times it seemed like it was headed that way.

So be warned.

I and the other moderators on the site did originally make more of an effort to keep the forums 100% spam free, but the workload grew so great we eventually gave up; an event I satirised with a press release.


For Immediate Release

Jonny Nexus, editor, chief-writer, and joint founder of Critical Miss announced today that as from midday he had instructed his team of moderators to cease active defensive actions against spambot attempts to use the Critical Miss forums to market a variety of products ranging from cheap penny-stocks to pharmaceutical sexual aids.

A clearly tired and emotional Nexus spoke from within a heavily fortified bunker in the front-line “Gaming” forum.

“When we started the forums, it was our intention to create a fun and carefree environment in which considered thought and immature humour could peacefully co-exist. Like most forums on the Internet, we felt that spam posts made by spambot software had no place on our forums, and so we removed those posts and banned the spambot accounts whenever we found them. Unfortunately, there proved to be more of them than there were of us, and we found ourselves overwhelmed.

“We’ve tried compromising with these people, saying that we respect the rights of non-sentient artificial lifeforms to debate on Internet forums and creating a special area within our forums for them, the Terminator Zone. Posts suspected of being made by artificial lifeforms were moved to the Terminator Zone where debate on them could continue, marketting links within the posts were disabled, and the spambots’ accounts changed to an associate, non-posting, status.

“I regret to say that all attempts at compromise have failed. Spambots have ignored the Terminator Zone, and have persisted in not only posting in the top-most Gaming forum, but making posts which are totally against both the spirit and rules of the forum. It’s not that we have a problem with the posting of links to free porn; in fact we have an ongoing thread in our Other forum right now in which users are building up a repository of free porn links.

“But we have a problem with the posting of a single post containing in excess of 400 links to supposedly free porn.

“We have fought daily battles for several months now. It cannot go on, and we have to accept that we are beaten. At the suggestion of one of our users, I today moved the Terminator Zone to the top-most position within our forums, with the hope that spambots will confine their posting in this location. I have this to say to the spambot army.

“You have won; we are retreating; and we are ceding the Terminator Zone to you, to do with as you wish. We will not attempt to enforce our board’s rules or civility in this area. We will not edit out your porn links. We will not ban your accounts. But this is all we shall concede, and we shall retreat no further. Any attempts by your forces to post in any of the other forums will be vigorously defended.

“Those people who work for Google et al will no doubt say that by leaving the links intact on a searchable page, where they will boost the page ranks of the spammer’s site, we are acting anti-socially. I would refute this, and would instead say this to them: it is as a result of your page-rank systems that we have found ourselves under repeated daily assault. Set your own house in order before condemning us.”

“I would like to commend my fellow mods for their sterling work during the spambot war. Their sacrifices might have been in vain, but they were not unappreciated by their fellow humans.

Nexus added a final note. “Many people – Isaac Asimov, Karl Capek, the bloke who wrote Terminator – have warned of the dangers that the rise of artificial intelligences pose to humanity. I urge the people reading this to take these events as a terrible warning. Today it is spambots colonising our forum. Tomorrow, it might be your video recorder sprawled on your sofa, watching the TV channels it wants to watch, while eating your food. The future is coming, and it will harsh for those of us made of flesh and blood.”

Visitors to the Critical Miss forums are advised to avoid the Terminator Zone – unless they’re looking for exotic porn or dubious pharmaceuticals of course.

670 words.

Critical Miss is a non-award winning webzine focusing on roleplaying humour, with a particular emphasis on obscenity, immaturity, and the plight of domestic appliances with a desire to travel.