In the context of the Internet, a forum is a site in which the exchange of ideas takes place. Users can have a discussion on a specific topic, depending on the specifications of the site. Participants may find these forums useful as a source of information and assistance. Forums can also serve to entertain and facilitate the formation of personal relationships.

The online forum started out as a kind of mailing list where several people could communicate.
Today, forums come in several forms. Blogs may have a space dedicated to comments and the exchange of ideas by readers. On the other hand, some websites are dedicated to asking and answering all kinds of questions, whether for the purpose of gathering facts or getting opinions about a specific issue. Users are allowed to ask questions, and may rate the answers they receive from other users, as well. Many forums contain a directory of topics, otherwise known as threads, which users may choose from.

Forums are usually regulated by administrators or moderators who ensure that users stick to the forum’s objectives. For instance, forums which are dedicated to specific topics may disallow the posting of unrelated comments, spam, flooding, advertisements, or other irrelevant information. Administrators can also ban the use of profanity, lewd language, or harassment of other participants. Many forums reserve the right to kick participants out and even ban them if they are found to be in violation of the forum’s house rules. Moderators may also opt to lock a certain thread if the maximum number of desired replies has already been reached. This may also be done if a discussion has already become too controversial for the purposes of the forum and the administrators decide to prevent further arguments in the thread.