They used to be fun, but since about 2004 the fun has been squeezed out by over-moderation. Well, not just over keen moderation but a sort of politically correct hand of doom has somehow been imposed. My own experience is that to stray a little from what the guardians of a forum consider is an incorrect opinion brings on a deluge of hate.
I once posted a critical comment, on a cycling forum, about the fact the 1st world War deserters were maybe getting a retrospective pardon. In my opinion, as the child of families that lost members and suffered in that war, this is an insult to the memory of the people that didn't run away, that did their duty and were killed and maimed in hundreds of thousands. But that is against the grain of modern thought, dying for ones country or king or queen is no longer cool in certain circles, and those circles have the upper hand in what we are supposed to think, at the moment.
Anyhoo, a forum poster objected to my opinion so much he had me removed as a moderator. OK, fair enough, I allowed one or two posts that I should have removed and allowed a person of bad reputation to post naughty pictures of his girlfriend, but that was late one night and the offending stuff was removed before the next morning. But it seems I wasn't in tune with prevailing thought, so I was removed and latterly banned. This is how apostates are treated, by not allowing their dissenting voices to be heard. Could be worse, as apostates from islam are sentenced to death.
The same thing has just happened on another forum that I was one of the early members of, in 1999 no less ! I stopped posting on that forum in 2001 after the comments about the Twin Towers attack, seems that mountain biking has a lot of anti-American people ! I went back on last year, and in a thread where some people were showing how clever they are by posting in German, i posted the words to the Horst Wessel lied. This got me a lot of hate, straight away.
Funny folks, unable to detect the difference between satire and reality. also quite funny to see how self-congratulating bigots think they are really open and liberal, open and liberal as long as they follow the true path of vaguely admiring the Palestinians, hating Israel and the US, but liking the US if a democrat is president, believing that we are all going to boil and drown as sea levels and temperatures rise, loving the EEC (or whatever its called) and loving Gordy Brron, the one-eyed wonder.
Having said that, I was banned from an airgun forum for poking fun at someone that said they were a private detective. Maybe my constant stream of crap is too much for forums.