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Privileges and rights are given based on these groups.
A user of the forum can automatically be promoted to a more privileged user group based on criteria set by the administrator.
They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text, and are at least temporarily archived.
Also, depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might need to be approved by a moderator before it becomes publicly visible.
Forums perform a function similar to that of dial-up bulletin board systems and Usenet networks that were first created starting in the late 1970s.
A sense of virtual community often develops around forums that have regular users.
Some stand alone threads on forums have reached fame and notability such as the "I am lonely will anyone speak to me" thread on Movie Codec.com's forums, which was described as the "web's top hangout for lonely folk" by Wired Magazine.
All message boards will use one of three possible display formats.
Each of the three basic message board display formats: Non-Threaded/Semi-Threaded/Fully Threaded, has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Technology, video games, sports, music, fashion, religion, and politics are popular areas for forum themes, but there are forums for a huge number of topics.
Internet slang and image macros popular across the Internet are abundant and widely used in Internet forums.
Later developments emulated the different newsgroups or individual lists, providing more than one forum, dedicated to a particular topic.