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Early social media: The online distributed forum system everyone used to use on the Internet. It hosted “newsgroups” (specialized forums) like:

  • aka a.s.b (ay*es*be) was a Usenet newsgroup,, and, by extension, the initialism refers to anyone who enjoys BDSM sexual games. A small group of fans participating in such at cons unfortunately opened the door to parasitic mundane S/M enthusiasts who found our conventions convenient playgrounds, with a devastating effect on at least one East Coast con.

Changing technologies, the appearance of new social media, and greatly increased interpersonal friction over politics, post-9/11, contributed to participant attrition so that by the mid-2000s, many of the fans had migrated largely to Live Journal, personal blogs, and other newer channels, and later to Facebook.

It still exists, in a way, as Google Groups.

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