Too often barbarians have overrun naively-managed Internet forums ;-)

I seek forum management software that

  • features practical, effective facilities to exclude, marginalize and/or fight the aforementioned barbarians

  • is open-source

  • 1
    One significant problem with StackExchange's approach, arguably, is that it is not really able to control the quality, or applicability, of up- and downvotes. Interesting answers which are worth reading, but with which many disagree, tend to get buried. Also, I am not convinced that StackExchange's approach of avoiding questions likely to solicit debate is an approach a non-StackExchange site would wish to emulate. (I mention this only because my question, though asked on StackExchange, probably seeks something different in nature than StackExchange.)
    – thb
    Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 15:31
  • 1
    Stack Exchange is not a forum, so your comparison is null. Anyway, you need to define requirement #2 before we can really go anywhere. What do you mean/want by "exclude, marginalize and/or fight"?
    – Seth
    Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 16:49
  • 3
    The only clear requirements I can see in this question are "forum software" and "open source". (ah, and it should be "better than SE" in "some relevant respect" – but what aspect might this be?) That's far from being enough to give good recommendations. You might wish to take a look at What is required for a question to contain "enough information"? – and then edit your question to incorporate some improvements.
    – Izzy
    Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 21:06

3 Answers 3


I'm surprised that (since you know StackExchange) that you do not know Discourse
(BTW You talk about 'forum management' software which I assume to be 'forum software')

Discourse has a voting/rating system, you can flag bad questions etc. Here is the FAQ.

More importantly, it was developed with exactly your concerns in mind: how can we make sure we have constructive dialogs? That's why they call it a Civilized Discourse Construction Kit ;-)
You should read e.g. this blog post and this one to get an idea of the thoughts behing Discourse.

You can try their sandbox (register first).

BTW Although you can set it up yourself, they also have a very reasonable hosting offer: $99 for a one-time install, plus a $10/month hosting fee.

(No, I'm not in any way affiliated, but enthusiastic, and planning to use it in an upcoming project).

  • 1
    Good idea. My question now seems to be locked, though. Deleting the question would take out your useful answer, which would be bad. The question thus may have to stand, as is, downvotes and all.
    – thb
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 20:32
  • 2
    @thb: Meta discussion about this problem.
    – unor
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 9:02

If you are looking for a StackExchange like Question and Answers open-source software, you might take a look at biostars.org. The software running the site is open source, based on Django/Python, and could do what you ask for: upvote or down-vote questions or answers and use a reputation system for the users.


Another solution you may want to look at (which is open source) is based on Drupal, for which these add-ons exist to make it do what you are looking for:

It has been in a kind of unsupported status until recently, though the updated project page contains a roadmap to get it going again for D7 (and D8 later on).

Disclosure: I'm the (new) maintainer of ArrayShift (and its related modules and theme).

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