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A message board is based on the World Wide Web at services such as Yahoo! Groups ( or Users can log in after obtaining a user ID and password (in most cases) and post information on a given topic. In some cases, users can read but not post messages on Web-based message boards without logging in to the systems that host the boards.


Often the messages will not be found by search engines but will only be accessible through direct access to the message board service. For example, messages posted on a Yahoo! private message board can only be viewed by members of that particular board.

Postings to message boards may contain the originating IP address or e-mail address of the individual, commonly known as the “poster.”