The internet is a wonderful thing, an always open source of information; somewhere for people to share experiences with people they'll never meet; a soapbox where opinions can be put forward and discussed, many different things to many different people. Wiganers, being the strange creatures they are have decided it's just another place to moan and act like complete and utter idiots.
A few years back someone had the bright idea of pulling together an online community for football fans. Going by the name of Rivals it would be a place on the web where every team had their own unofficial website, usually based around a fanzine. Each of which would have a message board, primarily for that teams fans to get 'together' but where rival (geddit) teams' fans could join in for a bit of banter and shared hilarity. A quick (virtual) stroll around the network shows many things, some of the boards are hardly used (Presto's springs to mind) and you must assume that they have busier sites elsewhere, some (Everton's WSAG a prime example) are busy, and contain a vast range of subjects, even on occasion football.
Latics's own part of that Network goes under the 'Cockney Latic' banner. CL was Latics’s first fanzine spawned out of the deadly days of Bill Kenyon but recently has been sailing on choppy water and may have sunken without trace.
Now despite the existence of administrators, moderators and such, I’ve always though that Message Boards should be self policing. If an unsuitable post is ignored/rejected by other users then sooner or later the 'wrong-doers' learn not to do it anymore, or get bored.
Now whether it is something in the Wigan psyche or just that we're not that savvy, I don't know, but a big chunk of the posters on CL don't seem to get this. Every slight by opposition fans is pounced on in such an aggressive and paranoid manner; ridiculous or badly put opinion is shredded to pieces, often including unnecessary personal abuse; the majority of posters know it all and aren't interested in debate.
Not all of this is down to Latics' fans, although there are plenty in the guilty camp. It's got to such a state that the admin have had to resort to banning persistent (and some not so persistent) perpetrators. It seemed to work for a day or two, but all seems to have done is open the ways for another batch of negativity and in-fighting.