Back in 2002 we found an open source PHP package called phpBB. This software was more or less similar to the old BBS forums of old but it was not interconnected like FidoNET was.
Sadly miscreants made such a mess of the forum that we eventually abandoned using it. Over the 2000s many forums were so badly defaced by spammers it hard to imagine. The flood of spam was intended to abuse the pagerank system used by Google etc.
We spent more than 5 years working with the phpBB developers trying to come up with solutions to combat spammers. To this day the forum software has been a real headache.
Over time was extracted all of the articles from the forum and manually pasted them back into HTML 4. We then used a hand rolled PHP based site that we used for many years following the migration to Azure.