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Kuro5hin (K5; read "corrosion") was a collaborative discussion website founded by Rusty Foster in 1999, having been inspired by Slashdot. Articles were created and submitted by users and submitted to a queue for evaluation. Site members could vote for or against publishing an article and once the article had reached a certain number of votes, it was published to the site or deleted from the queue. The site has been described as "a free-for-all of news and opinion written by readers". Around 2005, its membership numbered in the tens of thousands.
All content was generated and selected by the users themselves, with the exception of site news written by the administrators. Registered users would submit stories to the submissions queue where other users would vote +1 FP (front page), +1, 0, or –1. If the story reached a predetermined threshold score, it was posted to the front page or to the relevant section, depending on the proportion of "FP votes". If it failed to make the threshold, other factors (such as number of comments, type of comments, and their ratings) could still cause the story to be posted to a section or to the front page. Otherwise, it was dropped.
One feature of the story queue was edit mode, in which a story was protected from voting for a period of time during which the author could make changes. Comments could still be made on the story to suggest changes before voting began. These comments were distinguished as being editorial or topical.
A further section was known as the diaries. Having no editing or moderation vetting, diaries were essentially weblogs. and formed the source of most of Kuro5hin's content by volume. However, unlike the edited article sections, they were not widely syndicated. Other users would also comment on these diaries in the same way as stories but with without the editorial or topical stipulation.
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Foster named Kuro5hin—pronounced corrosion—as a pun on his first name. The site was powered by the Scoop collaborative system, originally written by Foster himself, with the motto "Technology and Culture, from the Trenches".
In July 2000, the site was temporarily closed due to comment spam and denial of service attacks.
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[...] spam (unwanted content) and DoS (Denial of Service) attacks, flooding the server with commands and fake information. The attacks led the volunteer staff to finally call it a day.
- Orlowski, Andrew (31 October 2001). "VA drops Linux name, boots out Kuro5hin". The Register. Retrieved 30 August 2012.