I think very few of the posts are about me, since I'm rarely a topic for discussion anyways. I do wonder with a few posters though.
I think that's another problem I didn't mention in my original post - exacerbating existing rivalries on this forum. If I see that a person I'm at odds with has made a post in there with negative comments about "some member", I may easily interpret their words as an anonymous slander against me when that was never the case to begin with.
Same thing with flirtations, praises, advice and recommendations, etc.
As I said, it's a thread capable of great harm albeit in very subtle ways. I feel it has a very negative influence on this board. If this was my forum I'd have it removed immediately.
It's like a glorified popularity contest; a gossipy gab-fest; a passive-aggressive way of being nasty; and a way of seeming like you have inside jokes and secret relationships with other members. Of being in the "in-group".
It's interesting that the stuff you hate is the stuff that other people love. I have a love-hate relationship with it: I'm drawn to it, but then I realize how bad it is for me and I withdraw. It's like an abuse relationship.
Definitely true about being in the in-group, which I think is what nozflubber was referring to.