LUElinks

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GameFAQs Spinoff
LUElinks
Role Off-site Forum
Owner LlamaGuy
Established May, 2004
Still Active? Yes

LUElinks is a highly controversial spinoff site of Life, the Universe, and Everything, created by LlamaGuy. In the past, only LUEsers had access to the site; as of August 2006, however, an invite system was implemented: the invited users are commonly referred to as NUEsers. Of all the GameFAQs spinoff sites, LUElinks is by far the most successful, with over 21,000 users and 90 million posts.

Contents

Features

The main feature of the site when it first opened up was that users could add links to various websites. These websites could be anything ranging from news stories, to general interest websites, to (usually illegal) uploaded content such as music, movies and games. Users can then vote anywhere from 0 to 10 on these links to indicate quality. Each link has its own separate code, which can be distributed around and used in the site's Link Me engine. More recently, the focus has shifted to uploaded content, as most general websites have already been linked.

History

Beginnings

"It was around the time the tinyurl fad took off. Linking to porn via tinyurl, without the http://tinyurl.com/. I jumped on the fad wagon and posted a topic with the text '7odu' (tinyurl to goatse). I got purgatory for 2 weeks. I coded the first version of LUElinks about 3 hours before I opened it up to the public.)"

LlamaGuy on the creation of LUElinks [1].

On May 8th, 2004, LlamaGuy posted a topic on LUE announcing the opening of LUElinks, spawning a 501 topic [2]. Over 4000 users signed up in the first 3 days.

However, in the following days, controversy erupted on GameFAQs, as many users would post simple LUElinks code. LUElinks members could enter the code into a search engine which would bring them to a page that would normally not be allowed on GameFAQs (often porn or warez sites, though the LUElinks archive has plenty of innocent links as well), allowing many LUEsers to bypass the Terms of Service.

Eventually, though, it was ruled that if all mods did not have access to LUElinks, then every code that was posted was considered illegal unless it could be checked. Although some mods (such as Sashanan) were members of LUElinks, CJayC ruled that all mods needed to be allowed for efficient queue clearing [3]. Facing the choice of either granting all moderators access to a community that was meant to be a place *away* from their eyes (many LUElinks regulars are banned GameFAQs users who prefer not to be reminded of the site) or no longer being allowed to post LUElinks codes, the LL regulars quickly chose the latter.

Later that year, LUElinks was temporarily made public; that is, anybody could read the message boards and look at the links. This was highly controversial, with a number of users voting against opening it to the public. To quell fears, LlamaGuy added a "private links" option (allowed users to mark links as private and consequently could not be seen by the general public) and coded the boards so only the user ID would be visible to non-members. However, after a short while, the experiment was closed and LUElinks was closed again.


Controversy

Currently, posting LUElinks codes on GameFAQs is against the Terms of Use, as many links contain illegal content. The website link is also a banned word. Despite this however, LUElinks is still a thriving community, with a popular message boards system. Talking about it on GameFAQs is considered somewhat taboo and the site is often jokingly referred to as "the site that doesn't exist" (if asked what LUElinks is, many users will say that there's no such thing as LUElinks).

Additionally, as LUElinks has very lax rules on posting, many posts that are acceptable there would be moderated on GameFAQs. As LUElinks consistently sees downtime, many users temporarily flock back to GameFAQs LUE, often stirring up trouble.