I think you’re underestimating how much other people actually saw this as a form of entertainment. A few of us were even accused of being bullies for calling out sexism and other problematic stuff. We were “ruining the boards” and making it boring. Even people on here who are really nice and cool now used to reply with stuff like “you are a really boring person” if I pointed out sexism. And it would then build up lots of this’s (precursor to likes).
Really really long arguments would take place where it was often one or two of us against a massive group who were dismissive of almost any claim that the boards needed to improve. You also got a lot of people who barely posted in the threads except to offer support to the people defending sexism.
I can give so many examples of the types of things. It wasn’t all people starting threads with offensive spam. That did get deleted. It was an ongoing problem with the way people interacted on here in general. It seemed to condone bullying.
It’s nice that it’s a bit better now but I do wonder if it’s the age demographics and just that the more vocal misogynists have left.