First of all, see what the forums actually are. Then come back and read this.
This article is a sort-of blog.

Until 2010, there were forums on RuneScape that had occasional contributors and everything got along just fine.

Then, Andrew Gower decided that the biggest problem with the forums wasn't the spammers, the fact that f2p can't post on them, the fact that suggestions are ignored, the fact that you can't post pictures, the fact that it uses an ugly brown background and coloured text is not allowed and the mods are tyrants. No. The biggest problem was low level players talking to high level ones.

Now, it has to be admitted, a lot of low level players know pretty much fuck all. However, there were few complaints, as most low level players are simply high level ones who haven't got to the top yet, and are human beings like everybody else. Indeed, most people on the forums- all 200 of them- were fairly high level and the idiots were quite fairly distributed.

What Andrew Gower did was create forum "communities"- basically dividing up the forums into 4 layers. The first layer was to contain noobs. The last layer was for the "elite" people who were too busy no-lifing Runecrafting to post things. To add to this improved functionality, it was impossible to make rapid posts between layers. Therefore, high level players couldn't help low level ones at all.

By far and away the worst thing, however, was when the Future Updates forum was removed. The bullshit excuse for this one was that it performed the same purpose as Suggestions. This is completely untrue, as most people in Future Updates considered people who posted suggestions there mentally retarded. The real reason, many suspect, is that it pointed out an embarassingly long list of updates that had been promised but were not made due to Jagex's preference for hiring a community team over technicians.

The main feature of the protests was people wearing a red hat in their forum avatars to register disapproval. Unfortunately for Jagex, there was absolutely no infraction of the rules that they could be booked under. Future Updates responded to a mass deletion of their threads by dumping them all in General, much to Jagex's annoyance.

Eventually, Andrew realised he'd fucked up, and had to put back Future Updates. He then went and cried and hasn't updated the game himself since.

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