Because old-fashioned forums are simply not good enough.
One of the most useful creations on the internet for car owners and enthusiasts is forums. The internet is full of these mines of knowledge, information, help, and discussion on almost every make and model vehicle you can think of. Tesla is in a unique position as the largest forum covering Tesla is owned and operated by the brand on its website. However, The Verge noticed a message that popped up at the top of Tesla's forums saying: "Starting March 15th, Tesla Forums will become read-only. To continue the conversation with the Tesla community visit engage.tesla.com." It sounds innocent enough, but there's an issue there that has infuriated users.
The Tesla Engagement Hub encourages Tesla owners to "Take actions on behalf of Tesla and the movement for cleaner energy." Instead of users being able to start threads asking questions and starting discussions, Tesla owners are reduced to engaging only by comments on Tesla's curation of posts. The electric car maker will no longer be allowing people to ask advice such as "How do I go about requesting for eMMC recall upgrade," or pass on useful information such as "How to wake a dead Tesla." More likely, though, Tesla wants to kill post titles such as "I got the Model S bait-and-switched, too" and "Tesla: A Thinking Person's Car. Some are ill-equipped for ownership," and is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The change will likely send many of the forum's regulars to any of the large independent Tesla forums and away from Tesla's website.
A forum post dated March 2 alleges that Tesla is archiving the forums because it can't afford the multiple moderators needed to combat the barrage of spam and trolls it attracts. The new platform appears not to be anything more than a corporate blog, and comments will be easier to moderate.
It may not be all bad, though, as the Tesla forums have become toxic, and there might be a better way. Another comment suggests, "I have inside information that crybaby emails were too much and Tesla decided to do everything through the regional clubs, of which I am a longtime member in excellent standing." One of the first posts on the new corporate blog is about Tesla Owners Clubs and upcoming events. These events include typical drives and meet-ups, charity fundraisers, and "Ask Us Anything live Zoom sessions."
It's got to be better than the Tesla-owner dating app...