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'Forocoches Premium', the innocent who trolls trolls

Forocoches users have found this Tuesday with a surprise. When entering the web they have been offered for the first time in the history of the forum, the most used in Spanish, the option of paying so that their comments have more visibility or so that fewer ads are shown. The price of Forocoches Premium: 2.99 or 3.99 euros per month, depending on the desired extras. All a lie, as many will have been quick to realize, although for years there has been speculation in the chats themselves with this possibility. Forocoches has spent an April Fool on its foreros. Or, using jargon, he has trolled them.

Although the lie was not complete. The administrators of the forum have shown those who have clicked on the payment option the redesign in which the web works, the first in its 19-year history. It can be seen by the first 10,000 users who have opted for the fake paid version; for the rest it will be activated on February 1st.

The new design is focused on the mobile, the support used by 80% of the car forum , with drop-down menus that are easy to use from the device screen. It includes the ability to display in dark mode, a longstanding request from the community, administrators say. These changes have taken almost two decades to arrive because, as recognized by the founder and CEO of the website, Alejandro Marín, users themselves have historically been reluctant to alter the appearance of the page.

The redesign of the Forocoches website includes the dark mode.

Forocoches has survived the era of social networks with very robust figures. Born in 2003, it has almost 900,000 registered accounts or profiles, according to the company itself. Last November it had 6.8 million unique users with almost 25 million open sessions. The web is known for hosting discussions of all kinds. Precisely because of its monstrous size, there is everything. On the one hand, one can find help to do almost anything: there will always be someone willing to tell you how to fix the vacuum cleaner or share information about schools in your area. They have also organized charitable actions, such as donations of money to people who have suffered physical attacks or bullying.

On the other, in some discussions ideas of the extreme right and fascism are defended. “Vox has entered the forum with great force and even they, from the party, often put references to Forocoches on Twitter,” Marín himself acknowledged to ICON in 2018. Since then he has won a large part of the voting polls that are organized in the forum itself. There are also threads in which there is a palpable contempt for women and feminism. Or worse: in these chats images and personal data of the victim of the Pack were disseminated at the time, something that Marín tried to nip in the bud by removing content and canceling accounts involved in its dissemination.

But the most media facet of Forocoches has been provided by the great trolls that its users have organized. They have sent mariachis (and pizzas) to the headquarters of the PP, the PSOE or Podemos, always at especially critical moments for the respective formations. They also managed to send Mexican musicians to the White House to fire Donald Trump when he lost the election. They also gave the audience and the presenters of the TVE gala in which the Spanish representative of Eurovision was chosen by casting John Cobra as a finalist among them. And they made El Tekila the winner of the Telecinco program Got Talent , a contestant who was not to the liking of the jury and whose triumph marked the own string as from “unexpected”.

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