Readers will be apt to spot a jumble of old threads promoted to the list on the Local news page. That behavior apparently comes from a bug in the Globe's database software. It seems to get confused when messages have been removed from threads.

Many messages recently removed from the Local forum came from reader "Bopopanowitz," who had annoyed other readers by flooding the forum with numerous threads a day, always on the topics of sex abuse said to have been committed by Roman Catholic priests and of failures by Church supervisors to police such abuse.

It looks as though what brought about removal of the messages, however, may not have been annoyance to other readers but repeated violations of copyright law. Use of copyrighted text ought to be concise and relevant to a discussion, be quoted and be referenced to its source. Many long messages consisted almost entirely of verbatim text taken from sources displaying copyright notices, not imbedded in discussions, not quoted and sometimes not referenced.