There are some people on the internet who don’t want to be found. That seems to be the case for the elusive, mysterious owner of Stripperweb, a 20-year-old forum for exotic dancers and sex workers. With just one week of advance notice, the forum’s unknown owner announced that the website will shut down on February 1, erasing the decades-long digital footprint of a community on the margins.
“This place was a digital dressing room where I could listen in on thousands of interesting, profane, disgusting, inspirational, challenging and painfully true experiences,” said a forum moderator, who uses the screen name Optimist, in an email to TechCrunch. “I didn’t feel alone and isolated anymore. This was a digital home that accepts us all, no matter [how] broke, busted, or disgusted.”
The news of Stripperweb’s closure broke last week with a simple notice posted to the top of the website, which is decorated in

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