AOL didn't make it; Yedda did. AOL acquired Yedda in 2007. AOL was tired of supporting the Message Boards written in Rainman. And the Message Boards also had moronic posts, and obscenities, and spam, and trolls. AOL didn't want to patrol the boards or even respond to TOS reports.
I preferred the Message Boards, and our protests got them restored once (2009?). You had little communities on the Message Boards. Some people moved their community to a non-AOL Message Board.
I'm guessing that AOL is missing the ad revenue from the message boards.