The boards were meant to be a place for constructive discussion. They were meant to be a place where players and Rioters alike could discuss gameplay, the game's story, memes regarding league, or have discussions in general. They were meant to be where Riot could take genuine feedback and change the game accordingly.
This is nothing near the reality of the boards.
A large portion of the boards consist of circlejerking, unsupported complaints, and even personal attacks. The boards, excluding the memes boards, has earned an extremely negative reputation as well (both within boards and outside of them), where the gameplay board is memed to be nothing but circlejerking, upvote farming, and whining.
Likewise, Riot responses are scarce at best. The majority of Riot posts are in the story or memes boards, where they generally can't get negative feedback. The biggest problem, is, however, that Rioters _avoid answering controversial questions_. It was part of Hashinshin's rant video as well, and I personally feel that it's very true. Last year, out of the thousands of threads that complained adc and support items were too strong, several hundred of them actually had very valid points. I only remember one or two actually getting a red tracker. To name a more recent example, in Meddler's QGTs in January 19 which talked about counterplay, I asked him what he thinks the counterplay to adcs are, because I was genuinely curious on Riot's stance on that. Again, no response. It's almost as if I have to choose between getting a Rioter response, or asking a hard question that I really want to know the answer to.
And this is where the problem comes in: **a lot of very constructive and informative posts also get completely ignored.** A somewhat recent example is this one, which talks about how CertainlyT's champions are very toxic and how the poster thinks he's not fit for champion design:
I myself commented on this post, hoping that with how constructive this original post was, it would get a Rioter response on how they would act according to this feedback. But, alas, it didn't. Granted, it was close to new year, but I personally think it wasn't approached because it talked about a very controversial thing: CertainlyT's unhealthy champions, something Rioters almost NEVER admit. To see how it didn't get a response just because it was a hard topic is just sad to me, and shows how the boards are not fulfilling their purpose.
I personally think that both the players and Riot are responsible for the current mess of the boards. Based on observation, both their faults creates a horrible downward spiral that just gets worse and worse:
The players want a controversial topic answered. However, since it is a controversial topic, Riot doesn't respond to it. This makes the players agitated and angered they don't get a response. More and more threads follow, and the threads turn less constructive and more angered and sometimes offensive. And now, because Rioters fear they are going to get witch hunted or quoted as the official 'stance' of Riot, they will avoid answering even further. And so this spiral continues until it gets worse and worse. This could be seen quite clearly regarding the topics of adcs mid season 2017, ardent censer, and the rengar rework.
So the player's fault in tl;dr form is that they get agitated and the content turns more offensive and less constructive. This causes Rioters to stay away, as the circlejerkers will cause a witch hunt on the Rioters no matter what.
Riot, meanwhile, is justifiably afraid of some players witch hunting them and using their comments out of context, and (this is the problem) avoids answering the hard questions, even in threads that provide nothing but constructive criticism and supported opinions. Ultimately, a lot of very good discussion potential is wasted and the boards are not serving their intended purpose.
I suppose that the best we can do to solve this issue is to provide a more welcome environment, using less combative language and keeping all criticism constructive and not too offensive, even if the topic itself is quite controversial. Perhaps that would encourage them to speak out more. And it would be best if the good players appropriately discouraged others from abusing Rioter responses.
And if this post is read by a Rioter, my plea to Riot is: please respond more to the controversial questions. The boards are the official website made by Riot to DISCUSS gameplay; we should be able to have discussions on adc strength, game pacing, CertainlyT champion pool, and so on, as long as we keep discussion civil, constructive, and within the boards. Honestly, I would prefer responses like "We understand how the boards feel, but based on surveys and foreign servers, a large majority of players think adcs are very balanced" (if it actually IS the case) over not being responded to at all. I would guarantee you that a lot of people in the boards are good people, and that the intention of the boards is not to publicly humiliate Riot.
Thanks for reading my read on the current state of the boards, and I hope over time, it can be what it was originally meant to be.
tl;dr the boards are not fulfilling its intended purpose. Riot is justifiably scared of their responses being witch hunted and abused, so they avoid difficult questions. Meanwhile, the players get agitated about the lack of responses and the posts become more offensive and less critical and respectful. This tragic spiral lead to this suboptimal state of the boards today.