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Shutdown

Discussion about administrative actions taken in the chat room.

Moderators: daniel, TiGgEr

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daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Shutdown

Post by daniel » 5 years ago

Over the last few weeks I have been doing system updates to our chat server and software.  Sometimes this requires me to log into HandiBot directly which also dumps the contents of the chat room to me in real time.  Without exception, each time I have had to do so, I have witnessed attacks on new people.

A few nights ago I got to see two new people driven and/or banned for simply asking how to PM.  The reason why PM is turned off for Windows users is to ENCOURAGE them to install the chat software.  The idea is that people who use the  chat software are more likely to stick around than people who don't.  In the past, the only time I ever discouraged someone from installing it was because it was very obvious that they wanted to pickup on women.  Simply asking how to PM doesn't make someone a pervert.

Then this morning I got to see three people gang up on someone for the crime of being happy while disabled.  Heaven forbid.  Another person also left and will probably not be returning because of this.

In two days and in only the short amount of time I was connected to HandiBot, I witnessed four new people driven out.

Upon seeing that, I flipped the switch and shut down the server.  I had no plans on turning it back until Derek returned sometime next week.  It was not a technical problem; it was me.

The updates I planned to make to the server and software are now gone.  I'm done.  I can't watch this anymore.

If and when Derek gives me the word, I will shut the chat room down permanently.

Daniel
Last edited by daniel on Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tawney
Posts: 21
Joined: 5 years ago
Location: Ontario, Canada

Post by Tawney » 5 years ago

Daniel I wanted to make a personal plea for this site to be kept running.  I had been quite isolated and had quit trying to trust or socialize... until I came back here.  I have become attached to this site in the last 4 months.  I have talked and vented and learned to trust a little again.  The other sites have always been more hookup sites, not social and helpful.  I have seen some of what you are concerned about however, I have confidence that my new friends and I can and will return your creation to its former glory.
Daniel you have created something that helps people like none other, please don't withdrawal this resource from my life at such a critical point in my mental and physical need.

Serendipity
Posts: 2
Joined: 6 years ago

Post by Serendipity » 5 years ago

I've been in the room reasonably often.  I often see a full room at almost any time of day, early evenings have been so crowded it's sometimes hard to get a word in edgewise.  A lot of people talking about all sorts of things.  I haven't seen many people being kicked or banned, only just once in a while when things get out of hand.  Things aren't perfect but they have been going pretty well in my estimation.

I would like to see the room continue.  If bills are arriving and needing paid, perhaps we should do a donation drive.  I would guess that I'm not the only person who wants the room to stay online, and I bet plenty of people would be willing to pitch in to help pay the bills.

DaveInScotland
Posts: 1
Joined: 5 years ago

Post by DaveInScotland » 5 years ago

Hi Daniel
 
I am very sorry to hear that you are considering closing the Disabilities-R-Us chat room, and wanted to write to thank you for the daily brightness your site has brought to my and other chat users’ lives over the years.
 
You have managed to create a truly remarkable and unique place on the internet, where people who are often isolated can come together to find friendship, support and community. For some of us it truly is a lifesaver.   For many of us it is where we feel most accepted, most at home. 
 
I myself have a fairly severe speech impairment that makes regular social interaction outside a small circle of family and close friends somewhat difficult and stilted.  Disabilities-R-Us provides a space and a community where I can be most myself, joining in conversations on an equal basis with old friends and new without barriers to communication.  It is where I can tell bad jokes without tripping over the punchlines.
 
One of the joys of Disabilities-R-Us is watching new chatters join, gradually find their feet and blossom in the community.  Although I have not myself often witnessed chatters being hostile to newcomers, I completely understand your concerns.  I have also been horrified, frankly, by the large amount of hateful crap you have had to deal with over the years – although doubtless I only see the tip of the tip of the iceburg here.
 
However, chat remains a very special space for me.  At the times I come on it is regularly brim-full of friendship, good will and a willingness to be open and accepting.  I of course hope you will reconsider your intention to close the room.  If it closes, many many of us will have poorer lives. 
 
Whatever you finally decide, I want to thank you once again for creating and continuing to develop this remarkable online space.
 
Very best regards,
 
Dave  
 

susan
Posts: 6
Joined: 11 years ago

Post by susan » 5 years ago

thankyou to everyone who helped me here over the years. i just like to say thankyou to Daniel and all the people on here that have helped me through my hard times

Ragman
Posts: 84
Joined: 5 years ago

Post by Ragman » 5 years ago

For twenty years, I had dealt with the problems of being disabled alone. I dealt with my wife, who I loved, becoming depressed with my condition, and who four years ago poisoned me food, and cradled me in her arms saying she had put me out of my misery. Fortunately I did not die, but i did go into a coma.

I dealt with that because I did not know this chatroom existed. I wish I had. I have dealt with things alone for so long, and now I have found this place, where i was welcomed the first day - I have very random memory, but some of the chatters have helped me be remembering things I had forgotten, i got sympathy from two ladies, who helped me when I returned from the mental hospital after once again seeing my violent and quite crazy wife. They comforted me, and gave me strength to function.
Recently I had a problem with a friend being carted off to the mental hospital by deputies. i was dumbstruck, friends here helped me function after that one.

I am terribly sorry that I was angry when one person told me that if I chose, i could be happy - I am sorry because I should not have been annoyed, but I was. i would love to have a way to be happy, when the crap in my life gets too deep. I just can't find it yet. But this chatroom is helping me find the comfort that i have never had. I feel welcome here, I feel that I can be me here, not trying to be happy and failing, but being happy often because of the family I have here.

If this chatroom closes, i will suffer, as will all the others. I will suffer less because I am new here, the longer membership folk will be devastated. That would be a terrible shame.

Without this chat-room, I would not be on a very touching video, I would not have friends that chat with me, and call me if I am down, just to see how I am. I would not have facebook, I would not have met such wonderful people, and would not have a purpose to go forward with. I live alone now, I have currently a grown up foster daughter who will stay a while, hopefully. But this room gives me something to look forward to, something to do daily.

The welcome I got here was wonderful - I had never been to any chatroom before, I did not know the abbreviations, the meanings or the way to chat. I was helped, and encouraged to speak about things I had never spoken of, like the MRI I had, in '94, is now in neurology text books, as what damage a person can function with. chatting about my 20 year injury has helped me deal with it, helped me keep my spirits up, and keep going. Had the attacks you witnessed happened that day, I would have left, and not come back, but they did not. They happen very infrequently, and hopefully now not at all.  This room is the driving force behind my new future in my life. Without it, I would need to  contact friends through the slow media of facebook, but if that were all, that is what I would do.

I do not know you Daniel, I would like to. I was a geek once, before I got injured, now I do some work with my mac, but not the level I used to.  I know you are a gentle person - that much is apparent because of your despair, I hope you can comfortably keep the chat running - because this is the best thing that has happened in my life, since April 23rd, 1994.

I really do love some of the people I have come to know. This surprises me, but warms me. Thank you so very much for creating this - it is wonderful, and really the only truly safe place for disabled people to visit. Hopefully people will realise how badly they have hurt you, and will stop the pack mentality. I have realised, Daniel, and I am so very sorry. 

Janeway61
Posts: 1
Joined: 5 years ago

Post by Janeway61 » 5 years ago

Dear Daniel: I just want to let you know that i truly appreciate this chat room and would feel bad if it shut down. I have been here for awhile now and have come to think this chat as my second home where i feel safe and have made lots of friends here. I would miss not chatting with them or knowing how they are doing . I hope you will reconsider not to close it as it is the only place some of us feel safe to come to.Even though t have been attacked on several occasions I have learn to use the ignore button and thank you for that feature on the chat software I wish other people would use it it works. I wanted to let you know am very Thankful and appreciative of this chat room  HUGS .

mark
Posts: 1
Joined: 5 years ago

Post by mark » 5 years ago

I want to say that I am very sad things have become this severe for our group. Daniel , I understand your frustration with certain people in the site causing issues for everyone. This is my first chat room. I look foreword to coming in the room everyday. I have no real friends other than the people that I have got to know in our little group. I also am not able to get out a lot and I look foreword to visiting with the others in the room everyday. I apologize that some feel the need to make it a bad environment for everyone. I think that you are a good person with good character. I hope that maybe instead of shutting down the whole site that you might consider banning the ones causing the issues instead of us all having to pay the price for a few bad apples. I try to donate by going through the amazon link in the room. I also do intend to donate some out of my check each month. I don't expect any special treatment for my donation other than just keeping the site open for all of us to enjoy each other's company in the room.I also hope that some point in the future that will come back and visit us in the room . There are alot of us who really do miss your company in the room. I hope that you are doing well and will keep you in my prayers . Thanks again for creating a room where we can go and chat with other people who are going through the same challenges.

                                                          Take Care  & God Bless

davidj
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 years ago

Post by davidj » 5 years ago

Sorry to hear of the fstration within the chat room, as I see write-ups that look weird too. Beside that your CEO guy should start up a non-profit foundation to get funds to administer the ebsite. Within the websit you can have advertisements from business, knowing they will get a tax deduction for donating funds to this website. Please do not ask me to do the nonprofit setup cause I do not know the end and out of the system, but someone does, so talk to them.

daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by daniel » 5 years ago

Thank you everyone for the kind words and support.

I would like to clarify a few things I see trending in the posts here.

Any decision about continuing or discontinuing the site is not mine to make.  The decision is Derek's (TiGgEr.)  My temporarily turning off the server last week was not meant to be me saying I was personally shutting down the server forever, it was about getting the point across that things need to change because some were not getting the message.

Also, the room problems have nothing to do with funding.  The room has always met it's funding goals.  I personally would like to see more people donating, but again, it isn't about money, it's rather about the validation of the intentions and purpose of the room when people, some in difficult circumstances, come forward and give back to their community.  It's like going through your neighborhood and seeing a piece of someone else's trash and picking it up because it's your home too.

As I have written in the past, setting up a foundation or a 501-c3 is not something I am willing to do as it would turn a "little home filled with friends" into a corporation with officers, government mandated business meetings and paperwork.  This is something I am not willing to do and it's not something I would expect Derek to take on.

A month or so back Mona and I had a long phone conversation about the room and this is what I told her.  The chat room lacks love.  Nobody has to like anyone, nobody has to agree with anyone, disagreements can happen, debates on perceptions of ideas and of intrinsic core values can happen (in fact, they're encouraged) but none of these things need to fall into vitriolic hatred.  We can express love through things like "I don't always like you and I disagree with you on everything, but I see you're hurting so what can I do to help?"  We can even show love by simply clicking the ignore button and then keeping the harmony of the community by not mentioning that fact to anyone, ever.

Some Simple Truths:
  • You do not have to like someone to be kind to them.
  • Forgiveness does not mean acceptance.
  • Understanding does not mean complicity.
  • Love does not mean complacency.
Again, the funds to continue the room will always come.  The love needed to continue the room will require a lot of effort.
Last edited by daniel on Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ragman
Posts: 84
Joined: 5 years ago

Post by Ragman » 5 years ago

Thank you Daniel for that clarification. I for one will try to be more family than guest. I do feel great affection for a lot of the chatters, and hope others feel affection for me.

This chatroom means a lot to me, and I will support it.

daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by daniel » 5 years ago

I'm gonna go on my "soapbox of love" to give a little food for thought that would serve to make conversations nicer.  Here is a profundity from my closest friend.  Okay, she is quoting someone else but she is the first person I ever heard say it so I give her the credit.
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Think hard about this statement.  Think really hard.

Sometimes we're all to quick to demonize someone when they say the wrong thing or when they have a life experience that does not match ours.  In any situation, your mileage may vary!  Try to take a moment to understand what they really mean before responding.  Something may sound offensive, but did they really mean to be offensive?  Allow for mistakes.  Ask for clarification.  Reserve offense to those who really intend to cause it.

I know one of the things that has caused me the most problems in my own life (personal life and online life) is that most times when someone would ask me a question, I would answer the question asked, not the question they may have intended.  Now I try to steer them to asking the right question so they don't have to go on a fishing expedition through my thought stream to find something to be offended about.

A little introspection will go a long way to create some very friendly and interesting conversations.

And remember: It's okay to not like things!

Ragman
Posts: 84
Joined: 5 years ago

Post by Ragman » 5 years ago

Being confined to a chair all day gives my mind time to roam. I came up thinking about a comparatively simple idea. Just a thought, but could a warning button be provided for modraters that would warn the troublemaker, and everyone else that they were misbehaving. Asking them to be nice does not work, it seems. Marking them for a week as causing problems could work perhaps.

daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by daniel » 5 years ago

That's is an excellent idea!

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