Update: we’re staying open
With sadness, I intend to close SE26.life later this year.
Update: if anyone is interested in keeping it running, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The aim of SE26.life was to provide a web-based forum for Sydenham that was modern, easy-to-use, and allowed discussions to be shared across the whole web and all social networks, as opposed to having discussion confined to Facebook, Twitter or NextDoor.
I have contributed a large amount of time and money (the forums are all loss-making) to hosting community discussion.
I wanted to offer a friendly, accountable and community-moderated alternative to Sydenham Town Forum, a site which hosts gratuitous personally-targeted slander, including plenty targeting me. The owner of STF (who also acts as its anonymous “admin") banned me, then encouraged public abuse and shaming of me via his own forum and others. Similarly, when I started SE23.life, the owner of
se23.com banned me and encouraged people who abused me on his own platform.
And it’s not just competing forum owners who have abused me.
One lady wrote to all local businesses on Twitter to attack my reputation, exagerrating my views after she disagreed with some political opinions I expressed on SE23.life
More recently the same lady sent me a threatening email listing many of my family members, including a photo of my mother with my 3-month-old child, and a photo of the outside of my flat with an implied threat to “pay my wife a visit” while she was on maternity leave looking after my baby son.
This lady received a warning from the police regarding this email, but that hasn’t detered her from continuing to make unprovoked attacks on me via the Sydenham Town Forum and other platforms. She managed to convince others (including the then chairman of the Forest Hill Society, and also one of the former moderators of SE23.life) that she was the victim in all of this. Apparently it’s stressful being investigated by the police when you’ve committed a crime (perhaps best not commit crimes, then?)
It’s a damning reflection on those other people that they’d be so easily manipulated, but sadly online mobs are easy to form, and are a self-perpetuating phenomenon.
I’ve also received dozens of unprovoked abusive messages from a user on Twitter after he was banned by the moderator team of SE23.life for repeated aggressive behaviour toward others, and ignoring polite nudges from the moderators.
Another ex-member of SE23.life developed an obsessive grievance with me and wrote thirteen lengthy blog posts attacking my forums and my character.
Those are the “highlights” but there’s plenty more.
To summarise, I’ve had enough.
I’m going to let these bullies win. I will
shut down transition SE26.life to a new owner, if I can find one, in order to (hopefully) protect myself and my family from further abuse, as I believe the motivation of many of the abusers is to prevent my forums succeeding.
I put a lot of time into building this site and for the most part, I enjoyed running it. Many others also contributed. Thank you to those that did. Thank you also for the solidarity from those who left Sydenham Town Forum when it hosted personally-targeted attacks on me.
To those that participated in the attacks, whether the original orchestrators or the mob that cheered them on - be kinder.
You’ve damaged the mental health of a father, a brother and a son. I hope you come to understand that marginalising and attacking people online is an appalling thing to do.