The silence is deafening - popular local chatroom taken offline by owner

by Jason SalasTuesday, January 08, 2002


More than 3,500 local online users have been without their favorite Web-based chatting service for the past few weeks. The immensely-popular underground chat site GuamChat.com was taken offline from doing anything functional by its owner and administrator former Kuentos programmer Alex Sian, who now resides in Texas. According an emotionally-charged announcement posted to the GuamChat homepage, Sian vaguely addressed a number of recurring issues which prompted him to cease the site's operation.

Since the site's inception in 1997 the site has exploded in popularity and usage, eventually running across people who practice identity spoofing and dragging the good names of some innocent or otherwise unrelated people through the online mud, apparently for no reason at all.

Sian’s comments on the page go on further to state that, “GuamChat.com will return later in January 2002 when new programming is in place and when it does come back online, things will be very different.” He went to remark that, “Everyone will be a monitor. I will be counting on all chatters to police the activity within GuamChat.com and all members will be able to give an abusive chatter a 'time-out'. All chatters subjected to a timeout will know who it was that kicked them out, and for what. Records will be kept of all this activity, and those who abuse their powers will be permanently banned. GuamChat.com has been a tremendous challenge to keep online, both financially and because of the mental distress that it causes. There have been many many times when I have felt like pulling the plug permanently. This will be my absolute last effort to keep GuamChat.com alive. It will be up to the chatters themselves to keep the room running clean and smooth. That's how it should be.”

Sian told KUAM News that he expects GuamChat.com to be reinstated in a newer, more quality-control centric form by January 15.

Local Web enthusiasts may recall that the pseudo-news service Auntie Charo had to remove its “Ginen Hamyo” messageboard, which became subject to an abundance of offensive and vulgar posts about Guam's “royal couple", being Debbie Bordallo and Norbert Perez. The operators decided to cease operation of that portion of the site after a lawsuit was threatened against those in charge of Auntie Charo for endorsing and harboring libel.

The moral of both of these stories? While its true that managing and operating high-trafficked sites like this is a chore, the truth is that webmasters should expect this kind of thing to happen sooner or later. 

If you can't stand the heat...

"There have been many many times when I have felt like pulling the plug permanently. This will be my absolute last effort to keep GuamChat.com alive. It will be up to the chatters themselves to keep the room running clean and smooth. That's how it should be."
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