As many will know, the Autism Hub has been put on hiatus. Many will also know why but if you don’t the reason extends to cyberbullying between a minority of members and their misogynistic attitudes to others on the Hub. The Admin team of the Hub had no choice but to put the Hub on hiatus as I see it.
BUT. I hope this is a temporary hiatus. The world needs a place like the Autism Hub, a place which has transformed itself from its first incarnation when I built it of a blog aggregator of blogs that followed a neurodiversity creed into something much more than that. It became an ideal, a banner which stood in lots of peoples minds – both autistic, NT and other forms of ND - as a force for good if I might be so simplistic. In a web that was covered with material about how awful autism was, it was refreshing to read material that challenged that simplistic view. And whether the blog was written from a standpoint of pure autism advocacy or a standpoint of tackling the antivax arm of autism (and all the flavours in between), refreshing it was and for me refreshing it remained.
One highlight was seeing autistic people and their NT allies presenting material under the banner of the Hub at San Diego University. Thats when I realised how much the Hub had changed beyond my own simplistic view of what it was.
By that time of course I had given up ownership and control of the Hub so the credit for that achievement did not lie with me but with the two current admins. It was they who oversaw the transition of the Hub into a flagship of ideas and I was thrilled to see it happen.
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However, more than the admins, the formation of the Hub is made up of its members and they more than anyone dictate what the Hub should be. Sadly this meant for the Hub that some members took advantage of this liberty and thought that meant that in an effort to carve out their own identity it gave them free reign to abuse other Hub members.
And so we’re in the situation we are now where the actions of a few have impacted on something that gave great benefit to many. That abuse has led to a situation where the Hub cannot be administrated effectively without the current Admins effectively becoming full time unpaid administrators. Something that it neither fair nor feasible.
I don’t have any firm and fast idea about what to change or how but I do know that for Hub members, this is – as it ever has been – YOUR hub, powered by you for no ones financial gain and for all of our intellectual and moral gain. To lose it because of the actions of a few people goes beyond a shame and verges on tragedy. Do you really want to leave something – or see this something die – because we cannot deal with rogue members? Now is the time for all of us who are members to have full, frank and open talks about the FUTURE of the Hub, not to lament its golden past. So please – fellow members – lets talk.