CarerWatch, an internet forum for sick and disabled people and their unpaid family carers, has been taken down due to a threat of legal action by ATOS healthcare.
CarerWatch has said it is unable to get in touch with all members for the moment because contact details were lost in the sudden shut-down, but has published its letter to the ATOS legal department, urging the importance of the forum to so many lives:
“We have many members who are very fragile and the sudden disappearance of a support group has caused a lot of distress and fear. Some are ringing us in tears. We cannot get in contact with all of them though as we have lost their contact details through the closure.
“All this distress could have been avoided if you had had the courtesy to contact us first and tell us what had been posted on our site that you considered libellous. Obviously if any post was possibly libellous we would have removed it and all this distress could have been avoided.”
Community Care is trying to get more detail about ATOS’s reasons for taking legal action, but even CarerWatch is in the dark for the moment. A forum spokesman told ComCare: “The only detail we know was given to us by our hosting company, who said: ‘carerwatch.com are under threat of legal action by ATOS and have been taken down’.”
We are waiting for a response from ATOS.