Supporting people who aren't good with computers (allergic to computers)

I’m trying to setup a forum for vaccine injured people and it seems that it is really hard to support people who aren’t good with computers. This is even more difficult because Facebook will probably nuke our Facebook groups again so we are trying to avoid Big Tech (our stuff gets taken down by FB, Vimeo, Youtube, etc.) and will probably go self-hosted so that we own our data.

Mobile Apps

So in theory, a native mobile app could make things easier. However, with Fig for Discourse, the autocomplete will suggest a home address when the app asks for “site address”. So some people get freaked out by that and don’t want to join the forum because they think it’s asking for their… home address…

For this particular community, most of the companies on the app store will likely deplatform us. The ones that don’t engage in cancel culture are all deplatformed off the app stores.

Discourse doesn’t work on older phones

This demographic is a slice of society other than children/teens (who are mostly unvaxxed and aren’t trying to take care of a vax injured person). So there’s a lot of older phones out there.

The user might get super frustrated when they are able to install the Discourse Hub mobile app but aren’t able to view a Discourse forum.

The error message suggests that the user should update the software on the phone, which is a dead end. Maybe it should suggest that the user switch to a desktop or newer phone.

Email verification

Well even this is hard because they might have trouble checking the spam folder even if you tell them to check the spam folder. But one good things about Discourse is that it supports login with Google etc. etc.

It’s easier to stick with what you know instead of learning something new

I guess some people will inherently have problems learning how to use a computer. They will often hit a snag and get stuck and then get frustrated

I don’t know what I’m going to do. I think that the injured community is pretty much shut out of a great mobile experience… mainly because a lot of normal people rely on phones using Google and Apple software.

My colleagues will probably end up setting up a non-forum website to provide information to the vaccine injured who aren’t tech savvy. The injured have been shit on by the medical community (are often denied healthcare) and it’s hard for them to get information on their condition with all the search engine censorship going around. They badly need healthcare but there are so many barriers in their way.


Discourse has to keep up with modern web standards that many older web browsers don’t support.

Have you already checked out Lexicon by any chance?


Thanks for the reply!!! Regarding ‘web standards’… the person with a slightly old phone (several years old) can use Facebook but will be completely unable to use Discourse. I feel like everybody here is fairly tech savvy (I know C++ programming) but the world is more diverse than that. I would love it if Jeff Atwood and his colleagues had lots of money so that they can bend over backwards to make Discourse more accessible. But they don’t have piles of money like Facebook unfortunately.

Lexicon looks really cool. However, the app stores likely will not allow the vax injured community to have nice things :sob: It’s the current censorship situation that really affects us and will get vax injury yeeted off the app store. And getting somebody to install an app not on the app store would be a little much.

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Have you already been kicked off of platforms like Google Groups and Reddit?

Sorry that I can’t be of more help to you. :slightly_frowning_face:

There are also decentralized alternatives like Mastodon and Diaspora that you might be more interested in.

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Reddit has quarantined r/vaccinelonghaulers One of the mods there (coofboye) is also banned from ALL of Reddit because of a dispute between him and r/covidLongHaulers mods.

I don’t believe anybody has tried Google Groups, which isn’t very popular anyways.

I’ll check out the videos, though I’m pretty sure that some people will have too much trouble with a forum and we’ll have to reach them another way (e.g. mailing list).

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Well, I know that r/DebateVaccines is not quarantined.

Assuming you can invite your users there, it should work fine, right?

They’re more like social networks rather than forums (especially Diaspora, which is more akin to Google+).

And one could argue that social media platforms are forums. :wink:

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Youtube is very censorship-happy so I don’t see why Google Groups wouldn’t be headed in that direction. :confused:

I just have to make lemonade out of lemons I guess.

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I guess you’d have to actually try it out and see if Google will censor you there.

Yeah, sorry that there isn’t really a better solution out there. :slightly_frowning_face:

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Well I guess the good thing is that technology will get more user-friendly over time. While I understand that mobile is difficult to develop for, it’s opened up the power of the Internet to a lot of people who were born before computers became mainstream.

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