The History of Liberty Post
In the early 2000s the "alternative media" of the internet had just starting gaining traction against the mainstream media outlets. At that time the premier web site for political discussion was Free Republic. However, as time progressed the management of Free Republic changed the site from being an outlet for media bypass to simply being another mouthpiece, albeit of conservative ilk, for the establishment. (The site also got itself into legal hot water in a dispute over fair use of copyrighted materials.) On Free Republic one could no longer suggest anything untoward about the increasingly communistic, authoritarian bent of the United States government without being booted out. The only thing that mattered was that discussions toed the party line. Users were becoming disenchanted.
Sally Tlasek was one of those disenchanted users. In conversations with friends and associates it was suggested that there might be an opportunity to pick up where Free Republic left off, while avoiding the same legal mistake they had made. An agreement was made to fund the initial costs and Liberty Post ("LP") was born. The team working on LP consisted of Sally, a web programmer, and a system administrator. The site went online in June of 2002, initially utilizing the facilities of a supportive friend's office.
A number of people jumped ship from Free Republic to come to LP and the site experienced substantial growth. After a period of time it was determined that LP should become its own independent entity. Sally came up with her own funding by "crowd-funding" the site via its members. For the first two years LP was co-managed and moderated by both Sally (under the pseudonym "Goldi-Lox") and its software designer. After that, due to clashes in management style Sally went forward with the site on her own and it enjoyed a good measure of popularity.
Fast-forward to 2014...
In December of 2014 Liberty Post suddenly went "dark" (offline). When the system administrator checked into the site status it was discovered that the reason was non-payment of the monthly hosting bill.
Attempts to reach Sally were unsuccessful. Believing she was temporarily indisposed, the sysadmin paid the arrears and brought the site back up. An LP member suggested calling Sally's local police department. When this was done, it was discovered that she had actually passed away in November, in the condo where she lived otherwise alone with her cat. (The police had been called to the scene by the condominium management when packages were found piling up in front of Sally's apartment.)
Police informed the system administrator that Sally had no known living relatives and no one else that knew her had inquired. They also stated that her cat had been captured by animal control and subsequently taken by a shelter. (Inquiries by an LP user before the site closed down confirmed her cat had been successfully adopted.)
An attempt to keep Liberty Post running was made, but it was quickly determined that the site had deteriorated badly in recent years both in terms of quantity and quality. The number of active users was only about 10% of what it was in its heyday. Many postings now had little content beyond name-calling, and attempts at rational discussion would be frequently disrupted. This was all undoubtedly due to Sally's declining health affecting her ability to effectively manage the site. An abortive attempt was made to find a new owner. However in the end it was decided by both the system administrator and programmer (both of whom were involved in the creation of the site along with Sally) that it was better to close Liberty Post down rather than to have it continue in its deteriorated state or to hand it over to someone who might turn it into something that Sally would have found repugnant.
Commenting was disabled at noon Eastern Time on January 14th of 2015, effectively ending Liberty Post's long tenure as a discussion forum. The site was left up for a time in read-only mode to permit users to save private mail or other items they wished to preserve, and for those who had forged friendships at LP to make other arrangements.
On January 15th at approximately 10:00 PM EST Liberty Post was closed down entirely for the last time, ending an era.