I have decided to shut down the website. And here are my reasons for doing so.
Whenever I add a new business, there is a group of people (a small minority), who attack those businesses by leaving fake google reviews, making false bookings at their restaurants, and sending hateful messages to them.
I cannot, therefore, in good conscience continue to add businesses to the website, because I cannot be certain that they will not be attacked by the same people.
I do not feel comfortable adding businesses, despite their requests, because I cannot possibly confirm that they know about some of the negative reactions that may result.
This was truly, unexpected. I started this website less than a week ago, and it was intended to be apolitical, and to provide a resource for those who had lower risk tolerances and/or medical conditions that made COVID high risk for them.
I have received a lot of supportive messages from businesses. Including a call this afternoon from one of the dance studios that really lightened my week. We will be visiting them soon.
Another business informed me that they received over 100,000 views on their business, and only had to deal with ~20 negative posts. Overall, it has been an abundantly positive reaction from the community.
I have also received positive messages from people I respect who actually know about COVID-19, such as @BogochIsaac and @DFisman
However, I have also received a significant number of personal hate messages, including one that I needed to report to the police today. The messages have become increasingly personal, directed, and hateful.
I cannot, in good conscience, expose any more businesses to that. Many just want to do their business and not deal with this, understandably.
I don't see this as "defeat". I just don't think that the goal that I initially set out to accomplish can positively be met, without significant risk. I hope everyone will continue to support their local businesses.
I set out to do something positive for the community. I hope to maybe find something productive like this in the future to improve our community, learning from this experience. But for now, I don't think it can continue to be this.
Thank you for everyone who supported this initiative. Please continue to be awesome and support your local businesses.

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