Mumsnet: Bullies or Best Friends?

Two controversial posts in one week, if I’m not careful I’ll get a reputation.

Firstly, I need to apologize to the group of Mumsnetters for my wee outburst on Twitter last night after my first foray onto the forum; I behaved no better than they did with my name calling, which was very childish, although hilarious according to some.  I can only claim the ‘wounded dog’ defence and the offending tweets have been deleted.  I hold my hands-up to this.

Most of you are aware of the ongoing saga I’m having about getting my money back.  As Mumsnet, is such an influential network, it was recommended that I state my case on their in an effort to get help and support.  In hind-sight this was a bad I idea and I wish I hadn’t done it.  As, I’m not a regular member, I thought it would be hypocritical to ask for support so I asked a friend to post on my behalf.  When I think about it, it was very short sighted, verging on bad manners, to pile into a forum where I don’t spend time and ask for support.

However, I was very surprised at the reaction I received.  When I read through the comments, on the face of it, the worst that they called me was naïve.  However, they ridiculed my spelling, questioned my intelligence, were condescending, openly laughed at me and for the most part were not helpful or supportive which I was hoping for.  The bottom line is I came away feeling embarrassed, belittled, ashamed and guilty and I’m pretty thick skinned.  Sadly the first word that sprung to mind was bullies…..

What worried me the most was when I tweeted about my concern for involving my friend this was the response I received

‘oh, don’t worry about BellaBear. Getting flamed is all part of being a real proper MNetter’.

I’m sorry but is this some sort of weird initiation right?  It all sounds a bit barbaric to me.  If this is all part of being a MNetter I think I’ll give it a miss.

As always, I like to present a balanced view and would love to hear your experiences of Mumsnet.  Is it a godsend and helped you from going over the edge or did it push you?

I would appreciate if people avoided name-calling, like I did, but only share your personal experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: mediocremum

A slightly older mum of one, who drinks far too much red wine and has an unhealthy obsession with her slow cooker. During the day she's an ICT Trainer, Social Media/Online Marketing consultant and does a bit of public speaking. Full Profile on Google+

55 thoughts on “Mumsnet: Bullies or Best Friends?”

  1. I have visited the site and they do have some interesting debates but it is not really for me. It is a bit full on! I would say though they do have some excellent recipes which I have used. I am not sure there was any call for the response you got, particularly with the spelling thing, so many people use text speak in forums which I find rude that the odd spelling mistake really should be overlooked!

    Stick to twitter, we all seem to be a kinder bunch over there xx

  2. I was a member a long time ago but never had the guts to post anything…
    I was after help being a 1st time mum and i didn’t like all the “bullying” that went on..be it you should breast feed,you should use real nappies,you didn’t have a real birth,you should no how to do that your a mum!!or picking on peoples spellings. Its not the help i needed.

    I had to go in to my 8 year olds school as she was being picked on by a boy doing the name calling,and if you like flaming her..why would “grown ups” think its ok to do what there doing. You dont no the person on the end of the text..she could be so down that the flaming pushes her a step to far.
    The rule in our house is “if you have nothing nice to say,dont say anything” I think some people need to think about that!
    I bet there are alot of lovely mums on mumsnet but i could get past the fire.
    I wish Twitter was about 8 years ago. I have had help and would liked to think i have helped people when asking about all sorts of things.

  3. I was the one who made the comment about getting a flaming on MN and it was tongue in cheek, although I suppose you would have to be a MNetter to understand the joke.

    Good for you for apologising and removing the offensive tweets.

    The spelling thing was one that I overlooked, but I do have to admit that I laughed at it because it was funny. There is something amusing about using a foreign language phrase and then spelling it wrongly. Sorry if you were offended by that, but there is it.

    Mumsnet is a place where you can ask a question and get an honest – sometimes too honest answer. If you want to be patted on the back and told that you are not being unreasonable, hun, then go to Netmums or Twitter. If you really do want to know if you are being unreasonable then ask MN but don’t be surprised when someone says that you are.

    At the same time it is a place where you can post about needing help and you will get it. I have blogged about this before, if you don’t mind me linking to my blog here http://ladouceviesuisse.blogspot.com/2010/05/mumsnet-online-website-for-parents-full.html

    Mumsnet is not for everyone. You do need a bit of a thicker skin if you are going to venture on to Am I Being Unreasonable, but if you stick to some of the other areas of the site you can use if for years without being bullied. And most times when there is someone being flamed, there are several other posters jumping in to defend her.

    If you post a thread asking for advice and 90% of the posters say you are wrong, are you being bullied? Or are you just plain wrong?

    Ok, sometimes the language is too strong, but that is part of MN too and offensive posts are reported and most times removed.

    Anyway, I am sorry if you felt that your first venture onto MN was not a happy one. I won’t try to persuade you otherwise, but hope that you will view MN with an open mind in the future and not jump on the Mumsnet is full of bullies bandwagon – you have seen that is not the case.

    Good luck with the court case, hope you get your money back.

    1. Hiya, It was great to speak to you last night and thank you for taking the time to comment. Once you get to know me a bit better you will realise I’m incredibly open-minded and develop my own opinions by engaging in discussions with others. Hence, the post and I’m looking forward to the discussion and thank you for the private message on Mumsnet. I haven’t had a chance to look at the link yet but I encourage you to post it here as it may change people’s perceptions of Mumsnet.

      I wasn’t looking to be patted on the back but I was hoping for more constructive feedback and if 90% say I was being unreasonable I would take it on the chin. However, as you will see from the overwhelming response on the blog, I’m confident I’m not being unreasonable.

      I rarely, use the word bullying as I feel that people band it around to freely, when in fact if it’s just a one off, then it’s better described as people just being nasting. Bullying, by definition is prolonged.

      I would be interested to know if it tends to be a specific group of people that are known on the network for behaving like this. If so, what happens?

      And on a small side note, you’re really going to think I’m over-sensitive but calling someone hun is incredibly patronizing. :-)

      I look forward to tweeting with you more.

      Cheers,

      Chrissie

      1. The 90% comment was a general comment, not aimed at you personally. Most of the posters actually agreed that you had been unfairly treated. I meant that there are sometimes people who post, “AIBU to think that …” and then when they are told that they are indeed being unreasonable, they huff about bullies.

        Was good chatting with you, and I will continue to follow your blog with interest.

        MmeLindt

  4. Unfortunately, I think your first mumsnet experience was under the ‘Am I Being Unreasonable?’ banner – which is full of strong opinions and can be quite unwelcoming. I’ve been a regular user of antenatal and postnatal groups for a couple of years now and it has been a godsend, helpful advice & support from others at the same stage of pregnancy or same baby age and I’ve made some good friends through it.

    I also really enjoy the bookclub.

    Don’t judge all mumsnetters by the AIBUers!

    1. That section should come with a a health warning…or maybe it does. I didn’t hang around long enough to find out. I struggle with the idea that areas like that are allowed, especially when new people like myself can stumble onto them or worse someone who is very vulnerable and genuinely needing support. Recently many sites have been shut down that allow pupils to engage in this sort of behaviour. It really takes away from the positives on mumsnet, I thoroughly enjoyed the section about funny bits of child birth and hav eused the odd recipe.

      In then end, I wouldn’t expect this behaviour from a child so certainly don’t expect it from adults. I do believe in freedom of speech, but do think Mumsnet should reduce the amount of anonymity and as someone else said if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face you shouldn’t do it online.

      Cheers,

      Chrissie

      1. I think it’s far too easy to say things online and not realise the effect of your words. I’d guess with the arrival of cyberbullying amongst schoolkids this is something that the younger generation are more aware of than the parents are.

        Anyway, I hope you get your money back – I definitely agree with you on that point! Good luck.

  5. I’ve been on Mumsnet for 4 years now and in that time I have seen a lot of threads – the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

    Mumsnet can be a massive source of support. Myself and the posters on my Antenatal thread have been sharing experiences and guiding each other through the difficulties of pregancies, newborns and now toddlers for almost 2 years now and I know of at least 2 Mumsnetters who are currently going through the most awful of times that are being helped, supported and comforted by the posters on their threads. It’s not just words either – there have been occasions where physical help, clothes, taxis, money, toys, wedding witnesses and more have been collected for a Mumsnetter in need.

    It can be the most amazing place at times but at the end of the day, Mumsnetters are just people – some are Mums, some are Dad, some are neither but they’re all just people and people can be cruel. The Am I Being Unreasonable threads are well known by regular posters as being a place for getting a more ‘robust’ opinion than the rest of the board which is why it is often suggested that MN new members should be warned off them until they’ve had a chance to familirise themselves with Mumsnet’s style. If your first ever taste of MN was on an AIBU then I can well imagine you’d come away with the ‘nest of vipers’ impression that the press so love – especially if you started hurling insults because in gerneal, MNers will give as good as they get.

    I’ve been flamed but then I was being unreasonable so in retrospect it was fair. The thing to do is remember is that these people are just seeing a snapshot of your life and not taking it in context, maybe even basing thier opinions on things that have happened in thier own lives and jumping to conclusions. They don’t know you and they don’t feel the need to protect your feelings like a friend would so you get the – often bitter – truth which can be hard to take. I’m sorry this was your first experience of Mumsnet.

    If you do venture back, why not take a look at some of the miscarriage threads, or bereavement threads, or divorce, or stillbirth, or trying to concieve and see all of the wonderful support going on and the genuine help being given to those in need. I think you’re right when you say “it was very short sighted, verging on bad manners, to pile into a forum where I don’t spend time and ask for support.” so why not come and spend some time there, It can be amazing.

    1. Many thanks for taking the time to comment. I can’t see myself running back anytime soon, but good to know that it has been such a great wealth of support for some.

      Interestingly, though my Twitter timeline was hot last night with loads of people who too had a bad experience. I can’t help thinking, it might be time for Mumsnet to canvas people to find out how they feel about it, possibly using social media as a means. However, as they are so popular I doubt they feel they need too.

      I hate the idea of sensoring people but I can’t see the benefit of allowing areas like this to fester, for lack of a better word. It really does take away from the good things that the network does.

  6. My experience with Mumsnet, as a new Dad, was that I noticed that two of the Baby Einstein toys we bought had stickers that were either coming off or had already. One of them was on a teether, which I thought was strange. The other 4 were on discs that my little one likes to put in her mouth, so god knows where the stickers had gone…had she digested them?

    So I wrote to Baby Einstein and got an auto-response, with a personalised follow-up to send me a contact number as they took this ‘very seriously’. So I did but, after 5 days, no-one had responded. So I wrote again, this time saying that I’d like a reply – otherwise I’d have to take this up with Trading Standards and raise it with Mumsnet, to warn of a potential danger (however small).

    I’m not an over-protective Dad but neither am I one that sits back and just lets things happen. Toys, made for newborns, had stickers on areas that a baby puts in their mouth, as well as the adhesive. I thought I was doing the right thing by posting on Mumsnet. Surely I’d get a positive response on this?

    Nope..not one. All the people started slagging me off, ranging from ‘Dude..it’s just a sticker…get over it’ to ‘I think you are seriously unhinged’; they were quite rude.

    I didn’t post in section ‘Am I being unreasonable’, I posted in the section ‘Toy and Games’ as that’s what I wanted to do…just alert people that there was a defect and the company wasn’t doing anything about it. However, they treated me like I was mad and, as I called myself ProudDad, I thought I’d get a welcoming reception. Makes me wonder if any Dads post on there and get involved.

    The end of the tale was that Baby Einstein phoned 3 days later and, after follow-up calls from the manufacturuer, they admitted there was a design issue and have changed their toys as a result.

    So, (and please forgive my drop in professionalism) but ‘In your face, Mumsnet!’ I got the result I wanted.

      1. For a group that considers itself a lobby group to speak authoritatively on all parenting matters, there seems like quite a way to go before they reach that image.

        It’s about having (some) controls. I would hate for someone with a condition like PND to go on there looking for advice and coming up against any of the a-holes that I encountered.

  7. Had a similar experience myself when I unwittingly posted on AIBU – never again! As a parent of a special needs child I have found their special needs forum extremely helpful most of the time, and it is well worth having for support and information. But I agree with you that it is a form of bullying – writing it is so much easier than saying it face-to-face, but that doesn’t make it any less hurtful for the recipient. Childish, opinionated people obviously get some sort of dig out of being rude – who are these people? And mums, supposedly – makes me worry about the attitudes they’re passing on to their children.
    Anyhow I read you blog about your course and I definitely think they have not offered what they said and you should get your money back. Ridiculous – sounds like I could have run the course myself!

  8. I’m sorry that I didn’t see your post – obviously I can’t comment on what was/wasn’t said as a consequence.

    If you posted in AIBU, there is a sort-of warning at the top of the page:

    “Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don’t allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ. ”

    There are lots of people on MN who think that this section of the site should not exist, as it does encourage the kind of posts that you suggest you have experienced – it becomes a bit of a free-for-all, all too often. But it’s the most popular part of the site, driving the figures/revenue for MN, so it’s not going to disappear any time soon.

    However, if you post your question on there, you also have to be prepared to be told that you are being unreasonable! You may not like it, but that’s how it goes.

    I have been a regular (too regular!) MNetter for coming up to 5 years, and it’s somewhere – IMO/IME – very special. It’s funny, intelligent, challenging, sad but, above all, hugely supportive. It is, though, really big and very fast-moving, so you do need to spend a bit of time there, reading/lurking as well as posting before you really get the measure of it.

    I’m sorry that you had a bad experience – come back and try again.

    1. I spend quite a bit of time on a blogging forum (Blogger.ed). It has a section on it for bloggers only. I can’t help thinking it might be an idea for Mumsnet to put something similar in place, where by you have to spend so much time or so many comments before you can wander into that section. It really makes me nervous, as I said before that someone vulnerable may wander in there inadvertantly. Or atleast a huge, splash page warning you!

  9. I have tried out Mumsnet but felt it wasn’t for me – I was going through a really bad patch, being bullied myself in RL – and I didn’t come across anything to make me feel confident I would find the support I needed. I also felt as if being a mother of older children somehow didn’t qualify me to get involved (this was a couple of years ago it may have changed) – the most supportive and pleasant places were to do with the real practicalities of having a baby or young child.

    I hate comments about spelling and grammar – I just think it’s rude to make personal comments like this to another adult. Decent, polite people don’t do it. To me it seems to be the preserve of the petty and small minded.

    Unfortunately there is quite a bullying, nasty tone of some of the comments on Mumsnet – it’s very easy to be nasty to someone when you don’t have to look them in the eye and there is more than a touch of the mob mentality. Even if you don’t agree with someone there is no need to sound spiteful or make personal comments.

    My feeling is that some people just have too much time on their hands and instead of using it for something useful have fun making or witnessing mischief and the anonymity of online makes it all too easy. I suspect that for some people a forum flame war is the only interesting thing that happens all day. This doesn’t just apply to Mumsnet but virtually any forum – from the now extinct Buffy Cross & Stake (where I hung out in days gone by) to Reptileforum (where my son met his fiancee!).

    By the way, with reference to the original Mumsnet issue, it could be that 90% of comments being negative doesn’t mean that you were wrong – maybe just that 90% of the commenters are twats. And before anyone accuses me of flaming note I don’t say they ‘are’ twats – just that it ‘could be’ that they ‘may be’ ;-)

    1. ;-) We had this discussion on Twitter a while about the grammar police. I abhor text speak for the most part but make it not a point to correct people. One lady was saying that she is dyslexic and has been really hurt by people’s comments towards her.

  10. I’m all up for a good heated debate, but meaningless empty rude comments really aren’t helpful and I don’t think they add to the discussion. In fact, they do show a level of ignorance (says she who can’t spell au fait).

    This is a reference to the forum and not your comment. Thanks for taking the time comment.

  11. I really do think it’d be a shame if you didn’t go back there.
    I tend to read there more than I post (under a different name), but I really wish I’d found it sooner. I started reading it regularly when my first son was a few months old. By then, I’d already been convinced by various people that I was starving him, that it was my fault he didn’t sleep well, and… well… lots of things that destroyed my confidence. MN made me realise that, even if my experience wasn’t “normal”, it certainly wasn’t “abnormal”.

    There are some posters that can be blunt (and yes, sometimes, rude), and threads that can involve “flaming” and “hard hats”, but I weirdly prefer that to fluffness.
    Also, there are always people there that will offer a voice of reason, and jump to your defence if things are getting out of hand.
    As Blatherskite says, it can be incredibly supportive at times… in fact, most of the time, I’d say.

    The other thing to bear in mind, if you are trying to go more “public” with your blog, is that the world is full of all sorts of people, and some of them may well criticise you. That’s the reason I’m too scared to blog!
    Unfortunately, some of them may criticise your grammar/ spelling. The “ofay” made me giggle, but then I generally don’t use capital letters (am lazy), use too many ….s, and do this :-) alot, which I know irritates some people!

    1. I have to say I’m horribly embarrassed about the ofay thing, especially after I googled it and learned that it’s actually quite an offensive word. Being a foreigner I have learned quite a few things over the last few years. A 10 year old pupil once had to explain to me that using bollocks wasn’t appropriate for the classroom and I don’t know how many times I waved two fingers at people.

      I feel I need to point out it wasn’t an attempt to go more public with my blog. I have a fairly strong readership and like to think I’m fairly well established in the blogging community. I was just hoping you guys would ‘put the boots to them’ so to speak. One of the first things I learned when blogging is that if you are not willing to take criticism on something then don’t post it and I have had my share of criticism. It’s not for the faint hearted.

      Luckily, some may disagree, but I’m fairly confident and thick skinned. I love joining in a great intellectual debate and can take constructive criticism. However, I did feel that a large portion of it wasn’t constructive. I’d like to go back and quote some of the comments but I can’t bear to look.

      Ultimately, I think the biggest thing that I learned or wanted to pass onto Mumsnet is that areas like this do need some type of moderation. I probably sound like a broken record, but it makes me feel sick that someone who is not as confident may wander into that environment. The number of negative comments and distressing experiences I have had on Twitter is worrying. However, most feel that they can’t speak out.

      I’m sure mumsnet is on top of it and will take the suggestions on board and hopefully put in some safety nets.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

      Kind regards,

      Chrissie

  12. Lol I blogged about Mumsnet just the other day. I used to be a big user of the site and was also given a very hard time on there a few times. To be honest it’s put me off and I don’t use it much any more. Some sections of the site are friendly and okay, sounds like you and your friend threw yourselves into the deep end of the site. I felt upset at the hard time I was given on there and many people have been through the same. A great thing I read on there to make me feel better was that many of those who dish it out are mums who have got their kids in bed and are feeling lonely and are necking back lots of wine and picking on other people for a laugh. That helped me rise above it. Don’t let it bother you and if you want to use it again, try and seek out the friendlier sections.

    1. As you know, I’m partial to wine….however, as you know know me I’m not delicate, insecure or vulnerable. I think what it has highlighted is there is an element of responsibility put back on mumsnet. Most of us are okay and can cope with the abuse (yes, it is) but it is the others that I genuinely worry about…….

      Bottom line…if they scare me…which takes a lot…how the hell will anyone else take it!

  13. I used to love Mumsnet. I used it a lot when I was pregnant and DD was tiny and often found it useful, and some of the threads were rib-achingly funny. But I always found it a bit cliquey and full of ‘in’ jokes. I hadn’t been on for a couple of years and then a few months ago I name changed to ask for some genuine advice about a very delicate situation that was really troubling me and I couldn’t share with anyone in RL. I haven’t been back since – the responses were incredibly thoughtless, unsupportive, bitchy, and spiteful. There were a lot of personal assumptions made about me that were really offensive. So yes, I do think lots of the Mumsnet clique are bullies. I much prefer the lovely, supportive, thoughtful, funny, inspiring mummy blogging and Twitter communities. I’ve got no interest in mixing with people in real life who require me to have a ‘thick skin’, so I won’t do the same online.

  14. Mumsnet has helped me through two miscarriages, post natal depression, a reflux non-sleeping baby and two term pregnancies. I have made friends there. I like the fact that people are honest, and I like the correct spelling and grammar rather than the txtspk you get on so many forums.
    I don’t mind having posted for you at all. The only thing I minded was other posters thinking I was you being sneaky. But mmelindt was far more convincing about that than I tried to be.
    I’m not going to try to convince anyone to come on MN-if you don’t like it I’d rather you weren’t on it, to be honest.

    1. Fair play. You’d gone so quiet I thought you snuck off and had the baby. I think the biggest thing I have learned is that there are some wonderful areas on mumsnet but there are others that should come with a warning. ;-)

      P.S……why didn’t you flag up ‘ofay!!!!’

      Thanks again, it was an interesting experience….keep us posted.

      Catch up soon.

      1. I thought it was a typo for
        Okay.

        To be fair I should have warned you what aibu is like.

        No sign of baby. But we’re in the garden today so feel free to pop by.

  15. Hi Chrissie!

    OK, I’ve never been on Mumsnet – tho’ my daughter, who brought you to my attention, often goes there. But I know another place where flaming & bullying happen – um, how shall I say this…. well, its name begins with “E” and ends with “y”. Oddly – some might think – I love the place – despite rather than because of such behaviour. I confess, though, that I have flamed occasionally but only when the person has been particularly offensive.

    As for people getting smarty-pants about someone else’s spelling, grammar etc – feel sorry for them, as they clearly have nothing better to do…!! (But for Pete’s sake don’t TELL them you’re sorry for them – patronising them will also just turn up the heat!) My mum has a habit of spotting such errors, and gets so heated up about them that she ignores the message that the other person is expressing. Yes, I’ve had a good education and I think my English is pretty good, but I don’t see the need to belittle others whose English is perhaps more error-prone than mine.

    More to the point, although I’ve only read a couple of your blogs so far (this is the second) I can already see that you have plenty to say. And I’ll be adding your site to my RSS feeds – need I say more?

  16. Wooww! Just read the post, then the comments, and it’s taken me an age to get through it all. And I really have no idea what to say!

    I’ve never been on Mumsnet, but use a similiar type of forum. I found that there was a particular group of users who actively encouraged “flaming” which really wasn’t helpful when all you were asking for was advice. It encouraged the playground mentality of “picking on” the lesser known members…if you weren’t in their group then you were fair game. Not all were like that and many times I would get an pm sympathising, but no one really stood up against them. Now, funnily enough they wouldn’t dream of being so outspoken in “real life” (I actually do know some of them), and I find it shocking that they feel they can get away with such aggression on-line (even if they think it funny), and behind a name.
    I admire “the one”, who came on here to apologise…big up to ya lady!

    Like my ma says “If you can’t say something nice…say nothing at all!”
    Love your blog…and your rants on Twitter…you keep me amused! xx

    1. mum
      I prefer to address that way rather than yucky…
      I want to say That I agree with you.
      I have been the victim of ‘flaming’ and it really is horrible to suddenly find ones self under relentless attack by a seemingly endless amount of fellow forum users.
      they seem to enjoy the freedom to eff and blind without being called to account for such anti social behavior.
      yesterday for example before I was banned(yes MY account was suspended without warning) because I had sent a private message to a fellow user who had verbally abused me and cast aspersions on my parents by calling me a bastard.
      and when I asked her to apologize she wrote back saying who the hell do I think I am!!!
      and That I have problem and I need help.
      was she incapable of writing SORRY?
      no…she just was not willing.
      it is as simple as that.
      so I reminded her that if I had verbally or physically attacked her in the street like she did to me, she would not only be offended but would expect me to apologize to say the least.
      well she attacked me on mumsnet without any regard for my feelings and did not think she owed me an apology.
      and this is a grown woman who is responsible for two children.
      now imagine if her children grow up with the same attitude, it would not been long before they find themselves making enemies all over the place right?
      and all because their mother failed to teach by example the right way to speak and conduct themselves.
      but to be fair and realistic, it is unlikely she would teach her kids to eff and blind at people they do not agree with.
      I just think it is very sad to see or hear adults that have young children swearing and behaving like wild animals online.
      I think the mumsnet controllers need to adopt a change in the house rules…so that if people swear or gang up on fellow users in order to try to intimidate and bully them they should be warned once and if they persist then they should be banned but if they make the effort to change their attitude then they should be allowed to rejoin on a trial basis.
      that way the bullying tendency would more than likely stop if they know that their membership will be withdrawn.
      but to allow what I and many others including yourself have experienced to continue I think will work against the purpose of mumsnet and cause them to be shut down.
      look what happened to the news of the world…

  17. Good god. That’s sick if you ask me. Are we not old and mature enough to be able to just get on without abusing people to see if they really really want to be a member?!

    1. It seems not..

      There’s a huge difference between ‘straight talking’ and out-and-out bullying and harassment..it seems like some people get off on waiting for a new thread (or victim) to pounce upon..that’s a real shame.

      Mumsnet need to moderate, otherwise they run the risk of losing any goodwill and reputation they have spent a long time building up. You might say ‘well, this is just one forum’ but when others speak their mind, there may well be quite a few..that’s how it starts..

      1. I totally Agree with you Charlie…they dont come down hard enough on the serial bullies on that website.
        people eff and blind in there like as if they don’t know any other words…it is shameful.

    2. princessL
      I agree with you but the sad thing is many people and not just on mumsnet
      actually think that swearing and bullying people online is acceptable behavior.
      yesterday I mentioned to a foul mouthed arrogant mumsnet user that her attitude is what caused the mumsnet owners to be taken to court and ended up having to pay a 5 figure sum to a woman who had been the victim of online bully and slander.
      guess what her response was?
      mumsnet does not care a f… what the media say!
      sad isn’t it?
      but never forget that pride comes before a fall
      so those people will get their wake up call eventually you can be sure of that.
      but it need not turn out that way if they would only treat fellow users with respect.
      I mean it’s not as if respecting a fellow forum user is like climbing a mountain.
      it takes little effort…just a swallowing of pride…simple as that.
      but for many that seems to much to do…but the minute a person says something they don’t agree with its like you are a effing this and that1
      your racist!
      homophobic!
      etc etc…trust me princess it really is that hostile.

  18. Pingback: Trolls are just in fairy-tales. Right? « Love You Buckets
  19. Mumsnet has always been a bit bitchy. To be honest thats what attracted me to that site over the numerous others available. I liked the straight talking and lack of ‘fluffiness’. I was a member for nearly 6 years but saw it change from a bit of a rebel into a characterture of itself. I’ve not posted or browsed for 2 years now. I got a lot of support there when I first.went on to get advice about my son. I dont regret it being a big part of my life but I dont miss it either.

  20. I’ve heard a number of people voice concerns about the ‘tone’ they recieve when posting on Mnet. I was a big fan of the iVillage.co.uk boards and popped over to Mnet as I wanted to test the water so to speak. Suffice to say, I’m back with the village!

    1. villager
      you did the right thing!
      trust me I would not go back to that site if they paid me.
      one has to be a machosist to want to go there.

  21. Pingback: Mumsnet
  22. I just want to add my experience to this thread.
    I can confirm that the bullying, ridicule, outright arrogance that others have experienced is true as I experienced all of that and more.
    in fact a few minutes my account was banned without warning or reason.
    the impression I am left with is one of say a school full of unruly undisciplined pupils made worse by the weak way in which the site is run.
    people are permitted to use nick names that include the f word…as well as references to womens underwear.
    call me a prude but I was shocked.
    also members are allowed to use all kinds of bad language against anyone they don’t like and when they don’t like you they round upon their victims like a pack of bloodthirsty wolves until one is trapped and they virtually eat their target alive by means of endless insults and ridicule and they do this in the sight of the moderators who do little or nothing to stop them.
    the impression I am left with is that the ground rules really are just for show…of course they have to give the impression that they are running a ship that is clean and disciplined.
    but that illusion is shattered once you enter into the lions den aka as the public forums.
    there you will surely find the members doing what they seem to do best and enjoy which is waiting around for targets to turn on.
    my advice is to put your principles outside if you wish to join mumsnet because if you join and you as much as dare to show you respect principles
    the mention of the word alone is like blood in the nostrils of hounds and wolves…I wish I could say mumsnet is the best thing since sliced bread, but if I did I would be lying and I think it would be unfair to paint a false picture which the inexperienced would quickly notice for themselves.
    so to summarize…if you are a man or woman of principles avoid mumsnet like you would avoid a deep pit.
    however if you feel at home in a forum which attacking each other is the norm…you will feel at home in mumsnet.
    but seriously, the people in mumsnet who regularly bad mouth and verbally abuse people, are not doing themselves or mumsnet any favors.
    in fact one of the last messages I read was from a woman who in respond to my warning that mumsnet is in danger of collapse due to the many rude members it is carrying.
    her response was oh we dont care a f..k what the media say or think of mumsnet.
    and she said that openly and without fear of punishment or concern for the feelings of the person(s) who read her message.
    now does that suggest to that discipline and standards are high in mumsnet?
    not in my book.
    I mean if a woman can openly call me a bastard, refer to me as pigshit, a twat, a knobhead as well as using the f word as if she did not know anything else, does that suggest that standards are high?
    but she did that and more openly and of all of it that went on for over 300 pages(i’m not lying) and barely 6 offensive comments were removed.
    and even when they were removed the person carried on hurling abuse after abuse.
    and when the damage was done this woman then accused me of having a persecution complex!
    this was after she accused me of being a journalist looking for a story on the cheap!
    of course none of that is true…and yet she accused me of being paranoid?
    and of course when I defended myself she went crying to mumsnet who of course took her side and banned me without as much as giving me an explanation.
    is it any wonder it recently had to pay a 5 figure sum to a woman its members had berated to the point where the woman took action and even then it dragged on for 12 months before they finally settled the dispute.
    and to think after that you would think they would fall over themselves to make sure it does not happen again.
    no…the same crowd are there ever waiting for their next target.
    I say avoid avoid AVOID.

  23. I have same experience as DOLLARBILL, posters are bullying, I was bullied by poster, needed to report a threat at least 5xtimes till adminsitrator from MUMSNET which is bullying too deleted it, it took them up to 4 hours to delete the whole post.
    In the end I was banned from the posting and wasn’t able to see any post in “Talk” section.
    Ofcourse the poster which was bullying me was allowed to post fake post and cause damage to une name company. The poster is still allowed to post and wasn’t banned as me.
    Right now I am pretty sure this poster is part of administratior on Mumsnet.
    I would suggest fully avoid this website as MUMSNET is very dangerous website supporting bullying and false informations and caring only about their regular posters!
    And they never got back to me why I was banned and not allowed to post or see any post on mumsnet.com becasue their support bullying posters! ashamed mumsnet!

  24. Hi, I suffered a similiar roasting on the AIBU thread – I innocently posted something a minor family thing and the responses were shocking – I dont mind anyone disagreeing but some were vicious and uncalled for I considered walking away but responded saying more or less ‘thanks for the comments, i have been suprised by some of the more vicious ones – is ‘fxxxk off and get over yourself the best mumsnetters can do’ – I posted this because I looked at a few other posts and every single one had the same responses all along these lines….didn’t go down too well – put the family issue in to perspective though I do believe some of the responders just respond the same to each post like bullies !!

    1. I have similar experience to you. I am never going back to mumsnet. If there’s a way to report bullying online, I would. Some people who call themselves mothers on there are truly appaling.

  25. I’m glad i’m not alone with this.

    I posted a question about children’s parties thinking that I would receive some helpful responses. I do find arranging my children’s parties a bit of a stress and I wanted some advice on something that I was unclear on when it came to party etiquette. I did get some help and some of the posts were genuinely nice, understanding and trying to be helpful. They were also tactful with any criticism they did have…”I wouldn’t do it that way but perhaps this would be a better way…” or “put it down to experience and next time do it this way..” I don’t mind things like that.

    However, I would say that 70% of the responses were really mean and had me in tears. I felt stupid and really belittled. I will not be using the site again. There were a few f words in there and the messages posted were meant to upset and belittle. They had a point to put across but they did not say things nicely. I don’t want to give examples on here because I find it upsetting and it makes me really cross. I did not retaliate on the site, I just responded to the comments I found genuinely helpful but inside I wanted to tell everyone to go F themselves.

    Awful experience, really awful.

  26. Mumsnet is a pit of vipers. Really unpleasant, miserable people, who generally over-rate their intelligence and who will not make you feel anything but dead inside. Avoid it like the plague.

  27. Hi, I know I’m rather late with my comment, and I’m sorry! Just had an awful experience on Mumsnet which was straightforward playground bullying – my crime was standing up for some poor man on a forum who was getting verbally ripped to pieces.

    Horrible people, and anyone who values their sanity should avoid like the black death.

  28. Mumsnet

    The title says it all, defined by the dubious power of having given birth and raised sprog to some elevated level of internet based success.
    Why the fuck are you apologising?
    What are you hoping to gain from apology?
    Giving birth is not a ticket to a higher level of consciousness.
    Breast feeding never ever takes on the issue of dioxin and its transference via mammary feeding. Yeah you rotten hegemonic, aggressive females, do a bit MORE scientific research on the chemical horror via too low or too high temperature incineration of chlorine based product ( ie pads, tampons and nappies) that drops into the atmosphere to the grass, is eaten by milk bearing bovines and thereupon lurks in your tits. Then come on here and tell us you use a moon cup and that you are not contributing to dioxin transference from your body to your childs.
    Secondly, criticising popular belief is the mark of a free thinking humanist.
    To criticise the hegemony of Mumsnet IS ACTUALLY a feminist perspective and has value.
    Thirdly never say sorry for criticising what you feel is wrong.
    I NEVER EVER want to see a woman apologising for a critique no matter how pithy it is.
    Mumsnet is a hotbed of hegemony, ego and class war.
    Say no to every woman who overlooks your excellent humorous point by pointing out a spelling mistake.
    That woman is an intellectual toad and as such needs a fat wake up on the failure of the phrase ‘poo,poo’ to mean anything beyond dull miscomprehension of satirical perspectives regardless of vernacular or lax use of spell check.
    Point of order, some of us don’t give a fuck regarding correct spelling, we’re short on time and long on clever, the point is still the point ‘regerdless off tyred tipoes’

  29. I sadly went on Mumsnet to ask for advice after a really bad day – I have never experienced such a load of spite in my life! It seemed like they were all sat waiitng to pour out venom! I am never going back on the forum ever, ever again. It was cyber-bullying at its worst. I too am quite thick skinned and robust but it left me shocked. This was not on the ‘am I being unreasonable’ (not that I think there is any justification for being rude just because the forum is called am I being unreasonable). I asked for advice amongst my mum friends instead and told them some of the things the lovely Mumsnetters had said and they could simply not believe it. There is no excuse.

  30. I have had a similar experience this week. I joined hoping to find friendly supportive mums. Started a thread to introduce myself the over 45 pages I was called a troll, C***, told to go over to nethunz and if I didn’t like it I new where the door was. The bombarded my thread with blank posts and massive pictures of the word c***. I attempted to stand up for myself and a friend who also joined me and we were “flamed” continuously. We attempted to ignore all their bitchy posts and held a conversation between ourselves. This resulted in them joining a different thread to talk about us, call us names and double dare (I kid you not) each other to say the nastiest things possible to us. They posted under new names such as Jessisababdparent, Jessisac*** and Ishaggedjessespartner!
    We were berated for unintentional grammar and spelling mistakes. I was private messaged with vile name calling. The mods were no help at all. They advised me to change my name and try and make friends! What!! They did not say stop to the bullies. They did not delete the disgusting posts made by the bullies. Instead they let it continue for 2 days.
    We were told we were not allowed to use the following: lol, hun, xx, hugs or any form of nice internet speak. In the end the mods deleted the whole thread messaged me and told me it was my fault!
    The next day I went on to the thread (the one where they dared each other) to find them all patting themselves on the back for doing a good job on getting rid of newbie trolls!
    I put a post up pointing out all the bullying posts they made the intimidation and the vile use of the c word and other foul language used towards me.
    Very soon afterwards I received an e-mail telling me I was banned from mumsnet for purposefully trolling and goading mumsnet members????
    It was very clear to me that mumsnet do not discourage bullying they actively support it.
    I hope for the day this vile forum is either closed down or moderated fairly by people who will not tolerate bullying in any form.

  31. My experience.

    I was a user for about a year quite happily until their Heartbleed virus which caused me to name change.

    I’ve now been on MN for about 4 months or so with a new s-n but presumably treated as a new user (but I said what my old s-n was to avoid being hounded out).

    I had some different views on a hotly debated topic there and got drawn into debates on this. From this I can only deduce maybe I’d been reported and MNHQ did nothing.

    Then the other day I was on a thread about cliques and MN I mentioned my topic (light-heartedly) and got pounced upon by a long standing member. Immediately I got called a bitch, taking bitch pills. I did in defence react badly to the long standing member but was amazed that suddenly she’d put on her big girl pants and reacted. I mentioned I had been being sarcastic. Again they pounced. Next thing post has been deleted (though it got others riled too).

    I found that I was banned but not banned by email just banned, you can’t log in. So being unsure as to what’s happening I tried to change my password. No joy. Changed name. They hunted me down!

    Eventually I realised I was persona non grata and left for good! Not without a tweet to MN and also an email mentioning cliques and also please tell me if I’m banned don’t just ban me.

    They will literally tear you to pieces though. I had under my old s-n made a post/comment about clothes in style and beauty. Ripped to pieces until I pleaded my side!

    I realise now this is a cliquey side – sadly they try to draw you into/away from their cliques. A lot of members can do/say no wrong and they frequently flout the site rules. They do also tend to pounce on new members or newish ones and hound them away from the site.

    Avoid like the plague!

  32. My experience,

    (I’m a dad) – I spent some time reading opposed to posting, found some of it quite funny but every now and then noticed the cliques and bullying.

    I ventured to the ‘Relationship’ forum, read some stuff, of which some of these women seem to be in torrid relationships etc. Some just looking for advice, quite often I would see someone looking for advice around there partner being off with them or being a bit lazy, these were recent developments in their relationship and 9/10 the first response would be along the lines of “Get a divorce”

    It would always be worse case scenario too – always the husband was cheating (they must be sherlock to work that out from two paragraphs) always the husband was up to no good, and very often giving really bad advice IMO.

    I do wonder at times how many relationships have been ruined by ‘advice’ given on MN. The problem as I see it is that a lot of the women giving advice have recently come out of a bad relationship themselves and so are quite bitter and angry, which doesn’t give them a clear head with which to advise. On a number of occasions I felt compelled to step in and just highlight how ridiculous their ‘advice’ was. The responses to me stepping in were either met with the OP saying thank you for being the voice of reason or me being ganged up on by other MN members telling me I don’t have a clue etc etc nothing too vile.

    BUT then i stepped into the Am I Being Unreasonable board – good god. I started a thread, about something fairly innocent, IMO (was basically about parental responsibility) and from the very first post I was flamed – I read onto about the second page when I gave up and abandoned the thread and requested my account be closed (still waiting on that). I mentioned that I don’t really get stressed with kids and don’t find it tiring, which was meant with some basically saying I’m a lazy dad and my wife must do all the childcare (Completely untrue). Last time I looked the thread was on about 98 replies, I won’t read any of it because I can’t be bothered with all that vile vitriol from these sad people.

    I won’t be going back and really feel that the AIBU board should be removed, I’m sure if interviews MNHQ would be dead against cyber bullying, yet they condone it on their own site. I would imagine that the founders (from what I have read about them) would get involved in these vile ridden hate rivers.

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