Should Mumsnet be moderated?

Warning: This post contains the C word so if you find it offensive please look away now.

I feel a bit sheepish today as I’ve found myself embroiled in and getting increasingly agitated by something that really isn’t any of my business.  However, it is something that I strongly believe in and have written about it before, Mumsnet:  Bullies or Bestfriends.  Hopefully, I haven’t detracted from the original argument.

For those of you who don’t know the background, Nickie from Typecast made a rather grand entrance on the Mumnset Blogging Network and received a less than warm welcome, unless being called a c*nt is a greeting I’m unaware of.  You can read the full tale horror story here.  I don’t really need to add anymore about it as any normal sane person will see that it’s really black and white case of bullying.

There are many good things about Mumsnet, I’ve read amazing stories of support, been know to use a recipe or two myself and have friends who swear by it.  Unfortunately, the apparent lack of moderation, coupled with high levels of anonymity, is generating a breeding ground for contempt and this is the area that I really worry about.  It terrifies me to think that some poor vulnerable woman would stumble into this viper pit.

I’m not opposed to swearing and at times my language could be compared to a trucker.  However, there is a time and a place.  I know MNetters pride themselves on ‘being outspoken’ but that’s not the same as verbally attacking someone.

I know on other forums (e.g Bloggered) that they have swearing filters, I know this from experience, as I absentmindedly said sh*t or something to that effect and like magic my comment disappeared almost immediately.  Why don’t they have these on Mumsnet?  I hate censorship and I think a bit of swearing, especially as stressed out mums, is fine in the right context.  However, as you will see from this clip that it’s a free for all over there.

I have just read their post on Netiquette and ‘It’s not our policy to delete swearwords (we are all adults, after all) but we do draw the line at obscenity, racist and disablist language, and wording that is truly beyond the pale.’

I can’t help thinking they need to rethink this.