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.













Mumsnet the Rules

I really need to get over my irrational fear of the NCT and Mumsnet.  I’m probably just not clever enough to get the humour.  However, I did find this highly amusing last night.

I was pointed in the direction of their newest book, which is available for a tenner.

The Golden Rules:

1. You don’t have to bake with your children.
2. Don’t fret about milestones.
3. Don’t buy a guinea pig for your child.
4. Ignore unsolicited parenting advice from old biddies on buses.
5. Don’t give up work for your children (unless you want to!).
6. Cut their hair off.
7. Let them eat cake.
8. Boycott World Book Day.
9. Don’t hit your kids.
10. Put away your mobile, turn off your laptop and don’t even think about a BlackBerry or an iPhone.

For the most part a lot of the rules are solid: except possibly 1, 6 and 8.  But, what really made me laugh was number 10.  Not because of what it says but because what was being advertised right below it????

Hmmm…an app?  Fairly sure you need an iphone for that…

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.