Sunday, 27 June 2010

Enough already!

I don't usually write this kind of post, and I promise you it's a one off. But after the events of the past week I feel something needs to be said.

So, I've been blogging for over a year now, both here and as a parent blogger. For the most part, I've been enjoying it. I've made some really good friends, I've shared some wonderful experiences, I've discovered lots of brilliant blogs and fabulous writers.

But what I've also discovered is that some bloggers just can't cope with criticism. If you dare to take issue with something they've written, even when it appears to be a thinly veiled attack on you, or your friends, even when you know the original post and the comments below it have actually hurt people you know and made them cry, some bloggers immediately resort to personal attacks and childish levels of rudeness.

Over the past week I've read some posts written by parent bloggers which I would say are deliberately contentious. Whatever floats your boat. But when I've taken issue with the views expressed by the writers I've been lambasted for going off script and basically told never to darken the doors of the blog writer in question again (or words to that effect, only far less polite). I've also had to suffer snide comments from their friends (like how old are we, five?).

Well I'm a big girl, whatever you've got, I can take it.

And of course I get that it's your blog, you can write what the hell you like... except... up to a point. If you start attacking other bloggers or making statements which could be construed as libellous, well then you've got a problem.

This week I've also witnessed the most extraordinary fallout in the mummy blogging world and I can assure you that if the Daily Mail got hold of it they'd be running a double page spread on it (something I'm sure we all want to avoid). I'm not even sure where it sprang from but my goodness it's been nasty.

So here's how I see it.

1. Resorting to swearing at me or anyone else, or name-calling, or spiteful comments, is lame and only illustrates your lack of emotional intelligence. Sticks and stones, etc.

2. If you accuse me personally of something I haven't done, or try to harm me professionally, I will take legal action. End of.

I personally find posts criticising other bloggers - for what they write or think - BORING. That's why I don't write them, and why I very rarely read them, unless I feel they're directed at me or someone I know. I try hard not to comment also but if I feel the writer has overstepped the mark or if I know their post has hurt someone I know (see above) I find it difficult not to. And if you write something that's legally dodgy, I will point it out to you, as much for your sake as anyone else's. (All bloggers should be aware of libel laws - sorry, but there's no escaping it anymore.)

The blogs I enjoy are ones which don't attack any other bloggers, or criticise other bloggers, or mention other bloggers in a negative light. I'm looking forward to meeting so many bloggers at Cybermummy next weekend. It's supposed to be a fun and professional event and I'm sure it will be a brilliant success. But if you have decided you can't stand me, or any other bloggers going to the event, for whatever reason, here's a suggestion:

Keep your distance.

I know I'm going to.


  1. Well said! I find it extraordinary that adult women can behave like children. Do they behave in a similar fashion at work? Or with their 'real' friends? Is it simply the apparent protection of the internet that makes them feel able to lambast others without regard for thought or feeling?

  2. What the others said - Well said! :) xxx

  3. Liz, I don't know what situation you're talking about (sometimes physical distance and a time difference can be a good thing, apparently), but it sounds as if you're keeping calm and staying level-headed, so well done. Looking forward to meeting you on Saturday. PMx

  4. Another one here. Well said!. I got the whole cybermummy/gurgles thing but that was too playground to get too bothered about, although I am a bit nervous about Cybermummy given all the mudslinging. I'm sorry if you were insulted. You are a lovely blogger, always willing to comment and help us mums out. xx

  5. Well said! Why did the manners and general decency that apply to face to face relationships stop applying to our online ones. I've been saddened and appalled at some of the stuff I've witnessed recently too x

  6. Sorry Liz, I agree, but do you not also think that people have a right to reply? The problem is with Micro Blogging sites like Twitter, something minor happens, but its then multiplied because it becomes a game of Chinese whispers, within minutes, where things are taken out of context and misconstrued.

    I deplore bullying, be it online or day to day. And as such, I am probably someone whose blog you find, "boring" to use your description. But if I feel someone, or I am even, being wrongly targeted, then I think it's right to write in support of that person, or to put the record straight if I'm being misquoted. I don't want to lose my blog just because someone got the wrong end of the stick at Twitter.

    I do agree that if the papers got hold of it we would all be construed exactly how the media already portrays us as Hormonal Harpies who should be banished back to the kitchen.

  7. Hi love (Claire, 20SomethingMum),

    No of course I don't find your blog boring! And I totally agree that people should be given a RoR, which is why I was so astonished that when I tried to have my say last week I was immediately censored.

    I just feel everyone needs to get a grip and stop criticising everyone else. To everyone I would say blog about your lives, your hopes and dreams, your experiences, your interests, your political views, reviews, recipes, tips and nappy changes but please let's stop all the blogging and bitching about bloggers.

  8. Very well said - also didn't realise you have this blog. Anyway! I am totally unsurprised by anything that has taken place recently and it's part of the reason why I keep a distance, do my own thing, but also have no problems whatsoever telling people to get a life.
    If I'm honest, I find the Dynasty level of drama while at times amusing, really cringey. There are some enormous ego's, too much backbiting, bitching, and bullying and a lot of people seem to think it's acceptable. If I can't say it in real life to someone's face, I'm not saying it online. I've been harassed and bullied by someone and have also seen and stood up for others. I've witnessed and heard about some incredibly bad stuff in the 'mummy blogging community' recently. Indeed, if it were public, as in the papers, it would be extremely damaging.
    I think the important thing is perspective - there is bitching and sniping throughout blogging whether it's parenting, food, technology etc, but the people who are genuinely into blogging or just authentic people, don't get involved in it, plus when you look at blogging in the wider sense beyond a small pool of people, it's a very positive experience. There will always be someone doing it but I hope that things calm down over the next few days.

  9. I've found the back stabbing this week really extraordinary ... even for a group of women. It has reached new heights. Some of the things I have witnessed have been utterly disgusting.

    After the week we've had I think it's time to go back to basics.

    Live and let live.

  10. Liz, the thing is you are applying your own emotional intelligence to the situation, you are truthful and supportive and professional, there are lots of mum bloggers who have benefited from your advice re writing etc. But what you overlook is that some people are emotionally needy and they cause controversy and labour over their blogs waiting to pounce on comments and kick off a bit. It's very sad, if you met these people in real lie, you'd run a mile. Your nouse shines through from a million miles away. Two really very nasty bloggers have surprised me this weekend, you have to feel sorry for them really. I know I do. xxx

  11. Glad my blogs not boring! Phew!

    It was all so daft though, I'm probably the one person most effected by the whole fall out and I find it all pants wettingly funny! As someone once said- you gotta laugh!

    We just have to stop taking everything, including ourselves, so seriously. We occupy a slice of a very large pool, none of us are going to bring about world peace or solve poverty. We have a nice hobby which sometimes affords us a few freebies, and for the many will lead to, well, not much.
    Looking forward to meeting everyone at Cybermummy x

  12. Hi Liz,

    Like you I make a living connected with journalism/blogging/writing/social media etc. It has certainly been "interesting" to see how some people interpret what's appropriate either to publish on their blogs, or when it comes to how to act "behind the scenes."

    In my world, they would have been sacked on the spot if they had an employer.

    I've decided all things considered to take a bit of a step back. I'm really sorry for all the hassle you've been lumbered with and I hope you can forget it and move on.

    Sending you lots of love.

  13. Not much more to add, but hugs to you. One of my in-laws blogs and once wrote a couple of really hurtful and horribly exaggerated post about one of my really good friends. She and my brother claim it was the truth and how very dare I disagree. Was awful ... still is, truth be told but I guess my point is we should all blog with integrity. End of.

  14. No clue what all this about to be honest, all completely passed me by and I'm glad about that but just wanted to give you a hug really.

    Looking forward to seeing you Saturday


  15. Handbags at dawn! It's interesting how it all turned into a cat fight but that is the way with female collectives all hair pulling and cat scratching. We could learn from our USA sisters but then we are not a candid culture and it was a lot of sunshine blowing and loving so it's hard to be honest. Although maybe we should just all be if you have nothing nice to say nothing. Constructive debate should be encouraged and like business it should never be personal, in my humble opinion - I don't really know the specifics but I did pick up the vibe that there was 'trouble at mill'. I just thought I would add to the debate. I am not so sure I agree with the rankings, etc unless they are truly arbitrated by an independent organisation like Gallup. But then these are the teething troubles of social and digital evolution. Anyway I am sure you all had a fabulous time at the big blogfest Mummy love in and I can't wait to read all about it!

  16. Seriously? I too have only been at this a few weeks but I've never come across any back-biting. Then again, I'm so busy snarling about husbands and bin-men, I might not have noticed. I do notice that book bloggers are better than mummy bloggers at responding to review requests though!

    The internet can be such a bitchy place. I always suspect that those who are first to make snide or disparaging remarks are the beige women in real life who wear Bon Marche and wouldn't dare say boo to a goose. The computer screen is a robust armour for some.

    Oooh - do send any nasty people over to me. I love doling out a bit of sarcastic malice over my cereal.


  17. I'm stunned! So far no one has been nasty to me and I'm certainly not out to attack anyone. Good for you for addressing this. I agree - it's very high school!