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A word about 'bullying' in AIBU

(133 Posts)
Alifelivedforwards Sun 19-Jan-14 08:15:54

Looooonnng time poster/leaver/lurker/delurker/name changer (let's say I have a love/hate relationship with Mumsnet like I know a lot of you do!).

The 'bullying' issue comes up again and again on AIBU.

In my opinion what happens is that there is so much traffic on here and if your OP pushes lots of buttons (usually in a negative way ie people strongly disagree with you) you will get a lot of responses very quickly.

Therefore you will get the same comments from many people who are cross posting with each other so it feels like people berating you as one gang.

Also, despite cries of 'RTFT', people don't always because they don't have time, so they might be repeating what others said.

I really don't think it's 'bullying', though of course sometimes people go too far and are unpleasant.

To those who say people turn into aggressive arseholes on AIBU - no it's pretty obvious that on an anon internet forum people can just be more direct and speak the thoughts they have in real life!


Pagwatch Sun 19-Jan-14 08:19:46


There are pople who turn into absoloute cunts at the first opportunity on aibu.

They are pathetic twats. They spit venom and smartarse unfunny shite at anyone, anytime they can.

Pagwatch Sun 19-Jan-14 08:21:39

And if they don't have time to read the thread they should consider that their comment is likely to be repetition of the 200 before it or uninformed shite. It usually is.

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 19-Jan-14 08:23:45

It might help I suppose if the paragraph up at the top included a reminder to read the thread before responding, not just in AIBU but in all the topics? Might be worth mentioning in Site Stuff.

Alifelivedforwards Sun 19-Jan-14 08:23:59

Yes you are right some people do get cunty.

What about when people aren't being cunty but are stressing that the OP is being U in firm but un-cunty ways? That always leads to cries of bullying.

If we don't distinguish between the two then the cunts actually get away with it iyswim.

CoolaSchmoola Sun 19-Jan-14 08:25:00

No and yes!

Some people are deeply unpleasant and downright nasty on every thread they post on on AIBU, I think they use it as a place to be vicious for fun under the guise of the AIBU free for all reputation.

But they are in the minority and it says more about them than anyone else.

So on the whole you are right, but there are a few exceptions to the rule who are just nasty for the sake of it.

Alifelivedforwards Sun 19-Jan-14 08:25:22

But Dame it's not a crime to not RTT - some people don't have time or don't want to. We are adults who can consume the site as we want surely? It's not realistic to try to enforce that.

Pagwatch Sun 19-Jan-14 08:26:53

That might help Betty. Although these people rarely pay attention to the 'this is not a fight club' reminder.

I always wonder what it is that they are doing in their lives that leaves them just too too busy to read the thread? And how they then often hang around for the next hour or so defending their garbage - so not that busy then.

Alifelivedforwards Sun 19-Jan-14 08:28:40

Well for me Pagwatch, I work FT and often Mumsnet at work - say two or three five minute bursts a day so I don't always have time. Though I must say I do generally RTT, especially if it's something serious or sensitive.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pagwatch Sun 19-Jan-14 08:34:37

And do you post 'you sound like an entitled cow' type posts when you haven't read the thread?
Because that's what you are talking about - nasty posts that the op gets upset about and regards as bullying.

If you would really throw a rude or unpleasant message at an op when you haven't read the thread and checked if the op has added more information then I think that you are part of why aibu is so unpleasant.

If you post 'good luck op' or somesuch then that's not the 'bullying' issue, is it?

SanityClause Sun 19-Jan-14 08:34:38

People should RTFT, at the very least the highlighted posts by the OP. Quite often the situation has moved on, and someone's uninformed comments just clog up a thread that is already so unwieldy that people find they don't have enough time to read it all!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thymeout Sun 19-Jan-14 08:34:50

I think, more and more, people are reading the threads on their phones, on the hoof, rather than sitting down with a laptop/desktop. They go to the last page, can't scroll back?, and it's a much more off the cuff contribution. Irritating.

HaroldLloyd Sun 19-Jan-14 08:36:07

I think if about twenty or more people have put the boot in rather aggressively then there is no real need to come in and do the same.

I do agree thought hat some people are incredibly quick to call bully, which is a way of shutting down the debate at times IMO.

I think the trouble is that poster A might disagree with poster B then start arguing on the thread and forget there is an OP involved, and to prove points start running the OP into the ground.

Goldenbear Sun 19-Jan-14 08:44:54

YABU as there is definitely an overwhelming amount of posters on AIBU now who are very 'angry' people and just use this forum as an outlet for this anger. The quality of their contribution is limited to angry sound bites and therefore is often offensive- as well they know!

I have been here since 2006 and it is a noticeable problem that is bringing the quality of the whole site down as it is also spilling over into chat- there's no escape from it!

everlong Sun 19-Jan-14 08:45:53

I haven't seen any bullying or total twatishness for a while on aibu.

I don't always rtft. I do try and always read the OP's posts though..

You either love or hate aibu. Those who hate it should hide it.

It's not compulsory.

If I do go on it I give my honest opinion. Not what everyone else is saying, what I think.

That's what the majority of OP's are asking for.

But there is no need at all to be mean and hurtful.

Alifelivedforwards Sun 19-Jan-14 08:48:59

Yes Harold - it's like a runaway train...well a runaway train on a loop ie people lay into OP, people defend OP and cry 'bullies', 'bullies' deny bullying, new people lay into OP, new people defend and cry 'bulies' and repeat. You can't really police or enforce or scalm down a thread like that...

Pagwatch, why are you assuming I'm talking about 'nasty' responses such as 'you are being an entitled cow' (which is a personal attack)? I'm talking about people being told they are BVU and why over and over...which is understandable if they are indeed BVU.

SanityClause Sun 19-Jan-14 08:49:08

Quite often, people are more concerned with getting in their own two bobs worth, than actually helping the OP.

However, if you were to read an OP that really resonated with you for some reason - maybe something you had particular subject knowledge about - you might quickly post that information, even not knowing that someone else had already made that point.

But that's not bullying, is it?

Alifelivedforwards Sun 19-Jan-14 08:49:20

calm, not scalm.

Alifelivedforwards Sun 19-Jan-14 08:50:42

Goldenbear - I've not noticed a change at all in AIBU personally. I've been on MN since 2009.

Everlong - agree with everything you said.

EdithWeston Sun 19-Jan-14 08:53:09

Nasty posts doesn't mean bullying.

Those of us with school ag children know there's a vast difference between incidents of simply dreadful behaviour and actual bullying.

I don't like the term 'bullying' used in this context because I think it is not an accurate description.

I have seen posters complain that they are being followed from thread to thread with insults, and have seen posts (a while ago, though) which say disparagingly "but you always do/say XXX". That's quite a different thing (and much more like bullying, as it is sustained and focussed on the individual person, not individual thread) than a number of posters all expressing critical views of a post in AIBU.

It doesn't help that there is a "wah I'm being bullied" poster (or posters) who are deleted for 'hmm' reasons.

Pagwatch Sun 19-Jan-14 08:55:05

I think aibu can be funny and interesting. It used to be.
But I think 'then don't read it' is a cop out tbh.

I don't start threads complaining about aibu and I pick threads via active convos so I don't actively chose hat sections I post in. But I'm not going to hide a section and apply a different standard because it's still mn and it's still supposed to be a support site.
And tbh if the op only gets two measured posts in a swathe of 'wow. Just wow. I feel sorry for your children' shite, it's better than nowt.

Otherwise it's Lord of the Flies grin

HaroldLloyd Sun 19-Jan-14 08:59:38

Some people think that a thread is in AIBU that it gives them a licence to post like an utter twat then if anyone objects says oooo your a delicate flower maybe you shouldn't be posting in AIBU. That's annoying.

Maybe MN should have a new section called I am an unrepentant cunt and they can all slug it out in there.

Pagwatch Sun 19-Jan-14 08:59:41


Because I think if thirty people say YABU the op tends to get defensive and stand their ground. If the thirty people include 'you are an entitled cow' posts - which they often do - then that does tend to prompt bullying allegations.

To be clear, I don't think it's bullying. But I think the ever increasing determination of some posters to out insult each other is creating a really hostile environment which is not witty or entertaining. It's the Jeremy Kyle audience

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