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AIBU: MNHQ's thoughts and what you can do

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Jul-14 11:19:38

Hello there

We've seen a fair number of posts recently about AIBU, and specifically about whether there's a problem in terms of some posters being gratuitously aggressive, even if the posts aren't particularly guideline-breaking in any other way.

We've done some careful monitoring of AIBU over the last couple of weeks and... We agree. Quite a few threads in AIBU do seem to veer off into a pointlessly unpleasant direction with very little provocation.

So from now on, we're going be looking out for posters who seem to put the boot in a bit too readily, and we'll be dropping them "polite mails" asking them to draw their horns in a bit. (And then if they carry on, we'll take further action.)

We'll also remove the text from the header about AIBU not being a fight club, because it's possible that this was (perversely) prompting people to think it was a fight club.

We'd really, really like to enlist your help in making AIBU a more pleasant and constructive place to post.

First off, please don't feel you have wait for an MNHQ response: the MN forums are what you, collectively, make of them, and you can set the tone. If you think an OP is being rounded on, go on and post - and say (without making personal attacks) if you think other posts have crossed a line in terms of meanness or aggression. (Feel free to refer posters back to this thread!)

But also, please report. Not necessarily because you think a post is deletable, but if you think a poster could do with getting one of our polite mails.

To be completely clear: AIBU is exactly the same as all the other topics on Mumsnet, and the same rules apply. Ideally, we want MN to be a place where people can discuss, share, entertain each other, and seek advice and support. It's not a place for posters to take lumps out of each other for no reason, and with no intention of offering constructive/interesting/funny input.


TheSkiingGardener Thu 24-Jul-14 11:25:54

Thank you MNHQ. It has become a little ridiculous. Glad you are doing something.

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Thu 24-Jul-14 11:26:46

Will be interesting to see how this goes.

phantomnamechanger Thu 24-Jul-14 11:27:12

hear hear smile

OneStepCloser Thu 24-Jul-14 11:34:29

That's good hear, it can be cringing to read at times usually

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 24-Jul-14 11:36:18

Great move. It is getting absolutely ludicrous around here, with people going straight for the attack for the sake of it.

DejaVuAllOverAgain Thu 24-Jul-14 11:37:04

There's a difference between straight talking, which is what AIBU is famous for, and pure nastiness. Unfortunately there's been too much of the latter lately. I too will be interested to see how this goes.

WipsGlitter Thu 24-Jul-14 11:39:22

Usually I don't notice stuff on mumsnet, but recently reading down threads it just seemed like one post after another where people were really having a go!

Hope this helps.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Jul-14 11:40:46

Thanks all. You ARE all going to go on the threads concerned and be desperately reasonable and constructive aren't you <threatening face>

Was just looking at our meta description of AIBU and it's 'Your quandaries, peer-reviewed'. Which is nice.

shotyourfox Thu 24-Jul-14 11:41:29

Great news MNHQ. Some of the posts lately have been shocking and aggressive sad

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Thu 24-Jul-14 11:42:57

Oh no Rowan. I am far too lily livered for that!

dobedobedo Thu 24-Jul-14 11:44:19

Oh good! I know it has a reputation for meanness but lately it was becoming a parody of itself.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Jul-14 11:45:16


Oh no Rowan. I am far too lily livered for that!

OK we will put you down for 'lots of reports' then wink

Sparklingbrook Thu 24-Jul-14 11:46:05

I have AIBU hidden because of all the madness, do I need to unhide it and be all over it being super reasonable?

Any plans for a new name? 'Petty gripes' was suggested.

Hope all the name changing doesn't hinder the 'looking out for posters who seem to put the boot in' though.

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Thu 24-Jul-14 11:48:14

I am polishing my reporting finger as I type.

Surely namechangers can be tracked by the clever people in MNHQ.

Sparklingbrook Thu 24-Jul-14 11:50:06

I think something should be done about the constant namechanging for no good reason. I think it adds to the problem with AIBU.

Am I right in thinking it is easier to N/C on MN than on other sites?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Jul-14 11:56:32

Yes please to unhiding and reasonableness grin

We're happy to consider Petty Gripes if there's a call for it. We should say though that we wouldn't forcibly move threads from AIBU (or anywhere else) to Petty Gripes unless the OP wanted us to.

Plus we don't want to set up Petty Gripes just as an admission that AIBU is off the rails, if you see what we mean - we need to get AIBU back on the rails, not leave everyone in AIBU to eat each other alive grin

But yes, happy to think about it if people want it?

And re namechanging: it's difficult because the anonymity allowed by our namechanging rules is, we think, a really important part of the site, and one that newbies are just as likely to want to make use of (especially in emergency situations) as people who've been around a while.

That's not to say we'd never consider any restriction of namechanging - just that we'd have to think very carefully about how it was done and whether it would affect genuinely vulnerable people in difficult situations. So it's a bit of a chewy one.

DramaAlpaca Thu 24-Jul-14 11:58:14

Thank you, MNHQ, good move.

Let's hope it works.

I'll keep my finger hovering over the Report button. I'm usually too much of a coward for AIBU.

Stratter5 Thu 24-Jul-14 12:05:32

Maybe a quiet word in the ear of some of the older MNers. I don't know if it's been a gradual slide, or an overnight sea change, but there seems to be a hardcore of MNers, that have been around for ages, hellbent on being as gratuitously nasty as they can get away with. And the newbies are copying them.

There's a difference between speaking honestly, and being a bitch for the sake of it.

MardyBra Thu 24-Jul-14 12:06:12

Thanks for listening MNHQ. I hope this helps improve the tone.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Jul-14 12:07:20

BUT - re namechanging - when we say report, we really do mean we'll welcome reports even if it's not someone you've already noticed being mean elsewhere. Just a quick 'mean AIBU response' or something in the comments box will be fine.

We always take a look and have a sniff around, so don't worry that you'll automatically be putting a black mark against someone who just happens to be having a funny five minutes but is usually lovely.

ginslinger Thu 24-Jul-14 12:12:39

thank you MNHQ - there have been a couple of threads recently that were shameful

Coldlightofday Thu 24-Jul-14 12:13:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ginslinger Thu 24-Jul-14 12:14:04

oh Stratters, that's interesting because I see a lot of nastiness from people who I have no idea who the hell they are - like I'm so important they should've introduced themselves hmm

magimedi Thu 24-Jul-14 12:16:03

Very pleased to see a response to all the worried that have been aired.

Will also polish up reporting finger!

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