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Friend being horrible about others on social media - what to do?

(15 Posts)
xandersmom2 Sun 22-Oct-17 10:35:12

I need opinions on how I handle this….

I have a male friend, known him all my life, went to the same schools, etc etc. Never been anything remotely close to a romantic/physical relationship between us – he is essentially my ‘brother’. We’re now heading towards our 50’s, both married with kids, living several hours’ drive apart but talk constantly via phone, text, messenger etc. Let’s call him ‘F’.

F is married to a lovely lady who unfortunately has some problems with social interactions – it’s impossible to really have a conversation with her and in the 10 years they’ve been married, she and I have never progressed our discussions past the weather, and our respective journey to one anothers’ houses. She usually sits silently in the corner whilst conversations go around her. But she is devoted to her babies, and I am Godmother to both.

Sadly, this lady had some problems with her parents as a child. The details really aren’t relevant, other than to say she was very, very badly treated. She no longer sees her parents though they keep in touch via social media as she wants her parents to see pictures of the kids etc – she just doesn’t want them to actually have direct contact with the kids.

My problem is with F. Who has recently taken to posting very direct ‘digs’ at his in-laws on Facebook – knowing full well that the individuals will see his messages. So, comments along the lines of ‘hmmmm, celebrity X just got sent down for (insert crime), wonder why (insert in-laws’ names) got away with it?” Lots of nasty, personal messages about what horrible people they are - I mean really, really personal stuff that makes you gasp out loud when you read it as you can’t really believe someone’s written it. All his mates then jump in with smiley faces, ‘likes’ and so on.

When he started this a couple of months ago I told him to knock it off. Whether they are, or are not, horrible people is not for me to judge and is irrelevant in my view - I had a similar experience as a child and if my DH started posting personal stuff about it on a public forum, I would probably do him some harm. I would feel humiliated that all my dirty washing was out there for the world to see. So, he stopped.

I just looked at Facebook this morning and see he’s started again, nasty horrible messages naming names and just being foul. I can’t imagine how his wife feels.

Am I over-reacting and getting upset about things I shouldn’t care about? I don’t know what to do. I don’t feel as though I can raise this with his wife as she’s never told me any of this stuff. But maybe she is OK with it, and I’m the one with the problem?! Honestly, right now I just want to never speak to him ever again – but I’m GM to his babies and I love them to bits…..

kissmethere Sun 22-Oct-17 11:46:46

I think you need to stay out of it. Even though it can't be nice to see all this why do you feel the need to do anything? It's not your business.

Bruceishavingfish Sun 22-Oct-17 11:49:43

How does she feel about it?

xandersmom2 Sun 22-Oct-17 12:57:13

kiss I think that's my problem - I don't know whether i feel this strongly because I'm projecting my own experiences. Perhaps i do just need to shut up about it!

bruce - I don't know and I can't ask her. I really have no relationship with her - we make small talk when we meet but this isn't something i could talk to her about.

MiniCooperLover Sun 22-Oct-17 13:07:00

He may be doing this with her approval .. it’s not your place to tell him to stop! He’s her husband and knows the full story, you aren’t and don’t.

TammyswansonTwo Sun 22-Oct-17 13:23:11

Maybe she appreciates him standing up for her. I posted something about the MeToo campaign the other day and immediately got a response from an old family friend to objected to my tone and condemned all sexual harassment (despite the fact that he had made a public comment on Facebook about my breasts when I was pregnant) and I was really relieved when my husband stepped in and told him to get lost (my husband never gets involved but he knows how much I'm struggling with all this).

I would absolutely not br happy if he started naming my abusers on Facebook or sharing the details, given that no one really knows besides him and I've only told him recently. But he would never do that.

MatildaTheCat Sun 22-Oct-17 13:58:24

I would speak to him. Is he drunk posting? He should be aware that he could get into a lot of trouble if he's making serious allegations against these people. Even if they are true, does he want legal repercussions potentially?

And what does his wife think? Could it even be her posting?

It's all a bit odd and since you are so close I don't think there's anybreason not to ask. If he continues I guess I'd just unfollow him.

NurseButtercup Sun 22-Oct-17 14:01:55

I don't think you can tell him what he can/can't post on Facebook to be honest. If I was you I'd stop following his updates on Facebook.

sykadelic Sun 22-Oct-17 16:17:43

I'd probably ask him what the deal is, but I wouldn't actually tell him to stop. It could be they've done something to upset his wife and this is his way of fighting back for her, so I would ask why he's doing it.

However, I would also tell him it makes you uncomfortable. You can tell him you're going to have to unfollow him because it makes you that uncomfortable. He can then choose to stop, or continue, and you will choose to follow or unfollow.

AtrociousCircumstance Sun 22-Oct-17 16:20:29

None of your business. I suppose you could have a chat with him and ask how his wife feels about it, but be very careful.

BenLui Sun 22-Oct-17 16:23:07

I’d quietly unfollow him on Fb and explain why if asked.

SandyY2K Sun 22-Oct-17 16:26:50

Have you asked him if she's (his wife) aware he's doing it?

It's rather passive aggressive of him IMO.

I think I would as yoir

SandyY2K Sun 22-Oct-17 16:28:05

I think I would ask as you're close to him.

Otherwise ... as others have said.... unfollow him.

xandersmom2 Sun 22-Oct-17 19:02:09

Thanks all for your comments. I think I am probably reacting to this as though it's been done to me, and am trying to somehow 'protect' his wife. But as several of you point out, she might well be happy with it.

Think I will probably do as a couple of you suggest, and ask him if she's aware and happy with it. Either way, I am not very comfortable with it myself and will probably end up backing away from him - which is a shame after decades of friendship.

ScatteredThoughts Sun 22-Oct-17 19:40:33

Definitely sounds like your relationship could withstand you mentioning it.

I always think that that kind of personal griping (whether or not the target is mentioned by name or just not-so-subtlety implied) on Facebook or whatever other social media is not just passive aggressive but a sign of real emotional immaturity. Dirty linen in public and all that.

So, yeah, as you say tell him you’re uncomfortable, and/or that you think he’s doing himself (and his wife) a disservice by spraying his stuff all over social media. There must be more adult and effective ways to deal with what sound like pretty serious issues.

Good luck. X

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