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Author Topic: Dealing with a forum bully  (Read 8096 times)

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General Jinjur

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Dealing with a forum bully
« on: April 05, 2011, 08:28:54 AM »
I used to frequent another (non-etiquette) forum, but have since stopped, because I had attracted my very own personal bully, and nothing I did seemed to help. I've given up on that place, but perhaps eHellions could offer suggestions on what I did and if I could have done anything differently?

So this person just starts responding to any topic I make, and it's never anything nice. I could say I'm going grocery shopping and I plan to buy flowers to brighten things up in here, and she'd say, "I cannot believe you'd buy flowers when you're supposed to be on a budget! That's irresponsible!" I could say we're rehoming our dog because he's been aggressive and we're worried about the baby, and she'd say, "I'd never give up my dog for anyone!" I could say the grass is green, and she'd have something to say about that, somehow. I mean literally anything I said was fair game for her.

At first I tried responding to her. I'd point out, politely, that she was attacking something unfairly, and she'd respond by attacking something else. I told her I didn't know what her problem was but I'd appreciate it if she would stop. She responded by saying she had NO IDEA what I was talking about, and if I wanted to talk about buying flowers in a public forum, she had the perfect right to attack me about it. I finally put her on ignore, but unfortunately I could still see her posts when others quoted her, so that ultimately didn't help much.

So I tried all of that. Talking to the moderators didn't work, because she's their close personal friend. And I received independent confirmation of her over-the-top bullying behavior by other posters, who would respond to her posts with a puzzlement. I received a lot of PMs asking what the heck her problem was!

Eventually I just left, since it's not worth the level of aggravation she was causing. I feel kind of bad about it, though - overall I enjoyed the people and made some friends, and I let a bully push me out. What do you think, eHellions? Did I handle her correctly? Was walking away wimpy or the right choice?

Twik

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 08:34:53 AM »
If the mods are too wimpy to address one poster abusing another because she's their friend, then I don't think there's too much more you can do but walk. I might consider sending them a PM when I left explaining my reasoning - I don't think that's a case of "goodbye, cruel forum", but giving them feedback as to why their forum is in trouble. Because I suspect Ms Bully will just find herself another target.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Perfect Circle

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 08:40:40 AM »
If the mods are too wimpy to address one poster abusing another because she's their friend, then I don't think there's too much more you can do but walk. I might consider sending them a PM when I left explaining my reasoning - I don't think that's a case of "goodbye, cruel forum", but giving them feedback as to why their forum is in trouble. Because I suspect Ms Bully will just find herself another target.

I agree.

That is bad moderation. And ultimately will be the demise of the forum probably. If you are going to moderate, it needs to be consistent and fair. And stick to the rules at all times.
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Ms_Shell

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 08:41:31 AM »
I've never encountered a forum bully here and this is really the only forum I post in regularly, so I don't have personal experience with it but I think Ehell phrases would work with her too.

Bully: "I cannot believe you'd buy flowers when you're supposed to be on a budget! That's irresponsible!"
CB: "That's an interesting perspective.  Thanks for your input.  So, does anyone else prefer lilies over roses? I used to love them but now liles are my fave, blah blah blah..."

Bully: "I'd never give up my dog for anyone!"
CB: "Wow, that's great - I hope it works out for you.  So anyway, does anyone have good advice on finding a shelter in the area?"

Also remember that not replying to an inflammatory post is an option too.  Wait until someone else has replied to the message and then answer their post but not the bully's.  

I don't think it's wimpy to walk away when you're tired of it - message boards are supposed to be there for entertainment.  If it's no longer entertaining, what's the point of torturing yourself?  The mods are kind of shooting themselves in the food if you think about it - if the bully has free reign on the boards, eventually she's going to drive away a lot of members and then what happens to the board?    


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General Jinjur

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 08:49:00 AM »
I've never encountered a forum bully here and this is really the only forum I post in regularly, so I don't have personal experience with it but I think Ehell phrases would work with her too.

Bully: "I cannot believe you'd buy flowers when you're supposed to be on a budget! That's irresponsible!"
CB: "That's an interesting perspective.  Thanks for your input.  So, does anyone else prefer lilies over roses? I used to love them but now liles are my fave, blah blah blah..."

Bully: "I'd never give up my dog for anyone!"
CB: "Wow, that's great - I hope it works out for you.  So anyway, does anyone have good advice on finding a shelter in the area?"

Also remember that not replying to an inflammatory post is an option too.  Wait until someone else has replied to the message and then answer their post but not the bully's.  

I don't think it's wimpy to walk away when you're tired of it - message boards are supposed to be there for entertainment.  If it's no longer entertaining, what's the point of torturing yourself?  The mods are kind of shooting themselves in the food if you think about it - if the bully has free reign on the boards, eventually she's going to drive away a lot of members and then what happens to the board?    

I used "That's an interesting assumption" without further comment more times than I can count. I also completely stopped responding to her. Didn't work. You'd think if you take the blood away from the vampire they'd die, right? Not always.

My PM to a mod about her behavior received this response: "ur a wimp lol. toughen up". Oh. All right then.

Ms_Shell

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 08:52:01 AM »
I've never encountered a forum bully here and this is really the only forum I post in regularly, so I don't have personal experience with it but I think Ehell phrases would work with her too.

Bully: "I cannot believe you'd buy flowers when you're supposed to be on a budget! That's irresponsible!"
CB: "That's an interesting perspective.  Thanks for your input.  So, does anyone else prefer lilies over roses? I used to love them but now liles are my fave, blah blah blah..."

Bully: "I'd never give up my dog for anyone!"
CB: "Wow, that's great - I hope it works out for you.  So anyway, does anyone have good advice on finding a shelter in the area?"

Also remember that not replying to an inflammatory post is an option too.  Wait until someone else has replied to the message and then answer their post but not the bully's.  

I don't think it's wimpy to walk away when you're tired of it - message boards are supposed to be there for entertainment.  If it's no longer entertaining, what's the point of torturing yourself?  The mods are kind of shooting themselves in the food if you think about it - if the bully has free reign on the boards, eventually she's going to drive away a lot of members and then what happens to the board?    

I used "That's an interesting assumption" without further comment more times than I can count. I also completely stopped responding to her. Didn't work. You'd think if you take the blood away from the vampire they'd die, right? Not always.

My PM to a mod about her behavior received this response: "ur a wimp lol. toughen up". Oh. All right then.

Ha, in that case you've done your job (and politely, congratulations! :D) I think walking away is the only option left, really.  The joke's on her since you found a better forum anyway!  >:D 
"I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it." - Dorothy Parker

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 08:54:00 AM »
I left another forum because of a few bullies and the attidude of the forum was "This is how things are here, we're snarky. If you don't like it, it's not our fault!"   I got tired of the "notebook" that people seemed to keep.   Ie bringing up past threads I'd made that had nothing to do with the topic at hand to try and keep me from adding my .02 to a topic.  

I got tired of it and just left. Life's too short to deal with nastiness from people who don't even know me and it wasn't worth the stress.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Twik

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 08:55:06 AM »
My PM to a mod about her behavior received this response: "ur a wimp lol. toughen up". Oh. All right then.

OK, I'd be out of there THAT DAY. If for no other reason than a moderator replying to a legitimate complain in txtspk.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

General Jinjur

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 09:07:02 AM »
I left another forum because of a few bullies and the attidude of the forum was "This is how things are here, we're snarky. If you don't like it, it's not our fault!"   I got tired of the "notebook" that people seemed to keep.   Ie bringing up past threads I'd made that had nothing to do with the topic at hand to try and keep me from adding my .02 to a topic.  

I got tired of it and just left. Life's too short to deal with nastiness from people who don't even know me and it wasn't worth the stress.

I left a forum ages ago for the same reason. Pardon me, but to my way of thinking "snarky" implies a modicum of wit, not responses like "your fat so diddle you" or whatever. I decided to leave them to their cesspool and move on. What do you want to bet they're still there, insulting each other's butts or whatever?

wyozozo

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2011, 09:23:09 AM »
Wow! Reminds me of a freebie forum I was once a member of. The constant drama overshadowed the friendships I made and I too left.

*that particular forum seemed to have a ring of bullies



SamiHami

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2011, 09:37:53 AM »
Well, you don't need to be bullied when forums are supposed to be a pleasurable leisure activity!  Who has time for that nonsense!

You just stay right here with all us EHellions-we may have differences of opinion from time to time, but we'll do so very politely and without any bullying!  {{{ :D}}}

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aloe

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2011, 11:10:01 AM »
I had the same thing happen to me several years ago.  I left the forum and never went back. The bully went on to harrass others.
I even was a Moderator and the Admins let this happen.  The Admins begged me to come back.
I agree that forums are supposed to be fun and informative - and if it is not fun, then just leave.  I also miss the good people who were there, but it just wasn't worth it to stay.

Ceiling Fan

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2011, 11:20:00 AM »
I was on a special-interest forum where the mod was the bully ::)

The only people who didn't get the bully treatment were members of her clique, who were basically a bunch of meat puppets and brown-nosers. The forum owner finally booted her (about 6 months after I started posting), but not before she'd driven a lot of people away. It's still limping along, but they cancelled their annual get together last year because of lack of interest. This was an event that was held for years in different parts of the country, people would fly in from all over and have a weekend of special interest activities. Last I heard, their membership was being actively wooed by the other SI group who also hold annual get-togethers.

Hillia

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2011, 11:39:15 AM »
My PM to a mod about her behavior received this response: "ur a wimp lol. toughen up". Oh. All right then.

OK, I'd be out of there THAT DAY. If for no other reason than a moderator replying to a legitimate complain in txtspk.

POD POD POD.

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O'Dell

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Re: Dealing with a forum bully
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2011, 12:00:51 PM »
I've taken part on several different internet forums and never seen something like that go on for long. It was the message board and not you. I think you handled it well. In very close-knit forums, sometimes the community can police itself and keep trolls and bullies in check, but that wouldn't have worked here with the mods approving of that sort of behavior and with the bully knowing it.
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