Mum’s groups are meant to be a source of friendship and support, but what happens when they turn sour online?
The rise of the Facebook mothers’ group has seen the creation of a safe space where mum’s can come together to ask advice, share opinions and help each other out. As with anything online, however, there is always the potential for a few keyboard warriors to ruin everyone’s fun. As The Daily Mail reports, bullying in these groups is rife, revealing the dark side of these online communities.
A Sinister Side
Many major brands, including Kmart, Target and Big W, have a mum’s group created around them, sharing handy product hacks and helpful tips for making the most of what’s on offer. You would think that a few mums talking about a brand or store that they love would be innocent enough, but it turns out there’s a sinister side to the whole thing. Some mums have complained about ‘God-mins’ who kick members off the pages without reason or warning. Others have faced serious threats, with one mum told by a page administrator that her sons photo would be sent to a paedophile group. It really makes you wonder what kind of sick, twisted people are sitting behind those computer screens…
Many members of the online groups have said that bullying is a very real issue, with the page admins often ‘complete bullies’ themselves. “Never have I known such pettiness as what the admin of that group are capable of,” one mum said referring to an incident on a Kmart mums page. We think the whole thing is so disappointing. It tarnishes the very definition of what a mum’s group is supposed to be, made worse by the anonymity provide by technology and the internet.
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We think heading down to your local cafe with a couple of other mums and chatting in person is the way to go – you’re very unlikely to have a faceless admin kick you out or threaten your child there!
Have you ever experienced bullying in an online mum’s group? Let us know in the comments.