Mean (Mom) Girls

Mom bloggers are taking over the world. Okay, maybe they're not quite that big, but mom bloggers have influence in many areas. Brands seek out mom bloggers to promote their products, other parents look to mom bloggers for advice and mom bloggers provide great day-to-day reads for other moms. But sprinkled in with all of the wonderful and supportive mom bloggers are some troublemakers. Mom cyber bullies. Women who hurt other women with words and actions from behind the "safety" of their computer screens. Learn more about the ugly side of mom blogging and what one mom is doing to put an end to moms behaving badly.

mom-on-computerElizabeth Flora Ross is a mom, author and founder of The Mom Pledge. She noticed the online bullying happening between moms, and while she was never a victim of cyber bullying, she didn't like it.

"I was so disheartened by it. For a long time I figured there was nothing I could do. I'm just one person," says Ross. "But then I realized the same Internet that gave these women the power to bully also gave me the power to stand up and speak out.

I knew I was not alone in my feelings. I decided I would use cyberspace to spread a positive message in many of the same ways it is used to spread hate. I believed it would resonate with other women, and I was right."

The Mom Pledge

In an effort to make a difference, Ross started The Mom Pledge, an online community of mom bloggers who were also committed to kindness online. She sums it up perfectly: "The Mom Pledge is about women standing up, speaking out, and coming together to eradicate online bullying among moms. The time has come for us to take the power back and own this issue."

As it turns out, a lot of moms feel strongly about online integrity. Women rallied around Ross' cause, taking The Mom Pledge themselves and proudly displaying their commitment on their own blogs. Ross regularly hears from moms who want to say thank you or share their personal stories. "They touch me. I feel an incredible positive energy building, and I love it!" she says.

Getting ugly on the laptop

So just how mean can moms get? "I think what most people have probably seen at some point is the hateful, nasty anonymous comment on a blog post, message board, news article, etc.," says Ross. "Often that comment section descends rapidly into a virtual catfight."

Sometimes, an "Internet bully" will target someone specific and take it further. "They may attack that person by writing about her on their own blog. Or making statements about her on social media sites," explains Ross.

That sounds bad, but it can actually get worse. "In extreme cases, which I have seen and are sadly not uncommon, a woman or group of women will harass a victim relentlessly," Ross explains. "They will come at her with attacks again and again."

Internet bullies will even go so far as to hack another mom's blog or other online accounts. Ross says that they'll take to social media, using Facebook and Twitter to libel the victim. Some will even contact the woman's family members, boss, co-workers and friends. "They will do everything in their power to make her life miserable," concludes Ross. "It can be very traumatic for the victim."

>> Protecting kids from cyber bullying

The veil of the computer screen

It's pretty safe to say that most moms wouldn't scream obscenities, extremely insulting names and other awful and hurtful things at another mom during school drop-off. So why do some women feel safe doing it from behind their computer screen?

"Something about being behind a computer causes people to lose a 'filter' they may be more aware of in real life," theorizes Ross. "They become detached. Particularly if they have the opportunity to be anonymous."

We need to remember that words can hurt someone just as badly when typed on a laptop as they would hurled at a PTA meeting.

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Comments on "Mom bloggers behaving badly: Cyber bullying on blogs"

Mary February 18, 2013 | 2:06 PM

Man talk about hitting the nail! I don't think all bloggers are mean, but activist moms are definitely moms I'll watch out for from now on. They really will do anything, moral or not, to annihilate other views.

El-Kuwait escort February 02, 2013 | 8:37 AM

What blogs do you read for information on the candidates?

Danielle November 27, 2011 | 8:40 AM

My newly turned 16 year old brother shot himself Oct. 17th this year because of people bullying him. These are types of bullying; Physical- hitting, kicking, pinching, punching, scratching, spitting or any other form of physical attack. Damage to or taking someone else's belongings may also constitute as physical bullying. -Verbal- name calling, insulting, making racist, ist or homophobic jokes, remarks or teasing, usi...ng ually suggestive or abusive language, offensive remarks. -Indirect-Spreading nast stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours, sending abusive mail, and email and text messages (cyber bullying).-Cyber bullying- any type of bullying that is carried out by electronic medium. There are 7 types including: text messaging, picture/video clips, phone calls, emailing, chat-room, bullying through i.m., through websites. He was the brightest boy ever met he was strong smart sweet and loving but even the toughest man cant take it all. As a mother, an aunt, a sister and a daughter ive been through bullying, the thoughts of suicide because i didnt want to be myself anymore, but as a sister i stayed strong for my siblings as an aunt i want to show my nieces and nephews how to be nice to someone or "if you cant say anything nice then dont say anything at all" and as a mother i will teach my children to stay kind to one another. Ive made this facebook to try and help people understand bullying a little more. People only have a month for this terrible behavior to be shown off and there is not even enough done about it during that month when it happens every second of the day. We need to start setting examples as mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, cousins, anyone we need to get it into these kids heads that words hurt! Im not talking about peace on earth but a bit of a settling for the sake of young peoples lives. http://www.facebook/pages/Prevent-Bullying-for-Brandon-Kirkpatrick/277020542329287

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