Saturday, 25 July 2015


over the past few years i have joined a lot of facebook groups: australian doulas, sydney doulas, postpartum doulas, a hippy mums group and one promoting a more inclusive church (just to name a few)
it's a funny old thing, the facebook group. some of them have almost no rules, some have long lists of rules. the "please be civilised and nice rule" is expressed in many ways but it's mission is always the same: to avoid offence. I see the point of it but sometimes i would love to see a rule saying something like "if you behave like an idiot in this group we wont kick you out or delete your posts, we'll leave your rudeness and stupidity right there so everyone gets to see who you really are" It would be way more informative than having the nice police everywhere.
a week or two back i joined a nanny group. I had to pass a rigorous approval process, becoming "friends" with the moderator so she could see all my facebook business, then being unfriended so i couldnt see all her facebook business. three days after approving me she private messaged me saying only "please adhere to the guidelines" It was a little disconcerting. i re-read the guidelines and didnt seem to have broken any, i even PM-ed back to ask if i had broken the rules. she never answered. i guess it was a pre-emptive strike. very weird.
it's just a theory of mine but i think you can tell a lot about a person by the way they run a facebook group.


  1. Very weird indeed.
    I don't play FB, and games like that are one of the reasons for my abstinence.

  2. You can tell a lot about any person running any kind of a group, by the way s/he runs the group.

  3. EC
    Facebook is a strange place and not healthy a lot of the time but i rely on it as a way to get lots of ideas and information, particularly in relation to work. it has taken me a very long time to be able to use it as a tool and not get sucked in to the bad bits but I might have almost succeeded now.
    I applaud you for keeping away

  4. Ramana,
    Now that you say that, its obvious but somehow I see it more clearly online.

  5. Kia ora Kylie,
    Seems that might be a group to avoid...FB has really impacted the blogging world, and not in good ways. Too easy to just Like something and move on. Or write a mostly inane comment. We seem to be ever shortening our attention spans to where even reading a 5 paragraph blog post is too much. That is my rant. Hope all else is well. And always question The Rules! Kia Kaha e hoa.

  6. Hi Robb,
    I was part of a close group of bloggers and I guess that kind of intensity is unsustainable in many ways but I think facebook decimated the group prematurely.
    Questioning the rules should be a rule!

    Go well

  7. No rules at The Wild Onion Cafe!

  8. The Wild Onion is a very cool group with a special membership :)

  9. I'm only in one or two FB groups, which are basically polite and non-combative, which is okay as I've nothing to be combative about. But I don't see anything wrong with a bit of passing rudeness or frank criticism, as long as it's kept within sensible limits and doesn't turn into all-out abuse. As you know, I have one especially rude blogmate but I'm not one for censorship unless the rudeness gets completely out of hand.

  10. I rather like to see your non-sycophantic blogmate make an appearance, to tell you a blunt truth. Sometimes I dont get the point but often I am grateful that someone is prepared to say something interesting.

  11. Kylie: My other blogmates do tend to pull their punches a bit....

  12. I am not sure exactly where I stand on fb group rules. The entire purpose is to share opinions and not all opinions are the same, but I have seen one I belong to devolve into 2 distinct camps which often stray from personal opinions to personal attacks. When things become ugly or mean spirited I don't mind seeing the thread deleted. I am not a participant of that page, merely a lurker and it still is painful to see sometimes, even though it has never been aimed at me.

  13. Anne,
    i don't want to see people hurt and I'm not really against deleting a thread in order to prevent pain but it annoys me that deleting also protects the perpetrator.
    I hope you never experience online nastiness, it seems to have an intensity all of it's own.

  14. Above almost people, I hate the “nice police,” and they hate me too. I don’t know how powerful political correctness is where you are, but it has gone fanatical here, and it enforces its code of “niceness” with severe financial and social consequences.

    Anne has a point, but I didn’t get that that was what you were talking about, but rather cruelty in the name of kindness after having done your best to adhere to this jerk’s niceness rules only to get rejected without being given a reason—cruelty in the guise of kindness as it were. I get framed as a bad guy every time I turn around anymore, and instead of making me twist myself in pretzels in order to avoid ever giving the least offense to anyone for any reason, it makes me more determined to express the truth as I see it and in the way that I consider appropriate.

  15. Snow,
    I suppose i would say that political correctness is pretty much what is expected in Sydney but I regularly come across people who dont adhere to it's demands. I do try very hard to be nice but I object when niceness is enforced. I also object when censorship protects those who behave badly.

    I think your determination to express truth as you see it is a great measure of your integrity. It also makes your blog much more interesting than those that are agreeable and attract sycophants

  16. “I think your determination to express truth as you see it is a great measure of your integrity."

    I'm shocked by how many people say, “If you feel that way [about tattoos, police shootings, etc.], I won't read your blog.” I have no thought that such people are honest with themselves because if they were as accepting as they demand that I be, then they would accept me. I would like to hear what they had to say when drunk because then all their hidden parts would come out, all they things that they won’t allow anyone else to say but think within themselves. I see them as like conservative preachers and politicians who get caught in homosexual sex scandals after trying to make laws against homosexuals.

  17. You can tell a lot about a person in any social setting. I don't do facebook. Yet all you - and your commentators - say applies to blogging too. Brings out the little Hitlers in some. "IF YOU DON'T ABIDE BY MY RULES ..." bla bla bla. Yes, love you too. I'll fuck off then.

    Let's assume common courtesy first, let's accept that some people are more outspoken and controversial and that discussion is for a purpose: Namely to exchange views. See things from other angles.

    A great point you make - close to my heart: If someone makes an arse of themselves in public apply the editor's rule, namely STET (let it stand). For all the world to see.


  18. Ursula,
    Normal exchange of views doesn't appear to happen on facebook. It's a case of agree or be "unfriended". The attitude is not conducive to any sort of reasonable discussion, just a lot of silent disagreement or mutual backslapping.

    I love to see you comment here, sorry my reply took so long. I am easily distractable!!


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