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Get Off My Internets. Or not.

So there’s this site that I’d never heard of until a blogger I read brought it up because nasty things were being said about them on there. Since I’m the sort who likes to test hot plates and wet paint I trotted off to see what all the ruckus was about.

And I fell down a black hole of snark, criticism and downright hate.

Now Get Off My Internets’ ad network has pulled and so the creator and editor posted that they would be shutting it down (<- not a direct link to GOMI, in case you don’t like giving them the traffic). I’ll admit my first reaction was, “Heh, least surprising thing ever.” Others’ reactions were kind of interesting to me though.

There are currently fourteen pages (and counting) of posts begging it to stay around and an impressive number of people offering to pay a subscription fee or donate. I haven’t read if there has been a hard resolution from the editor but, if the number of comments offering to throw money at the site are any indication, Get Off My Internets won’t be going anywhere.

As a online nobody the whole thing kind of fascinates me. On the one hand, people on those forums are very often incredibly nasty. They pick apart these bloggers detail by detail. In reading I have to smirk at someone going on and on about how much they can’t stand a blogger but read every post, not only on their blog but Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc etc etc. Some of the things said go way beyond annoyance or criticism and verge on stalking behavior and obsession. Much is just blatantly untrue. It’s bullying and I believe that bullying is incredibly wrong and hurtful.

On the other hand, I’ve gone back to lurk more than once in the same way I’ll thumb through a gossip magazine in the grocery aisle if a celebrity I like is on the cover. I have a rule that I’ll never post there, whether it’s in agreement or disagreement. I refuse to participate in bullying. I also know that no one is going to get their mind changed because I try and defend someone I like. So I lurk and roll my eyes and occasionally gasp or snort.

So do I hope Get Off My Internets gets shut down? Meh. It wouldn’t be a great loss to me, that’s for sure. I have actually found a few bloggers on there who are now in my Google reader. And since I did not subscribe to hate on them or snark but because I found them funny or interesting it’s arguably a win for those bloggers? I’m sure I can’t be the only one who has been directed to blogs I might never have heard of from that site. There are obviously more positive ways for me to find new blogs though. I only read there occasionally and it definitely doesn’t fill my brain with positivity, to say the least. I would not miss it very much.

However, I’m not rooting for them to get shut down. It is the internet forum version of a gossip magazine. Sure, I hate the body snark and the misinformation and ridiculous nitpicking. But I think it’s okay that those magazines (and this forum) exist. No one forces anyone to be a celebrity. No one forces anyone to write a blog. Commentary comes with the package deal of putting ones thoughts and life on the internet.

I realize this is easy for me to say as a virtually unknown blogger. No one has verbally attacked me or my family. I do understand that by writing on here I have opened myself up to that potential though. Right now I’m okay with it. If enough people say enough things that are hurtful enough I may reconsider that.

So Get Off My Internets or Stay On My Internets. I don’t have a vote either way. In the same way I’ll crane my neck at a wreck on the side of the road I’ll be following to see which happens.

 

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. I definitely vote for GOMI to stay! Every internet community has its scumbags, but as a whole, the community seems like a good, tight one.

    • I haven’t see the good, tight community part of it but that’s very likely because of lack of time spent there on my part.

      It is true that very vocal negative people can drown out the good and ruin it for the rest. Perhaps that’s what has happened on GOMI.

  2. I think GOMI-type snark is to be expected when a blog gets thousands of hits in a day and the writer makes money ffrom advertisements and reviews and speaking appearances. That’s not to say I agree with the content of every GOMI post (sometimes it’s way over the top), I just don’t don’t agree that the site should be censored or silenced because Federated Media had their arm twisted by some high profile anonymous blogger.

  3. Rebecca

    Hey
    I think the community part of GOMI comes when you get away from the snark threads and into the more general ones, such as the general thread and members only. I do read the snark ones, have found a few blogs to enjoy and have had my eyebrows raised by the extent that some of the members will go to to snark on a blogger (rearranging their days, cancelling plans ang working out which bloggers will attend another bloggers wedding just so they can follow the twitter / Instagram feeds comes to mind) but then I’m sure that there are people who follow that blogger’s blog for real who did the same. There are some truly obsessive people out there!

    • I haven’t looked anywhere other than the snark threads and I haven’t even looked at a fraction of those so I admittedly do not have a well rounded view of the forums.

      The obsessiveness I’ve seen, like what you mentioned, is both incredibly amusing to me and a little frightening. I could see how a blogger could feel threatened, whether there really is a threat or not.

  4. I have a hard time with this one. There was once a page dedicated to me, and while I can take the ridicule and horrible things they said about me – because as you pointed out, I open myself up to this sort of thing by virtue of the fact I put myself out there, my issue came when I discovered pages of them trash talking my child. She was not even a toddler at the time and they were picking on her. They were making assumptions about her intelligence and future social standing based on their opinions of my parenting. One went so far as to use the term “tramp” when discussion her future. And to me, that’s not ok. Pick on me, tear me apart, call out all my shortcomings, lord knows I am well aware of how vast they are. However, to trash talk a little girl and make claims about her future is just beyond the line of “internet gossip”.

    Long ago I noticed my page was taken down because I’m really a nobody and not that interesting. I guess my issue with the site isn’t that they gossip – it’s that they are cruel and horrible to some people. If you attempt to defend anyone or yourself they tear you apart, if you don’t attempt to defend yourself they call you weak.

    I personally don’t have time for that kind of hate perpetuating. If you don’t like me, don’t read me. If you have something to say to me, say it to me If you want to trash talk me hiding behind an anonymous name and your computer screen on a hate forum, then you’ve got bigger issues than I do.

    • Yes, the child snarking has definitely infuriated me the most. I never saw a thread about you (and ugh, I’m glad I didn’t because your little girl is adorable and amazing and it would have pissed me right off) but there’s one blogger who some go on and on about how fat her baby is. BABIES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FAT! Ugh.

      I think comments about children are the ones that make me want to speak up the most but like you said, I know I’d just get attacked if I did so I just fume in silence.

  5. I really don’t care either way whether GOMI stays or goes, but I will say that, as a blogger, I have actually found much of what’s written there to be relevant and insightful. Not the body snarking and ad hominem attacks – it’s obvious some of those people are just on a witch hunt. But the actual discussions surrounding blogging – what is and isn’t appropriate to share on the Internet, the effect that bloggers’ activities will have on their now-young children as they get older, the pitfalls of brand work and quitting one’s job to blog full-time, the way bloggers handle negative comments, and the all-around annoying or just plain stupid things bloggers do – have all helped me think about the way I currently blog and the way I’ll continue to do so going forward.

    • I agree with Kristin. I dislike the personal attacks because I just don’t see how they are relevant. I know that when I promote my blog and put my kids faces out there I am opening us all up to potential ugliness. It doesn’t make it ok for an adult to be hateful to a child and I think the owner of GOMI would get more bloggers like me that don’t see her a evil more vocally on her side if she would lay down some really loose rules like ” Keep kids out of it” . However the honest thoughtful criticism of blogging in general and seeing things through readers eyes has been helpful to me as a blogger. We spend a lot of time as bloggers boosting each other up at conferences and on social media which is great but seeing the ugly side is useful. It makes me consider my actions and consider how things might look like to readers whether I mean to create that image or not . I hope it doesn’t shut down but I also hope that this debacle might serve to give pause to GOMI about it’s uglier sides because there is much that is thoughtful that gets lost among the crud.

      • You are both quite right. I’ve actually poked around a bit more because of all the positive feedback GOMI has gotten recently and there is a lot of very clever insight on there. It’s unfortunate a lot of that gets overshadowed by the hatefulness.

  6. KC

    I recently came across GOMI and I’m glad I did because it’s put lifestyle/fashion bloggers into more perspective for me. I do think that some of the forum is overly critical and hits below the waist a lot. That said, there is no place to question a blogger within their blog, so there has to be a forum to call them out somewhere. It’s certainly never welcome in the comment section of the blog in question.

    But it has put these blogs into perspective for me. I think I have bought into the whole “perfect life” persona for several years and I often come away feeling bad about myself and my life after reading these blogs — but I also feel a strange compulsion to keep reading them. But after seeing them get picked apart on GOMI, I have to say it’s brought some of my faves (e.g. Cup of Jo, DesignLoveFest) down a few pegs.

    These blogs are really fiction to me. They are like a magazine or reality show. You may watch or read, but you take them with a grain of salt and you definitely don’t try to model your life behind them because you’ll come up short.

    If I contrived every minor detail of my life and brought in professional photographers and stylists to make it all look perfect, I could create a similar online persona too. That wouldn’t make it real.

    These blogs are like that documentary “Catfish.” They’re fooling us into thinking that they have it all together. Give us a real look at your life when the photographer isn’t around and the kid is running around in dirty clothes, dishes are piled in the sink and you living room is a mess! I have actually seen bloggers who post REAL pics of their lives and I respect them for it.

    I say GOMI can SOMI. I don’t think I’ll ever join in the forum, but it’s fun to read…just like reading People or InTouch magazines! Hey they put their lives out there, what do they expect?!

  7. KC

    I recently came across GOMI and I’m glad I did because it’s put lifestyle/fashion bloggers into more perspective for me. I do think that some of the forum is overly critical and hits below the waist a lot. That said, there is no place to question a blogger within their blog, so there has to be a forum to call them out somewhere. It’s certainly never welcome in the comment section of the blog in question.

    But it has put these blogs into perspective for me. I think I have bought into the whole “perfect life” persona for several years and I often come away feeling bad about myself and my life after reading these blogs — but I also feel a strange compulsion to keep reading them. But after seeing them get picked apart on GOMI, I have to say it’s brought some of my faves (e.g. Cup of Jo, DesignLoveFest) down a few pegs.

    These blogs are really fiction to me. They are like a magazine or reality show. You may watch or read, but you take them with a grain of salt and you definitely don’t try to model your life behind them because you’ll come up short.

    If I contrived every minor detail of my life and brought in professional photographers and stylists to make it all look perfect, I could create a similar online persona too. That wouldn’t make it real.

    These blogs are like that documentary “Catfish.” They’re fooling us into thinking that they have it all together. Give us a real look at your life when the photographer isn’t around and the kid is running around in dirty clothes, dishes are piled in the sink and you living room is a mess! I have actually seen bloggers who post REAL pics of their lives and I respect them for it.

    I say GOMI can SOMI. I don’t think I’ll ever join in the forum, but it’s fun to read…just like reading People or InTouch magazines! Hey they put their lives out there, what do they expect?!

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