Eileen Fisher: GigaMom


Forbes Fumbles With Top 100 Websites For Women List

One Website That Misses The Mark

A few days ago Forbes released their annual list of Top 100 Websites for Women. On it are some familiar names, some great new websites for women to check out, and one that really doesn’t belong on the list at all.

The website on the list that I have a huge problem with is a new addition for 2013—“Get Off My Internets” also known as GOMI. According to Forbes, GOMI is “the antidote to Mommy blogs, this snarky site offers endless commentary, criticism and gossip on a web of lifestyle, fashion and mommy bloggers.”

Forbes, are you serious?

Did you actually READ anything in GOMI’s forums?

I look forward to reading this list from Forbes every year, but am really saddened to see that GOMI was listed as one of Forbes Top 100. There’s nothing informative or compelling about that site at all, other than to show how online bullying amongst adults happens. It’s not an engaging community, it’s a nasty community that doesn’t speak to anyone other that people who love nothing more than to take time to criticize, harass, and essentially bully writers and bloggers behind the veil of an online forum.

So, for those of you that don’t know what GOMI is, let me explain further.

Essentially it’s a website that has a very active group of people who “discuss” various blogs by way of a message board forum. Many of the comments are snarly, nasty, and berate bloggers on a personal level. Some forum members post photos of bloggers and criticize them saying things that they would NEVER have the balls to say to a person in public. I’ve read forum threads that belittle women who have had a child die, are going through a divorce, and are battling health problems.

Take a look at the GOMI forums and you see right at the top: Opinions expressed by forum commentators are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the site admins or Get Off My Internets.

Well, that’s nice and all but it doesn’t really hide the fact that parts of the GOMI forum are purely fuelled by nastiness. And this is the part of my blog where I originally had some verbatim examples of things said on the forum that I found particularly upsetting, but then after reading them all, I deleted them… because you know what? I don’t want those words here on my space.

However, I will share some of their forum category descriptions, so you can get an idea:

Mommy / Daddy Bloggers
Yes we know, you're the first parent ever.

Lifestyle Bloggers
You don't know how to live. They can help.

Tech Bloggers
Discuss the folks who think they invented the internets.

Food Bloggers
That looks disgusting.

Now, I am always one to say “to each his own” and I do tend to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to how they behave, especially online, but any time I take a look at the GOMI forums, I find myself thinking the same thing…

Why do these people revel in being so horrible to others? Not only that, but to do it publicly while at the same time, doing it behind the back of the person being talked about. The common name for someone like that is a “troll.” Trolls follow blogs and social media feeds and then take great happiness at being utterly horrible to someone while hiding behind an avatar or a username. I’m not ashamed to say that I truly hate the trolls.

I’m online all day, it’s my job to be online all day to read, write, and share. Because of that, I have a policy about what I say online. And that policy is, if you can’t say it to the person if they were sitting with you in a coffee shop, don’t say it at all.

At all.

The reason why I have that policy is because of websites and forums like Get Off My Internets. Those websites feed the trolls, and that needs to stop. Wake up “internets,” these sites promote online bullying and aren’t we supposed to be teaching our kids that online bullying is wrong?

It is wrong, and it needs to stop.