Gransnet forums


Does this reflect your opinion?

(100 Posts)
PECS Mon 01-Feb-21 17:39:57

Here is one definition... I think the balance of power issue is very important to consider on a forum because generally we are not in positions of power over other posters.

Does it describe your view of bullying?


"Bullying is the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception of an imbalance of physical or social power. This imbalance distinguishes bullying from conflict. Bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior characterized by the following three criteria: hostile intent, imbalance of power, and repetition over a period of time. Bullying is the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally, or emotionally."

keepingquiet Mon 01-Feb-21 17:51:06

Are you referring to bullying on this site?

I'm new here but I suspect it may have to do with targeted messages aimed at one or several people holding different opinions?
I'm unsure of imbalance of power on Internet forums as they vary on how much they are moderated. I am sure the balance of power probably lies with the victim as they can withdraw from site, or make a justified complaint. The bully in this context can only yield power if readers take any notice of their posts. The repetition of acts of bullying should be easy to prove particularly if it is sustained. I think it has to be intentional and malicious as opposed to just someone expressing an opinion.
Maybe you are not referring to on-line bullying though and I'm barking up the wrong tree!

cornishpatsy Mon 01-Feb-21 17:51:19

I have never felt bullied but think I would if people were "ganging up".

PECS Mon 01-Feb-21 17:58:30

I think that there is an overuse of the term bullying to mean disagreement, brusque, rude, unkind etc. on line or in RL.

IMO that is not bullying.

keepingquiet Mon 01-Feb-21 18:12:16

Yes, PECS, rudeness is not abuse. We've all been abused sometimes on-line but unless it is malicious, targeted and sustained it isn't bullying.

M0nica Mon 01-Feb-21 18:15:50

I quite agree with both your posts PECS.

Some people accuse others of bullying just because they express a profound disagreement with some thing the putative victim has said.

The same problem applies to ganging up, Ganging up means a group of people working in concert, when often it is used if someone posts something and lots of people disagree with the post..

annodomini Mon 01-Feb-21 18:43:51

In the early days of Gransnet, I was accused of bullying, because of a teasing remark to another poster. I don't think she reported me and I certainly wasn't taken to task by the powers that were.

Luckygirl Mon 01-Feb-21 18:52:17

I do not really notice bullying. If I arrive at a thread where people are not being kind to one another, I do not join in it. There are lots of other threads to join in.

Some people find it hard to agree to disagree, and a discussion can get spirited.

I do think that online people are more outspoken than they are in real life. And I include myself in that.

And we are all under stress at the moment.

Head for another thread if you have ceased to enjoy it.

So much good on Gransnet that is worth cherishing.

Blossoming Mon 01-Feb-21 18:57:32

I have not seen any bullying or victimisation in here. I have certainly never intentionally participated in any.

PECS Mon 01-Feb-21 20:30:51

Glad to feel I am not totally on my own.

Bullying is a behaviour never to be ignored but neither should it be diluted to include occasions of, even aggressive or fiery, disagreement, especially if all parties have actively and voluntarily entered the situation.

lemsip Mon 01-Feb-21 20:39:28

well, lets see how many pages of rehash this thread runs too.

PECS Mon 01-Feb-21 21:23:59

I think it is a pertinent subject to think about in a more disinterested way and unconnected to any other threads or I would not have posted it.

I am sorry if has already been posted as a discrete discussion recently. If it has been it will not attract posts. And that's OK. I am not precious about it!

Jane10 Mon 01-Feb-21 21:33:46

Is there an aspect of bullying of ignoring people or excluding them from group activities? It certainly was considered to be at my last workplace. I suppose in schoolyard terms it was 'sending to Coventry'.
Extending that to the situation on GN could the moderators be accused of bullying Grans by excluding them?

GagaJo Mon 01-Feb-21 21:41:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hetty58 Mon 01-Feb-21 21:50:12

At work, the definition of bullying included any behaviour 'perceived to be bullying' by the victim.

It caused untold problems as some people will become 'victim' the minute another disagrees with them.

M0nica Mon 01-Feb-21 21:59:43

included any behaviour 'perceived to be bullying' by the victim which is by definition, itself bullying, because it can be a form of passive aggression and how do you know the victime really perceived it as bullying, or was simply saying so as a way of using it to their advantage by claiming it in order to intimidate someone else?

NotSpaghetti Mon 01-Feb-21 21:59:59

Bullying at work is the most awful thing imaginable and does make people seriously ill.

EllanVannin Mon 01-Feb-21 22:00:49

Gosh yes, I've been bullied on here ! Because I dared to disagree at one time, then the " heavy mob " arrived and in the end there were at least 6 who all had a go then guess what ? I was reported !
This was the year before last, then also last year. I've had my fare share but have stood my ground because I knew it wasn't me at fault. Some people can't help it, but it does give you an overall picture of what they're like in real life and makes you thankful that you don't live next door to them grin

NotSpaghetti Mon 01-Feb-21 22:01:19

Ok. Correction... So I can imagine worse things but it's so much worse than most people think.

GagaJo Mon 01-Feb-21 22:02:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PECS Mon 01-Feb-21 22:08:23

I do think it is more problematic when a definition includes perception.

It would be very wrong to deny a person's feelings but if the action that has hurt the person was not bullying but sharpness, rudeness, harsh words etc., then the 'victim' needs help to develop strategies to cope more effectively with rudeness etc., maybe to develop a more assertive response etc. but also to discuss their understanding of bullying.

The other person , if they have been rude or harsh also need to learn how to be assertive rather than aggressive and more thoughtful.

We all have bad days, sensitive subjects etc. that make us quick to react /overreact etc. We all need to be able to accept we can sometimes be wrong!

PECS Mon 01-Feb-21 22:15:23

Gagajo what you describe does sound like bullying because there is a power difference between a boss and an employee.

If an employee, even a wonderful and lovely person, can't do their job well then there are non-bullying ways of dealing with that and that is the boss's job.. but it can be done fairly and certainly without shouting! Could you help your colleague in any way, maybe help her bring a grievance against the shouty boss?

GagaJo Mon 01-Feb-21 22:21:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nannytopsy Mon 01-Feb-21 22:39:07

I was bullied out of my senior management job and then the local authority by two successive head teachers. The interim heads were fine. It is an awful experience which foreshortened my career and affected my pension.

GagaJo Mon 01-Feb-21 22:48:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.