Friday, January 11, 2013

'Get Off My Internets' & The FM Ad Pull

 GOMI, or Get Off My Internets, is a place where people go to trash talk bloggers. That's the majority  of what goes down there. Federated Media just pulled their ad network from GOMI due to bloggers complaining to FM about their involvement with the site. Why are the bloggers so against GOMI? GOMI says it's because they tell the truth, point out flaws, expose lies and aren't silenced, completely ignoring that they also tear apart women bloggers from the floor up without any of the same evidence or integrity they accuse other bloggers of lacking. GOMI is Mean Girls. GOMI is that girl in high school who saw your Dad driving your uncle's car that one day and told everyone she knew that you were lying about having money and in actuality you are dirty poor. GOMI can't wait to catch you making a mistake, and point it out with a loudspeaker and floodlights during prom. 

Some GOMI comments have good points, some GOMI comments don't, but as usual, the Mean Girls miss THE POINT, which is that yeah, we all suck sometimes, but most of us don't spend so much energy and time ( or any! ) and effort into the completely cowardly pastime of publicly pointing out flaws, AND that if you are going to point out a perceived flaw or 'lie', you better be able to back that shit up. GOMI doesn't have balls behind their brass. They run on rumor mills that are about as reliable as Star Magazine, and with the exact same bloodsport: humiliate, criticize and speculate on those who are putting themselves out there, and then say it's all right because whine ( as GOMI likes to say, along with frequent usage of bloggers apparently 'flouncing' and 'pouting') : they put themselves out there. Missing again the obvious: what you can do and what you should do are two entirely different things, and while my mother could spend the rest of her life ripping me apart for the various humiliations and mistakes of my childhood, she shouldn't. 

 The forums are where a lot of the real Mean Girl conversations go down; a blogger is named and then the criticism starts, sometimes spiraling into a hate frenzy with lots of exclamation marks and the noticeable odor of self loathing rotting to people bashing. Typical GOMI chats repeat that the blogger is lying about XYZ, and the comments get very 7th grade from there. Reading through the site I found frequent unnamed sources, which could be anyone from a made up person, that cousin who always hated you since you had a girl and a boy and she had two boys, a former jealous co-worker, someone sitting in their basement next to their belly button link collection or an actual source. I've known a few bloggers who tracked down trolls that they had who were constantly claiming the blogger was 'lying' and it's really sad that those trolls ended up being people the blogger knew very well, who were upset at the blogger for whatever reason, be it an angry ex-husband, jilted friend, whatever.

For an example of a GOMI participant here's a comment on Babble's post about FM pulling their ads:

if you feel like someone bullies you then why do you click over and read it. you make the click happen, so don’t click. gomi gives me a place to vent my frustrations with bloggers because my comments get deleted on their sites when i ask them a legitimate question. if you wont answer my question on your site then this is what happens.

 Likelihood of sources being correct seems slim. I know bloggers who have been sited on GOMI for various 'lies' and they aren't lying. Libel. Trying to prove you aren't lying about everything from your income to your family life to your background to how many Pinterest projects with zest and olive oil you've actually made in the last year would be exhausting and ridiculous and boring to most people who aren't reading blogs for lists of evidence, but for laughs, information, great photos, community, good writing. 

Some GOMI participants are saying that it is censorship for FM to possibly cause GOMI's demise by pulling their business, and I can't say it any better than Kristen of Rage Against the Minivan, who said:

Catherine you should probably brush up on what censorship means. The site is free to say whatever they want. But FM doesn't have to fund sites with crappy content or bad reputations. That's not censorship, honey. It's business.

I had a troll here who was bent on proving that I was lying about being poor. I call her a troll because she commented repeatedly on each post I put up and all comments were focused on my 'lying'. I deleted her and she repeated, so I deleted her ability to comment at all. I then received an email asking why I was deceiving my readers, hiding the truth, etc. First of all, someone who takes the time to do this is a little scary. Unbalanced, clearly. And we all know I have a good idea of what unbalanced looks like! I've been reading blogs since 2008 and while some have pissed me off, some have confused me, some I was suspicious of, the most I've ever done is leave one questioning comment, because it's not my 'right' to be anything on someone else's blog. If I hate em or distrust em, I don't go back. 

 I don't want a perfect stranger repeatedly asking me to prove my income, and she doesn't have the 'right to be heard' which is a frequent complaint on GOMI. I don't delete anyone who disagrees with me in a non aggressive way. But the second I hear that 'tone' in someone's comments, where you can tell they are off balanced, gripping their point by the jugular and don't, no matter what they say, really want a honest conversation about their point, but instead are trying to engage you in a debate where they get to vent, then delete. That's how most of us function in 'real life' too. If you see someone at Starbucks every week and talk back and forth and then after a few months they repeatedly and forcefully ask you why you SAY you have a job, when they KNOW they've seen you shopping at Target during the afternoon, then the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you make polite disengaging noises and get the hell out of there. That isn't hiding, that's knowing you don't owe people evidence of your life, and you don't owe anyone but your nearest and dearest time in your day to put up with crazy(ish). 

Some GOMI Posts Say:

On A Blogger's OutfitWhat IS this? First of all, oh look nude shoes…again. Second, this woman seems to dress in a way to purposely invite speculation about whether her uterus is occupied. I also had a little trouble at first figuring out whether those were wrinkles or panty lines.

With No Irony the lead GOMIR writes about a blogger: For some reason I feel like she missed the point in the criticism, but it’s a blogger we’re talking about here. Do they ever really listen?

That's middle ground. Some GOMI posts are perfectly harmless, and others are horribly mean. Which by itself would be upsetting or annoying but not a big deal. The problem comes with the libel, the rumor mill, the accusations made about a blogger's intentions, life, honesty. Once something gets said enough there apparently it's OK to believe it's true, although they don't give that rope to other bloggers. 

Bloggers who make part or all of their living off their blogs should have accountability for certain things of course, but GOMI makes that point as if that justifies their guesswork and slander, which is ridiculous. Holding a blogger accountable for xyz when it matters is fine, but standing outside the stall jeering and mocking and telling the student body that xyz is having a miscarriage in the bathroom  haha can you believe she was pregnant and she always said she was a virgin ( and really she's just having her first period, you asshat ) is just classic Mean Girl. I myself never bothered to prove ' how poor ' I am to my angry commenter, because she was so intense and persistent, and because HELLO? Who PRETENDS to be poor? Why in the world would pretend to the entire world and everyone I know in real life who read this, including occasionally my SIL, my oldest son, my husband, my ex-boss, ex coworkers who are still friends of mine, etc, that I am poor? Wouldn't I be worried that all those people in my life might ask me why I'm publicly lying about my life? That's the reputation I want to create for myself? If so, then I am a sad, sad person and you should just leave me alone anyway. 

Will someone sue GOMI for libel? I don't know. But it wouldn't surprise me at all. I hope they have Star Magazine money for a lawyer, since they have Star Magazine cruelty for a hobby.

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