Parenting community Babyology has been praised for standing up to “mummy trolls” after a sharp rise in nasty comments forced the site to take action.
Babyology, a lifestyle product review site for children’s products, announced late last week that it will delete “any negative or abusive comments made on our Facebook page”.
“Babyology is our family – fun, safe, caring and supportive – and we believe that unless you would make a comment face-to-face, then this negativity does not have a place in our online space.”
Babyology’s managing editor Mandi Gunsberger told B&T that “really hurtful and nasty” comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be blocked from the Facebook page.
“It really is a 24-hour a day job,” according to Gunsberger who said up to six of the site’s part-timers will be tasked with moderating the page constantly.
The rise in trolls has also seen the community think twice about the timing of posts.
“If it is going to be anything controversial at all -anything about breast feeding or co-sleeping or anything that I think might turn a bit sour – we have to do it at certain time of day,” she said.
“Because a lot of the comments come out between 10pm and 2am, it’s when all the nasties come out so we have to be on top of it during those hours which is quite hard.”
The new policy has attracted national media attention and has been well received by Babyology’s more than 114,000 followers (see comments below).
Gunsberger believes the new stance has attracted attention because some sites are “very lenient” on trolls.
“A lot of other websites like that controversial angle to get people talking. There’s talking and then there’s the whole negative side of things, it’s just not necessary.”
Last week, a former chief justice of the Family Court said cyber bullying should be punishable with jail time.
For Babyology, the breaking point came when a staff member was reduced to tears after cyber bullies “cruelly” abused her for the way she decorated her son’s nursery.