As long time readers of my blog know, I'm a huge supporter of the Mom Pledge. While I've never been the recipient of cyber-bullying, I know that it is a big problem in the online world. And it seems to be particularly vitriolic in the Mommy Blogging world. Because as most moms know, there's always someone out there to tell you that your opinion is wrong, the way you're raising your children is wrong, and that your child is going to suffer because of the beliefs you have and the way that you raise them. This happens in the real world as well as the online world. In the real world, you can just walk away from the conversation. But in your own blog... well, that is a different story.
Your blog is your home online. It may be one of many, but it's still a place that you've created to be what you want it to be. And when a bully comes into your comments, berating you and telling you that you're wrong, spilling hate and intolerance all over your blog, making it personal by calling you names and stabbing sharply at you, it's like someone barging into your home and assaulting you. You don't want to leave your safe place. And, just like a backstabbing friend, some of these bullies will go to others in the blogging community to talk about you in the worst of terms. Who wants to deal with that?
The Mom Pledge is a pledge by it's members to try to stop this kind of bullying, to support the members of the community when bullies come their way, and to do their best to be conscientious bloggers. This doesn't mean that you can't debate in people's blogs. Debate is healthy. But it does mean that negative comments and personal attacks should be checked at the door.
And you shouldn't just keep an eye on this for your own blog. Keep an eye on it in other's blogs as well. There are all kinds of people in the blogging world - those that are willing to stand up to any fight and those who are sensitive to negative criticism, those who wear their hearts on the page and those who are more circumspect in what they write. By going in and showing your support for a blogger when they are being bullied, you are giving someone a helping hand when they may not be good at defending themselves.
August is Mom to Mom Month at the Mom Pledge. Tell other moms about the Mom Pledge. Take the pledge yourself if you haven't. And be supportive to the moms that you know. Because we can be a positive force in the blogging world.