Bullying and people leaving

I have been using this site for many years but of late I am getting quite distressed about a small minority of posters.

There have always been forceful characters on the site.This has resulted in lively debate which has sometimes needed reigning in by moderators.Fair enough. I am all in agreement with the guidelines if applied equally and fairly.

I am all for debate but not indoctrination. Some people like to weigh up both sides and not be ridiculed for taking their own path.

Once again, a thoughtful, informative poster has had to take the decsision to leave the site. She is not the first to do so as a result of behaviour that is aggressive, bullying and patronising.
I myself have been at their mercy of this few and believe me it feels very personal.
If this minority get reported little happens but others get their posts deleted. I understand that moderators cannot read every post of every thread but this pattern surely cannot continue.I have the greatest respect for the moderators but this feels all wrong.

I have a secondary diagnosis and do not know what I would do without this site. Just lately I am starting to think I may have to find out…:frowning:


Hi Julie

I want to respond to your post as clearly it is a serious matter when people are feeling distressed, as you describe.

Firstly, I want to remind people that the community guidelines cover both how people should post in the first place (e.g. “be kind”) and ALSO how people should respond to posts that they think contravene the community guidelines.

This is the passage from the guidelines I’m referring to:

“If someone posts something you feel violates our community guidelines or terms of conditions, report it immediately then ignore it. Click ‘report this comment’ or email <script type=“text/javascript”>eval(unescape(‘%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%6d%6f%64%65%72%61%74%6f%72%40%62%72%65%61%73%74%63%61%6e%63%65%72%63%61%72%65%2e%6f%72%67%2e%75%6b%22%3e%6d%6f%64%65%72%61%74%6f%72%40%62%72%65%61%73%74%63%61%6e%63%65%72%63%61%72%65%2e%6f%72%67%2e%75%6b%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b’))</script>. Some people enjoy getting a reaction, and post nasty comments just to provoke a response. The best way to deal with this is to report it, then ignore it.”

It’s important that things are dealt with this way on the forum for a number of reasons, mainly:

If people report things to us early on, without reacting publicly, it gives the moderating team a chance to warn people involved and prevent situations spiralling into nasty arguments. It also means we have a record of people’s concerns, which can help back us up if we do need to take action.

It is really important that these guidelines are followed by everyone.

Secondly, I would like to point out that when posts are reported, it is not always obvious to everyone what action has been taken, as it is often taken in private with the people involved. We do take these things very seriously but it often isn’t appropriate to deal with them publicly. I know this can seem like no action is being taken, but that isn’t the case.

I know the forum is very important to lots of people, and I hope that if people work within the community guidelines, it can continue to be a friendly place for people to find support.

Please do feel free to contact me by private message and please do report any unacceptable behaviour to the moderators.

with best wishes
Community & Social Media Manager

Hi Julie

I totally agree with you. I found this forum just after diagnosis in SEptember 2009. It was much more friendly then than it is now. I too have been on the end of a type lashing when posting on a diet thread. I left the forums for a few weeks at the end of last year and have just started to look again. I have seen the new thread I think you are referring to and it seems the same thing is happening again.

I used to look at the threads some were ladies asking for information and some were very funny tales.

I spent many a night when I couldn’t sleep reading some of the funny threads and feeling so much better afterwards.

I seems to me that the funny threads are now very scarce and that is very sad for the new ladies.

I am thinking of leaving for good and I know it will be a difficult decision as BC is never too far away from our thoughts and I used to find a great deal of comfort in the nice threads both the humourous ones and the informative ones (my favourite at the beginning was about how to deal with the SE of chemo and I found some of them very useful)

I will hang around for a few days if this bullying continues I will be gone for good, not a great loss to most of you as I was not a very prolific poster but a prolific reader and often follower of advice given


I’m glad you’ve raised this Julie (I love your posts, I always look out for them and get great comfort from them). I too, have felt that it’s getting a little too intense and I’ve found myself looking elsewhere, ie googling, instead of coming on here. The funny tales, advice, and information from people who’ve been there and done it or any experience I can pass on is what I’m after, I don’t want to read things and then see people are getting upset - blimey, we’ve all got enough on our plates!


I would say the vast majority of threads are helpful, full of empathy, lots of lovely people to support and make you laugh and for you to support.

If there are any threads I’m not really comfortable with I just don’t go there. It seems a shame to leave altogether for the sake of a thread, when there are so many helpful and uplifting ones.
I’d be lost without this forum.
Hope that hasn’t upset anyone, it’s certainly not my intention - as you say we have enough on our plates.

Snap…I’ve seen this going on too. Some people seem to like to attack other people’s comments rather than referring to the original question asked. It’s not fair on the original poster to have their thread ambushed …as you rightly say, we have enough to fret about without the fear of someone dismissing your opinions.

Well brought up!


Dancing girl, these particular posters tend to ambush threads and they turn nasty. Sadly, it is not just a one off. I know what you mean though.

Julie x

Hi Julie, oh I hope the person who left isn’t who I think it may well be. I would certainly miss her posts. After using this site, well the earlier BCC version since early 2004 I now only post on a few threads and after a fairly recent update I’ve decided I will no longer post any news of myself and I’ll only now respond to posts which I hope I may of help to. The site hit, for me, an all time unpleasant low last year when an unkind comment about a deceased member was left despite myself and I suspect others asking for the Mods to remove it. (it’s still on view, I checked before I posted here) PM me anytime Julie. I think the Secondaries forum is the friendliest and most supportive of forums. ( So wish we didn’t have to be there of course. ) xx

As is the nature of forums, there are often differences of opinion and strong views, which will almost certainly lead to heated debates at best and bullying behaviour at worst.

By the look of things there has been a bit of pruning going on in some recent threads and if concerns are reported to the mods, they will, I’m sure, deal with them in as sensitive and constructive a manner as possible. Thank you, mods.

I’m very grateful to the forums - and all the contributors - for keeping me bordering on sane, I don’t know what I would have done without you all for the last month or so (though I do feel I’m getting a bit addicted and could probably do with staying off for a while! :wink: )

One thing I really, really, really hate is when people point out or criticise someone’s spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar. I would hate to think someone won’t post because they are worried about their literacy skills and then they miss out on vital support. Does it matter if you spell something wrong or put an apostrophe in the wrong place? We need to support each other.

Maude xx

I totally agree with that last comment. I’m usually a bit pedantic about spelling etc, but this forum is about giving and receiving support and therefore it becomes unimportant. Besides chemo brain and typos get to us all. So just type ladies and get the message across - don’t worry about apostrophe’s and the like - we’ve enough to worry about without about spelling, mistakes etc.

Stella xx

See - stray apostrophe!!

I really,really hope that this member does not leave she has been very supportive of me and I will miss her :frowning:

I agree with maude about the spelling and grammar remarks.I am not all that good with grammar and won’t post sometimes. When I do post I spend ages going over my post to try to get it right. Some posts can be very hurtful and patronising and I’m sure that the poster knows exactly what they are doing. I did tend to go along with the playground tactics which was maybe wrong.

Bet wishes Mel xx

It’s ok Mel I also got sucked into being cross instead of just reporting the posts.
I won’t again.


I’m just horrified that people can be so nasty to somebody else with bc and I haven’t even seen the post you’re talking about!
As far as I am concerned this forum is about support, sharing, caring and laughter and no space or place for nasties.

I think it’s very unfortunate when this happens. I’ve been on here since 2006 and I used to try to avoid certain threads where one particular poster (sadly no longer with us) would be inclined to take over. Once or twice in my early days here this person was asked by others not to post links to things about BC in publications like the Lancet as other more nervous posters found some of the research quite scary (it was a bit different back then with regard to posting links to things, not as moderated as now).

I must admit that I don’t come on this site as often as I used to because of a minority of people who can have a very aggressive attitude. I’ve been on the receiving end of some of this having been accused of condemning women to death (when I voiced an opinion on a complementary therapy that differed from that of my “attacker”)and being told by another woman that I was effectively a freak, according to the dictionary definition, deformed, as I’ve chosen not to have reconstruction.It just makes me wonder what these people get from being so aggressive and personalising things in this way? It has put me off answering questions at times or getting into debates, particularly when the tone is “I know better than you”.

Please don’t be put off of posting, you can make a valuable contribution. Most people on the threads are reasonable and take comments (even ones they don’t agree with) in the spirit they were made. I know it is horrible when you feel attacked but don’t let that stop you from gaining from and giving to the forums.
With good wishes, Julie

Hi Geraldine, I’m always surprised to see this kind of comment because I’ve never known the forum to be anythig other than supportive. But then I’m a newbie to the bc world and I guess at any point in time the forum is defined by the people who post here. We are largely a set of diverse, scared women thrown together by circumstance and it always strikes me that there is a high level of concern for others given that we’re not trained as counsellors.

I guess people feel the need to justify decisions they have made or would make particularly where the stakes are so high. I would imagine strongly held views might be born from individual experiences, fear, beliefs and reading around the subject. But they are just that, opinions, and should be accepted or disregarded as that. There is no hierarchy of posters. The forums are great for support and there are some threads around that I’m really finding helpful.

Please don’t be put off, just avoid those threads/posters who you don’t feel help you. We newbies would like to get to know you and benefit from your views xx


I have adopted a new motto since being a member of the BC club, … lifes to precious to be hung with punctuation, thats my excuse for poor spelling now

take care xx