This will be my most hastily written post ever because it is a current event update! I feel like a news reporter. I know what the headline should be.
GCM Shuts Down
Of course, it is not the professional news reporter who would then state, “woo hoo, woo hoo, happy dance, woo hoo.” Unfortunately, it is a temporary shut down though. So what happened, what is happening? I will probably ask more questions than answer, but here we go.
It all started last week. The site administrator and moderators decided it was time for a break. In order to take a step back from the site, they would shut down all non-parenting related forums through lent. From what a moderator had said I can gather that no prior notice was given even though they knew about the partial shut down for a week. They got too busy to notify the GCMers. So one day thousands of GCMers woke up without their community, it had been snatched like “a rug pulled out from under” them. Keep in mind, not all of GCM was shut down. But when a web site has an unhealthy control over you, well your world shuts down!
Let me digress here and aid my fellow reader in the structure of GCM. First there are the few public posts where you and I can go and read. Once someone becomes a member they then can start posting in these public forums. When 10 posts have been reached a door reveals the next layer of GCM. They are now privy to more forums. Once 40 posts are reached more doors open. The same with 80, 125, 25o, 500 and possibly even 1000 posts. There are at least 28 private forums, two of which include “solo parenting within marriage” for those women who have beastly husbands who don’t know how to be gentle (bit of sarcasm there, yes) and “breaking the chains (abuse and addiction)” where I can only imagine a great deal of damage to families is done. So these are probably two of the many shut down. To that I would say, “May they never come back!”
Some GCMers thought there was more to the story than what meets the eye. Was there some conspiracy going on? Is that why they were really shut down? From the public forum, I found no evidence of this -it was alluded to that there are online chat areas where people were talking one on one with moderators and then leaving. But I did find that the administrator was called a liar and all sorts of names. I know how this feels. Since the beginning of this site, I have been called many nasty things by GCMers, egotistical, sad, pathetic, a miserable excuse for a person, rude, I have been told I need a kick in the pants (thought they didn’t believe in violence?), I should be in a straight jacket and the list goes on and on. So I know how nasty these woman can be. But now they have turned on themselves! Division in the ranks. At first it was everyone else that was abusive. A former GCMer once told me that, “I have frequently seen members encourage other members to end contact with family and friends over simple arguments. At GCM there is no such thing as an argument, there is only “abuse”.” Now GCMers are calling each other abusive! Here are some of the comments that have been made. (By the way, many members have quit since this all occurred.) Emphasis added by me.
“I can’t function in a place that has become so toxic. I can’t function in a place where a few people are held to a different standard of conduct for how they treat others. I can’t function in a place where we are reminded to extend grace to our children, and yet that same grace is not shown to members, over and over again. GCM has encouraged me to be brave. To speak up. To draw boundaries. To take a stand against abuse in my life. Unfortunately today that means I have to take a stand against GCM. I cannot stay.” – posted March 10, 2014 Out of the desert and into the sun“It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess. Please deactivate my membership.” -posted on March 7, 2014 A full-on Monet
“In the past few days, I’ve seen behavior that breaks my heart. I’m not talking about personality clashes or differences in communication styles. I’m talking about dishonesty, emotional manipulation, and just plain nastiness. Some of the most vocal detractors of GCM are demanding something from the GCM leadership — an ethical stance, a compassionate approach to listening, a tolerance for differences in perspective — that they themselves are unwilling to provide. To support and encourage this kind of breach of trust makes those of us who have given of our time and energies (and I have given perhaps the least of all) here as mods and admins feel as though we have shared our hearts, our vulnerabilities, and our inner thoughts with people who are judging us and finding us wanting (best case scenario) or who will later use those vulnerabilities to hurt us (worst case scenario). I’ve seen mods and admins called liars in the past few days. It’s been implied to me and other mods that we are in the dark and GCM would be better off without us. I’ve watched people cheer on those who are saying the most hurtful, unkind, and negative things about Jeri and her board when all she has ever done is make this amazing space available to any mother who needed it. I have watched people spread half-truths and gossip and then turn around and accuse the leadership team here of the same actions with absolutely no evidence.” -posted on March 10, 2014 I’m Probably Going to Look Back on This as One of My Crazy Episodes
“However, as a member of this community, I am now choosing to walk away from an environment that has become toxic. Where there’s little, if any, accountability for the leadership, where certain members of the community seem to be given a free pass to act in ways that many other members of the community are not, where grace is no longer shown to the members the way it used to be. I am standing up, using my voice that I found through GCM, to say that I can’t stay here and watch this happen anymore. I can’t stay and watch the abuse continue unchecked anymore.Last I counted, at least 15 members, most of them long-time members who had been here for years and had accumulated tens of thousands of posts, had deactivated. That didn’t happen for no reason or because a few people got in a snit. I can’t speak specifically for anyone else, but I would hope that when that many long-time members, with that many posts, leave within the space of a few days, it would be a huge red flag to the leadership here that something isn’t right, that something isn’t working.” – posted on March 10, 2014 Peace out
“And therein lies why it’s going to continue to be hard to understand. There are privacy rules in place where you can’t even point out when a post is indicative of a pattern of behavior because you might be mentioning something that happened in another thread, or you might be told it’s something you should handle in another venue, etc., which is very effective at keeping issues quiet even when they are not effectively addressed. If someone asks me what’s going on, all I can tell them is that they’ll have to discover it for themselves because the privacy rules keep it shrouded. There may be changes brewing, but only certain changes would mean that the same thing’s not going to continue as a pattern until the next generation of 10,000+ posters discover it for themselves.” -posted on March 10, 2014 Re: i don’t understand why people keep leaving