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Why Do We Allow Blatant Bullying Here?

This is part question, part rant, and part plea.

I love this community. I love this web site. I am grateful to @admin and anybody else involved in creating this space for us. I am even more grateful that the site is ad free and free of charge.

We have some wonderful people here -- of every stripe imaginable. We have young and old, all kinds of sexual orientations, gender identities, races, ethnicities, shapes, sizes, educational background, widowed, married, partnered, poly and mono -- a freaking cornucopia of people.

The thing that brings us all together and the thing that most of us have in common is that we identify in one way or another as non-believers in the supernatural. Our own awesome space!

There are differing opinions. There are agreements. There are people who care about each other and care about this community. Just read through the threads and you will see post after post, and comment after comment, and reply after reply of support, sharing of life experiences, words of encouragement, suggestions, humor, advice, heartfelt condolences, jokes, and enthusiastic cheerleading.

An area where I see many of these strong, outspoken and compassionate members not showing up is when one of our members -- especially somebody new -- is being bullied. I'm truly sadly disappointed about that.

Time and again, I see a member verbally sparring with somebody with clearly no real purpose except to be demeaning, condescending, and flat-out mean-spirited for what appears to be NO reason except that he or she can. Being sarcastic and occasional short-fused is one thing. To belittle somebody is a whole other situation. And, when my own mouth drops, I think "Well somebody will say that is not cool." But so far, by and large, people don't and people haven't.

So, I'm curious and I genuinely want to know why don't some of us stand up for somebody who is being bullied? Why aren't some of us doing our part to say "We don't treat people that way here."?

Is it not wanting to make waves?

Is it not wanting to upset the apple cart?

Is it not wanting to lose favor with the bully?

Are you so easygoing that you simply don't recognize bullying?

Is it truly just not caring?

My personal solution has been to simply block people. But a couple of recent threads have really hit a nerve with me. I could have chosen block, but that would not have done anything for what I see as a failure on our part as a COMMUNITY. We do everything else so WELL. Why aren't we doing this?

In real life, would you let somebody behave so poorly toward another member of your family or your community -- or would you say "Not here and not today, champ!" ? I'd like to know from your OWN perspective. Not maybes. Not hypotheticals. Not "If the person can't take it...." I sincerely am interested in knowing about when YOU have seen it, and what YOUR gut reaction was, and how YOU came to the decision to just keep scrolling.

Thank you for listening and hopefully sharing your own thoughts on this. No matter what you write, I really do appreciate your sharing and your insight.

BlueWave 8 Feb 15

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Is there a particular post that sparked this reaction? I personally haven't witnessed any bullying. I personally can't stand to see anyone bullied.

Yes, there is one in particular that finally sparked my reaction. However, I don’t want that one thread scrutinized and everybody to throw their opinion in on that one thread or on the two people involved—the bully and the target.

I really just wanted to know if there’s anybody else out there who even sees or cares when somebody is just being mean-spirited for no other fucking reason than to be a dick.

@BlueWave I care, and have felt like a target. It's one reason I don't block, so that I can see if/when that member does it again, and defend or report.

@BlueWave it may be that I have blocked the person who is doing the bullying and haven’t seen it. I have blocked a couple of people who are annoying

@bingst, that's such a positive way to handle an ugly and hurtful situation - although I'm sorry you've been a target.


Where is the bullying? I haven't seen it and I'd like to know where I need to look...

The most I have seen is someone getting called out for a post that showcased hypocrisy and a bad attitude. That thread was called into question but I don't think there was any "bullying" there--just bitter medicine.

The minute I see legitimate bullying I'll call it out.

I’m starting to think, as I read these responses from oldest to newest, that I might just be more sensitive than most people.

Perhaps the answer for me is to just let everybody fend for themselves and move along to another place on the Internet if they can’t stand the assholes, and I will just block the dickheads.

@BlueWave Blue, there's nothing wrong with being "sensitive." It is all of our jobs to fight injustice. Sometimes it is marching in the streets or calling a congress person. Sometimes it is pointing out a comment on here. If the attacker feels maligned, he or she can defend themselves.


If you see it, report it. That’s what the flag is for

Marz Level 7 Feb 16, 2018

I am not looking for advice. I am looking for the experiences of others and how they have reacted when they see behavior that is bullying but does not rise to the level of flaggable abuse.

@BlueWave All a matter of interpretation, no? What is bullying to you may not be to another. Some do rant....if it's directed at someone then perhaps. Some on here have some rather strong opinions. A few are my way or the highway. We are all so very different. I like that challenge.


I am extremely fresh to this site, but if I witness any bullying I will definitely step in because being Atheist is not an excuse to be an asshole.


I have seen it. I flag posts that are abusive for Admin to deal with. I block a lot of others


I personally have had many problems with people being jerks to me and I've even removed posts and stopped posting because of it. I've also became more aggressive and fought back. I now find I don't like the person I'm becoming on here. I've also started blocking people. I'm tired of being told my posts are stupid or worthless. It makes me not want to be here anymore.

Wow, that's really disheartening. I had no idea 😟

That is not a pleasant experience and I'm very surprised. Most members are very kind and considerate and that is what has made this site so very appealing to me. So sorry this happened to you and I hope you won't give up on all of us. 🙂

I figure that if someone thinks your posts are stupid or worthless, why do they bother even commenting? These people are the reason that otherwise kind and caring and sensitive people become callous and jaded. I, for one, tend to find resonance in the things of yours that I have read.

@Meep70 ty


?? I believe you. I have not seen it. But the world has turned an awful form of mean in the past few years and getting it stopped has got to become a goal.


I don't have much to say other than I hate it and I believe it has much to do with ego. The first time I got slammed (on wonderful FB not here yet) made me all upset and nervous. Now? I tell them to "fuck right off". It feels good!
Me and mine call it "dick waving".....

Your last line reminds me of something a woman I worked with used to say when she was the recipient of unwanted male attention such as the "shoulder massage." She would say "keep your dick beaters off me!"

LOL!! 🙂 I like that.

That's hilarious! I've heard that term before!


I've been a member for a very short time, but have read a lot of posts. I have not seen anything I would classify as bullying, but I have seen comments that I would term "snarky." Some people just seem to be in pissed off mode all the time. I do wonder though, why those members don't just refrain from commenting on other people's posts and just start their own.

That would at least be helpful. What I am talking about, in my opinion, rises above being snarky. It might fit somewhere along being in a pissed off mood and hating the world and making other people pay for it by being an asshole.

To reiterate, the person did not call the writer a name and was not lewd, threatening or do other things that rise to instant flag status. It was more of just being mean and treating someone very poorly because they could.

@BlueWave Sounds like you're describing trolling. Some people just love to wind up others.

@BlueWave Well said!

@bingst Nope. Not what I perceive as trolling. Just being snide, rude, mean-spirited, dismissive and an all-around asshole.


I know what you’re talking about and I have also just chosen to block those people. Mostly what I see is people who just want to argue because they like the sound of their own “voice” so to speak. I see people talking down to others who don’t agree with them in ways I suppose could be called intellectually bullying. I guess the reason I don’t do more is because I have no interest in or patience for internet arguing and so to intentionally start a “fight” with someone because I don’t like that they are doing that exact same thing with someone else seems counterproductive. Now that I’m thinking about it though... Maybe there is a better choice.


I haven't seen what I would define as "bullying" I've seen sarcasm, snarky comments, misunderstands and flawed arguments.... but not bullying. I've seen people get their adder handed to them for making a bad claim or not being able to back up their claim.....but that's not bullying. Maybe give us an example? Sorry if I missed it in your post I haven't had coffee yet

Good morning! The only thing I could do is give hypotheticals, otherwise I might as well post a link to the thread that triggered me. This was more along the lines of getting their ass handed them to on a platter but not for any dubious claim, just for merely stating a suggestion or an opinion, having nothing to do with facts or evidence. It also was not at all related to religion.


I've blocked a few but in general, most seem cool or at least ok to me..


Seems like we're all going to read this and wonder which posts you mean and unless we know it's all guesswork so rather than more hints could you link or cut n paste some of the most offensive?
There's a lot going on here, and I easily could have missed it. thnx

Nope. 🙂

I didn't want people's opinions and judgments and analysis on one particular thread.

I wanted to know if you or they came across comments that sounded like what I described.

And, if you or they did, I wanted to know how and why you or they chose the action or inaction they chose.

If you have not seen any posts which you find ugly, dismissive, mean-spirited, overly snide, or anywhere on the spectrum of bullying, then it seems reasonable that you would not have an opinion.

As you can see, if you read back through the comments and replies, with the thoughtful input of another member, I think I have determined that I am very sensitive to people being pounced on by somebody who is "more experienced, or older, or younger, or wiser, or more educated, or whatever the case may be" when the motive clearly is to dismiss or belittle the person. So, I'm a big ol' mushball and I'll get over it. [And use the block button for the assholes a bit more.]

@BlueWave you had me at nope.

@BenPike I didn't want to be too wordy about it because I had explained why I wasn't posting the thread about ten times already. I wasn't intending to be rude, Ben. Just short and sweet -- but I guess the sweet part didn't convey properly. I'm sorry.

@BlueWave obviously a lot is lost in text. I think you had sort of explained yourself earlier in this conversation, so a simple nope would have told me a lot. Plus there's a smiley face. Plus I like the jokingly defiant tone I imagined the nope pronounced in. ( To end a sentence in a preposition. Yikes!)


VictoriaNotes is quite right. You only meet the new members by chance. This site has no home page where you can go to see who's new. I discover sometimes newbies that are already level 2 or so. There is no place to greet them and to watch what they are posting. BlueWave is quite right, bullying should not be an issue on this site. New ones can be "guided" into the platform and there is no need to do that in a bullying or arrogant way. Many new members need some compassion from people that realize that they were newbies once too. The admin checks the posts of these newbies, but should also be aware of the communication that is towards those new ones that have no idea of how this site works and what they can expect. When I was new here in December or so, I have not done anything, did hardly post, because I had no idea. And when I started I had a conversation about the level system. I can't say I was attacked or bullied, but as far as I remember not all replies were friendly, like "it's our site and don't argue about the setup. If you don't like it, you don't have to come here" I almost left until some friendly lady explained me that the level-point system was to reveal trolls. Although I don't know if that works, at that moment it was for me acceptable explanation. I also realized that there are more benefits.
But as I am, by the site, not introduced to new members, I can't can't see the communication either. So bullying is like often quite invisible that way.
I hope this post and the replies motivates the admins to solve this problem, most likely by making the new members better visible.

Gert Level 7 Feb 16, 2018

I appreciate your thoughtful post, Gert. I'm glad you did not leave.

For clarification only, the thread that pushed me over the edge when it comes to being snide, dismissive, mean-spirited and rude WITHOUT a reason to treat somebody that way, did NOT involve a new member.

And, the target was not meek and timid in return. Regardless of how the target handled it, the aggressor owns the fact that they treated another valuable human being like a piece of worthless dirt for no good reason. In my opinion.

You just go to Browse, Members, Newest to see new member page.

@BlueWave Well, I have the same. If someone is unfriendly, unreasonable, insulting or even posting without reading the post he/she is replying to, drives me to a decent unfriendliness. Someone can misunderstand so if he/she stays showing that he doesn't read or doesn't want to understand, I tell him/her that I will block him/her. Send the same in a message and one day later I will block. If it's a misunderstanding than it will show soon enough.

@DelilahJones33 I learned to know where to find them, so, that's not the issue. It it would be convenient though as well for the old as the new that there is a homepage where you can find all the recent information and links to the new members in the easiest way.


I've seen name calling and smart ass remarks pointed to a member. I have flag 2 people and one of them explained their mistake and i accepted their answer and contacted admin to remove my flag. I can only say that some people forget how powerful words can effect others and they just ramble on. It's sad that some know the answer and have to explain how many degrees they have and where they work to justify that their answer is the one we should all listen to. They're are some that are really good at copy and paste like it was their answer and they wrote it. It's just a thing... I get hit a lot... sometimes they're right and I submit to their answer and I correct my comment. If it's a touchy subject... I leave it alone and move on... but I hear what your saying... your going to meet all kinds of people in here... if they're rude... set them straight.


It may be more helpful to point out concrete cases -- personally I have never seen any of the things you describe but I do not read all posts so might well have missed them.
However, I have the feeling that maybe, given the various backgrounds and locations members come from here, what one person interprets as "bullying" may not have been the actual intention?
I am just speculating here, but I have learned that e.g. for some people especially in the US, my generous use of "fuck" and similar words in some of my remarks comes across in a completely different way than intended -- apparently they are obliged to wash their mouths with soap every time they say "fuck". I have no fucking idea why and frankly, I do not really give a fuck, but this is my observation.


I don't. I block the fuckers. I hate bullies.


I have not seen any cases of blatant bullying -- yet. If I do, you can be assured they will be called out on it immediately.


haven't been on the site as much recently but kinda surprised that its happened enough for someone to make a post on it. is it usually the same people doing the bullying?


Now I’m wondering if I’m a bully. :/ or at least perceived as such sometimes

Not possible.

No. In my opinion, you are not. 🙂

Almost all people who can see this don’t behave this way. Otherwise I would have blocked you already and you would not be able to see it.

I typically might say something in response and often just block people. But re the last couple of incidents I saw it bothered me that nobody even seemed to notice.

And it goes without saying that I am not at all and could not possibly be addressing posts that people have not seen. If you have not seen it, you have not seen it, and therefore you would have no reason to have an experience about it.

The other day, apparently on someone’s first post, a couple of people were talking about ghosts. I had to tell them that there is no evidence for ghosts and that is equivalent to a belief in deities. I probably got blocked for that one lmao @BlueWave

Yeah, right? I admit to being sarcastic and mayhaps snarky. I always HOPE people know I'm not serious, but I can't be sure that my meaning comes across.

@NothinnXpreVails Not by me. I agree with your OPINION.

IF I disagreed with you, which I don't, I think it's one thing to say "I don't agree with you, but that's okay for both of us"

It is quite another for somebody to say "Well, you haven't seen a ghost and until you have seen a ghost, what you have to say really doesn't matter, now does it, Sparky?"

Lol @BlueWave

Your profile photo is scary! LOL There is just something that bothers me about it, but I respect that it is your expression and move along, 😛


I haven't seen much bullying here. I can remember one case, and that was a religious person joining the site to troll us. I think the reason for me not seeing much is that I tend to stay out of areas where it is most likely to occur. Even the most rational amongst us tend to get emotional and react in irrational ways over certain topics.

Having not seen the bullying, I can't say if you're being too sensitive. I would guess that you are not.

d_day Level 7 Feb 16, 2018

Blue, I agree in your overall theme, that we as a forum and as a country, should stand up against bullying, whether we are being bullied or we witness it.

I guess, my thought is "is it really bullying?" I've seen some shit that I consider pretty rude, but I guess I don't consider myself the person who makes the actual "bully" designation.

But, you are right. I need to take the leap of faith. (there's a weird comment)

I think, after much thought, it probably doesn't land square on "bullying." There wasn't name calling. There wasn't lewdness or threats. It was just rude, snide, mean-spirited and dismissive.

@BlueWave I believe what you describe is indeed bullying. I think you did the right thing and also did the right thing in bringing it to our attention.

@phil21 Thanks, Phil. I appreciate your saying so. 🙂

@BlueWave Power to the People. Peace and Love to everyone in the World. And you are most welcome.


I have noticed some responses that could be interpreted as sarcastic or rude depending on the mood your in when reading. I find it is hard to attribute emotions to the written word since it is dependant on the readers perspective. Trying to determine the mood or the frame of mind the writer is in, can be difficult.

I haven't noticed anyone being "mean" as of yet but I will be a little more attentive from now on. 🙂

Betty Level 8 Feb 16, 2018

Well, why are you waiting for someone else to speak up? I appreciate your concerns, but in my experience attempting to defend someone earns you anger because the person you are "defending" feels put down because you feel they need defending. I do! If I am competent enough to post something, I am prepared to stand behind it (or maybe change my mind if presented with more facts) and nasty comments are generally either so stupid as to be not worth my time, or fun to be snarky about.

I thought I was pretty clear about what I usually do. I wanted to know what others see and how they feel and why they react the way they do.

I do not agree with the notion that all people feel offended when somebody stands up and says “hey, that’s not cool. I think what Robert said was valuable.”

There’s a big difference between saying something like that and saying “hey, stop being mean to my friend, you asshole!”

I also don’t think snark is the answer or is appropriate sometimes.

@BlueWave Snark as a response to ignorance, or deliberate discourtesy, is the Only answer, other than silence

@AnneWimsey I think you forgot "In my opinion," Anne.

@BlueWave No, I did not...the essence of snark, lol!


Personally I have not come across any bullying on this site.If I do, I will stand up and say something. This is a wonderful site for all, honestly I feel at home here, I feel welcomed, that is something that no other site offers, everyone has been so kind and genuine

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