Mumsnet revamps "talk boards" but faces the wrath of angry mums.
New talk boards causing "issues"
Mumsnet, the successful UK website for mums with perhaps just a little too much time on their hands, have recently launched a revamp of their popular talk boards. But many of the mums are far from happy.
One user, under her online nickname "Jalopy" said "It's dreadful. I can feel an optical migraine coming on."
And she is not the only member to complain: "DottydotsofBloodOnTheFloor" replied to a discussion about the changes with real flourish: "AARRGGGGGHHHHHH - I can't figure it out. I'm a grown woman and I can't figure out where the messages are going. PLEASE change it back."
The discussion has even spilled on to other popular websites. A Facebook group called "MumsActingLikeChildren" comments how the mums behaviour would be better suited to the playground than the Internet. Fina Gord, the creator of the Facebook group said "Is it any wonder their kids are throwing their toys out of their prams?"
Mumsnet founders declined to comment officially. An unnamed source at Mumsnet's North London headquarters told the BBC "It's all tech's fault. We should never have let him move his bloody shed to Florida".
Tech, something akin to Top Gear's "Stig", is the unnamed programmer who works on the Mumsnet site. None of the Mumsnetters, as they like to be known, have ever met Tech. There is a commonly held belief that Tech lives and works in a shed, though this has never been proven.
When asked about the furore created by his work he was heard to mutter "I've not eaten for weeks, let alone slept. You work for months and all they do is moan. I'm off to the beach. "
The action-oriented mums have already lodged complaints with a variety of bodies:
10 Downing Street petition
The outrage at the changes is particularly surprising given that Mumsnet have thoughtfully provided a feature which allows readers to operate in Mumsnet Classic mode, whereby it looks just like it always used to.
However, it appears even reading the explanatory text and clicking a button or two is too much for this angry mob. One user, "WickedWaterWitch" was particularly vociferous, only to announce the next morning that in fact she didn't think it was so bad once she'd sobered up.
In a fashion typical of Internet discussion forums, other members are lashing back against the backlash. One or two of the mums were even said to have commented that they liked all the new features, but they've since retracted their comments for fear of retribution. One of the supports of the changes told the BBC, on condition of anonymity, "I'm worried - last time I tried to fly in the face of the angry mums I had the tyres on my Bugaboo slashed. It just isn't worth the risk. Not these days."
Threads of discussion have even started on the subject of whether the operators of the site should have informed the public about the changes before they took place. Quite what the readers would have done with this advanced information is unclear.
Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families said "They've lost it. Still, you don't f**k around with a bunch of angry mums, no matter how childishly they behave, do you?"