These don't come up for me that often. ;) My question is about networking and bad behavior in a group set up for it.
Okay, so I'm part of this small invite-only email group. It is a fantastic group mostly, very educational and has provided me with some great contacts, gotten clients referred to me, etc. In short, it's valuable for my career but it is not essential to it.
So long story short (I'll provide more detail if necessary but I'm keeping it vague on purpose), there was an issue a few years ago with a domestic violence charge against a former professional in the field, whose ex-wife is in the group. After someone started a discussion on Abusive Asshole's (former, I think he's still in prison actually) career, his ex-wife asked politely that people try to make it clear in the subject lines if they'd be discussing him in detail, as she found it kind of upsetting to be halfway through an email and suddenly be reading a positive description of him. It was really reasonable and she even acknowledged that she understood people would forget and all and that she didn't judge people who appreciated his career as he was good at it, it would just help her if we can try to give her some warning about what is obviously a sensitive subject for her. No problem, right?
Wrong. About 10 people blew up at her, attacking her, armchair diagnosing her with various mental illnesses, even accusing her of lying about the assault (HE IS IN PRISON FOR ASSAULTING HER!). A few people (myself included) stuck up for her, but it was so awful she and a few others left the group. I don't blame them a bit, either.
I'm seriously debating whether I should leave as well. I don't personally feel unsafe or anything, but I've lost a lot of respect for a lot of people. I also worry that staying in is tacitly supporting the people who attacked her, as needless to say none of them felt they had to leave. But on the other hand even today in spite of all the drama I've gotten some valuable stuff from the group, and I don't know how much of a statement me leaving would really make. I don't know, GT, what do you think?