Kirstie causes a stir on Twitter

7th January 2013

Twitter provides a great platform for debate. Unfortunately, it can also bring out the worst in people when, bolstered by the anonymity their virtual identity affords them, their comments stray from respectful opinions and become very personal and, in some cases, downright nasty.

We saw a prime example of this last week, when popular TV presenter and mother Kirstie Allsopp took to Twitter to voice her disapproval of the NCT and its advice. Prompted to comment by a radio show featuring the organisation's chief executive, as well as author of Bumpology, Linda Geddes, she wrote: 'Turn to BBC Radio 4 for talk of a book about all the absurd myths surrounding pregnancy & birth. More NCT b******* as usual though.'

Kirstie went on to say that the NCT 'is a very politicised, dogmatic, and in my experience scary organisation'.

With these posts Kirstie, who has more than 270,000 Twitter followers, sparked a flurry of tweets; some in agreement (many of which Kirstie was quick to repost), some in furious disagreement. Those who deigned to defend the NCT and its values then became the subject of viscious abuse from Kirstie's fans and followers, thus demonstrating the darker side of this type of networking site.

Kirstie does go on to acknowledge that some people have had very positive experiences with NCT classes, but with the somewhat aggressive delivery of her viewpoint in the first instance, she opened the proverbial floodgates. And, as she later tweeted, she has no intention of backing down: '2yrs ago I backed away from debate with NCT staff, this time I shan't. Some classes aren't up to scratch, though the Org. is well meaning.'

There's a marked difference in the tone of Kirstie's tweets since the original, damning one she posted that caused such a stir, but still she seems set on imposing her opinion about the NCT on all her followers.

It's funny that, having accused the charity of being 'dogmatic', she goes on to post selected 'facts' that conveniently back up her own argument on Twitter, such as: '1 in 40 Mums give birth at home. 1 in 10 Mums suffer from PND. Guess which topic gets most space on NCT website?'

The dictionary definition of 'dogmatic' reads: 'asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated.'

#Justsaying.

Comments

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I do not have a twitter account because I just don't get it, but I had a look at this Kirstie thread to see what all the fuss was about . . .and unless I've missed something, I still don't see a problem. I think people are entitled to express opinions within decent boundaries. Some people develop opinions by listening or talking; others by reading; others by doing things. Surely discussion threads should evolve, and people can modify their opinions?

I am still not ready to do Twitter, and if that's "dogmatic", I am not sorry!

This does indeed show the negative aspect of social media. Having previously thought of Kirstie as a positive female role model I am surprised at her rather opiniated and rude outburst. It does seem that she then tried to crawl back and compensate for her initailly harsh and abusive tweets by backtracking. It seems a shame that to voice a strong opinion, some eloquent women feel the need to swear. Whilst I agree that if some women are experienced varying degrees of quality within the classes it is generally a positive experience for women and should have a positive impact on women and babies health. If women feel scared or negative about their experience that is such a shame and I am sure the NCT management would love to hear about these cases and deal with NCT teachers if required. Having met NCT teachers I think it possible that people mistake passion for a scary attitude? 

A celebrity like Kirstie Allsop could have such a positive affect on birth and women's health that maybe her influence could be used more positively rather than taking a destructive attitude.

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