Where does GOMI come from?
Brooklyn-based blogger and software developer Alice Wright founded GOMI (gomiblog.com) in 2008 as a snarky internet community where she could “shit-talk new media and internet personalities.” The name comes from the expression Get off my internet!, often used in humorous plural as Get off my internets!, issued online to users deemed obnoxious or amateurish. Urban Dictionary enters Get off my internet in 2005, and Get off my internets appears on message boards as early as 2006.
Its users, predominantly women and who call themselves “hamcats,” often target blogs and websites focused on parenting, traveling, fashion, crafting, and healthy living, which mushroomed in the late 2000s. Their criticisms have piled on uncalled-for personal insults of well-meaning, unsuspecting bloggers.
GOMI only had a small presence online until it gained notoriety after popular “mommy blogger” Heather Armstrong (Dooce) mounted legal challenges on the website for gossiping about her divorce in 2012. GOMI sparked another controversy in 2015 when it accused lifestyle blogger Emily Meyers’s husband of faking cancer.
Owing to incidents like these, GOMI has been decried as a “forum for grown-up mean girls” and a “hate blog,” with Alice Wright herself called “the most reviled woman on the web.” Some bloggers have said that GOMI attacks drove them to take antidepressant medications, caused legal hardships, or led to intense privacy invasions.
Still, Forbes online listed GOMI as one of their “100 Best Websites For Women” in 2013. Some bloggers take it as a sign they’ve “made it” when they’re featured on GOMI.
Who uses GOMI?
The acronym GOMI tends to specifically refer to the blog, while Get off my internet(s)! enjoys broader and general use online as dismissive phrase. GOMI features a spinoff acronym, SOMI, or “Stay on My Internet,” for blogs, websites, and internet celebrities GOMI users find worthwhile.
GOMI is not to be confused with the Japanese surname Gomi or the Marvel Comics character Gomi.
“This GOMI forum is more ruthless than the Whnay's Good Taste Thread”
@dieworkwear Twitter (January 30, 2014)
“When you find a mean forum about yourself on both GOMI and Urban Baby but you don't mind because of the spike in traffic - thanks haters! ✌️”
@juliengarman Twitter (December 22, 2015)
“Let me set the record straight. GOMI forums are not 50% constructive criticism. They are less than 1% that if any at all. What they are instead is a free-for-all of cyber bullying. Let's call GOMI what it is: a burn book.”
Célèste Fohl, “Beyond Constructive: "Get Off My Internets" and the Phenomenon of Bullying in the Blogging Community,” Bookish & Belle (April 26, 2013)