To ask for some kind of MNHQ policy update on troll management?

(48 Posts)
SuperFox Thu 12-Jun-14 11:21:36

Not sure if this is the right place for this request.

I have been very upset on occasion by trolls on threads getting highly personal of an evening and it not being dealt with until the next day. This sometimes means several hours of personal attack and horrid abuse of the forum. I am not sure of the MNHQ monitoring set-up but if the threads or comments are obligingly deleted the next day then surely MNHQ is in agreement with MNer's objections?

I understand that trolls should not be fed, they are inevitable and free speech and debate should be encouraged BUT I come here because there are moderators to stop bullying and posters are very forward about telling someone when they are out of line.

Of course there is the option to step away from the thread and just ignore ignore but when vindictive goading of a personal nature is allowed to go on for a few hours it often becomes damaging to everyone involved. I have read some things that have been so barbaric and insensitive that they are burned into my brain forever. I know that is just life and people but wonder if the time lag in appropriate consequence from MNHQ is in itself feeding the trolls.

There is an argument for healthy debate as a tool for education but I often see entirely intelligent argument deteriorate into despair and anger as it becomes apparent that the bully is not misguided just out to control by causing hurt. The horror of this is that an OP who has come to MN for help and support in a desperate chapter of their lives can fall by the wayside and be sidelined from their own thread as irrelevant war breaks out. The damage caused to an OP in this sad situation must not be underestimated and it sickens me to know that they could have hours of looking over a thread which has been monopolised by some sick troll out to torture.

I love MN, I nc to keep anon but can say that I have had my hand held in dark dark times when I could not go to anyone in rl for help. I want everyone to have that support when they need it and the reason it is there is because MN is powerful and able to speak its mind. We need a little more power to fend off the trolls when need be I think but am not sure of the best way.

A suggestion was made elsewhere that MNHQ could possibly set up an automated system of sorts that would at least hide a thread until it could be properly dealt with if a certain number of complaints were received. This would allow us to temporarily moderate in some way when it comes to overnight threads that are used by trolls to blatantly abuse the forum with the sole purpose of being cruel and causing distress to MNers.

Sorry this is so long and serious, been gnawing at me for a while.

AIBU to request some form of automated protection from MNHQ?

WorraLiberty Thu 12-Jun-14 11:40:23

That would be a good idea if it's actually possible.

MN has never been any different though. Some posts are left to stand for a ridiculously long time after being reported...especially if they are posted late on a Saturday night...they've sometimes still been there on the Sunday afternoon.

The troll can automatically have their posting ability suspended after a lot of reports, but the comments still remain until someone gets around to removing them.

I wonder what would happen if libellous posts about a celebrity for example, were allowed to remain that long?

Mintyy Thu 12-Jun-14 11:43:30

This should go in Site Stuff, really.

HQ do not sit and monitor every thread and every post. They respond to reports and then take a look.

But threads about the site in Site Stuff do seem to be monitored.

oldgrandmama Thu 12-Jun-14 11:52:04

I wonder if you're referring to the thread started by a poor girl who lost her baby boy after a fall (neighbour refused to assist her)? Thread removed at OP's request earlier this morning, because of some very goady posts from someone posting under a similar name to a regular, and non-troll, MNer.

I was surprised that MN Mods didn't sling off the goady poster. She/he was reported numerous times. The poor OP, obviously even more upset by this poster, asked for thread to be removed, which was a shame and virtually all the other MNs were supportive and sympathetic.

kim147 Thu 12-Jun-14 11:55:19

MNHQ were very quick last night. Deleted 3 threads in 5 minutes. They can do it when they want to.

WorraLiberty Thu 12-Jun-14 12:01:05

Didn't HQ recruit some volunteer moderators recently?

Or did I dream that? blush

VitoCorleone Thu 12-Jun-14 12:01:59

People could then report any old thread a number of times then it would be automatically hidden, i don't think that's a good way to do it.

WorraLiberty Thu 12-Jun-14 12:06:31

Yes but if a group of posters organised a mass reporting of 'any old thread', I'm sure HQ would ban them for malicious reporting.

ClashCityRocker Thu 12-Jun-14 12:06:31

I think there's quite a good balance on the forum between debate and freedom of speech and insult hurling.

I've left several forums previously because the mods were too heavy handed power hungry cowbags and basically the forum ended up being a bit too care-bears

DenzelWashington Thu 12-Jun-14 12:07:33

Yes, a sort of volunteer Night Watch. I'm on less in the evenings, so I'm not clear whether it has made a difference.

In the end, we've all just got to report and report. Don't leave it to others, do it yourself. And do it again if the post or thread is still there after a long while.

FreudiansSlipper Thu 12-Jun-14 12:10:36

as horrible as it can be maybe you need to learn to step back

it can not be controlled all the time and for the wonderful support you can get on here at times sadly will attract those that want to cause trouble

we do not really want this sight run by its users, we already have too many trying to do just that at times

FreudiansSlipper Thu 12-Jun-14 12:12:19

agree with the reporting not engaging with the troll or winding them up, this is getting the attention that they want

TortoiseUpATreeAgain Thu 12-Jun-14 12:18:02

But still I think that auto-hiding a thread if X number of reports were received in Y timeframe would be a good plan -- it would also make the job of policing spam easier.

MN is unusual in that Tech and the little Techettes write the forum software in-house rather than buying in a standard package, so it certainly ought to be doable and I think would make a HUGE difference to the flow and atmosphere of the site.

SuperFox Thu 12-Jun-14 12:46:55

Agreed tortoise, if it could be set so that complaints from enough different people just tipped something into hiding for a few hours until 9am mods have time to deal with it I think there would be far less troll feeding and more proper mn traffic. Just some reserve MN wings of steel, like batfink had grin

SuperFox Thu 12-Jun-14 12:51:53

Grandma, that thread prompted this but I have seen similar happen more and more recently and it is really awful how a few hours can escalate the trolling. Someone tried to derail the 'things you can't say out loud' thread with a vile comment about a missing child and that took overnight until it was removed, turned my stomach and the simple fact is that real people are having a vulnerable time in real life and asking for help and then get drip fed poison by trolls. I see it as an abuse of MN and if anything can be done to preserve the sense of humanity here then I support that.

Trolls are inhumane!

VitoCorleone Thu 12-Jun-14 13:00:42

Yes but the issue is that MNHQ aren't seeing what's going on late on a Saturday night (for example) and doing anything about it until the next day, hiding somebodys thread (especially if it is somebody who needs support) until HQ get around to dealing with it wont help i don't think.

I think they need more staff to deal with reports quicker than they do at the minute.

Tanith Thu 12-Jun-14 13:20:02

I think changing names to one similar to an existing poster should be stopped, too. I realise that sometimes this happens innocently. However, last night's troll was quite deliberate in his or her actions.

Having said that, I have been sorely tempted to start a few namechanged threads myself this morning:

Xenia2 advocating the positive benefits of co-sleeping, gentle parenting and staying at home until the kids are married

AnyoldFucker insisting that women should ask their husband's permission before seeking work outside the home

Cotzwatcher starting a Support and Nurture your Child's Teacher thread

Tocscas's championship of the BNP

TheSeeker's support for more private school places

Itismebut's Campaign for Universal Benefits for All

WortaLiberty's demand for restrictive thread postings and deletions of any that personally offend her.

Oh, I could have had such fun grin

SuperFox Thu 12-Jun-14 13:40:11

Maybe we should get a troll smiley and just stamp the sods as we see them? Valid point about op's needing support then having their thread hidden, could there be some sort of anti troll vault we can direct op to and start afresh?

Or maybe just the posts by the troll should be hidden until moderated so many complaints about one user, user gets hidden til moderated?

Aaghh complexities!

SuperFox Thu 12-Jun-14 13:43:20

I bet AnyFucker is loading the bazooka!

I thought that this was what The Night Watch Topic is for, manned by volunteers with limited powers to block a thread until it can be properly investigated.

SuperFox Thu 12-Jun-14 14:07:02

Ooo, did not know bout that, how effective is it?

It doesn't seem to get a lot of traffic, so I've no idea if it works.

This thread explains how it is meant to work, maybe if we all started reporting on The Night Watch as well as the usual reporting we might see if it helps?

Tanith Thu 12-Jun-14 18:11:51

I didn't know about it either. Maybe the one good thing to come out of last night's activity is to publicise the Night Watcher topic.

neverthebride Thu 12-Jun-14 18:30:11

Last nights thread was awful. I am incredibly laid back and not easily riled up but it was SO terrible and I did comment on it this morning.

I hate 'troll-hunting' but I do think some people are becoming very canny about the way they post with full knowledge that despite it being very clear what they doing - they fall short of breaking talk guidelines. So you get what happened last night 'report me...Mumsnet HQ don't think I'm
In the wrong' etc.

I am also very, very suspicious of people using well known user-names with a tiny variation. I really don't see how that happens accidentally.

ComposHat Thu 12-Jun-14 19:34:10

I get the impression that these boards get targeted as MNHQ err on the side of caution ehen it comes to deleting potential trolls but are shithot at anyone who displays any scepticism about what has been posted.
The trolls how they are a protected species so congregate here.

A bit of even handedness wouldn't go amiss.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now