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To remind people that what people post is not necessarily true

(50 Posts)
HavantGuard Wed 22-Jan-14 16:31:39

There are some lovely, supportive people on MN. There are some needy, attention seeking and unpleasant people online. Please think about who you are talking to before you share personal stories, either on threads or by PM.

I am fully aware this could be called 'troll hunting'. It isn't about a specific thread. The kind of threads that this happens on are about subjects so sensitive that to even mention being careful on them would get me flamed, possibly with good reason.

I am not the boss of MN, thankfully, and do report threads to HQ if they look seriously off, but by then people have already been sucked in.

My feet are now safe from Lego. Trolling is definitely worse than troll hunting.

WaffilyVersatile Wed 22-Jan-14 16:37:52

Sorry I don't really see the point of this thread. This is an adult forum for adults - unless you think that the rest of mumsnet are naïve idiots I just don't really understand your motive?

Just because YOU question the authenticity of a post, that doesn't make it less true.. you cited yourself that so called trollhunting is against the rules.

Maryz Wed 22-Jan-14 16:39:03

Havant, you are right.

Sadly this will be deleted.

And the gullible nice people will continue to be drawn in [sigh]

Joysmum Wed 22-Jan-14 16:41:35

A good reminder. I've posted some pretty personal stuff on here, but then as anyone I know in person will tell you, I'm an open book. I've seen people doubting the authenticy of the OP before but to my mind, it's not just the OP I'm sharing my experiences for, it's the hundreds of other people reading thread who might he able to relate, it have friends and family to whom my musings might be of use. Doesn't bother me.

HavantGuard Wed 22-Jan-14 16:43:33

MN confirmed the last thread I flagged was dodgy. After people had opened up to someone out to get their rocks off.

Just because we're all adults doesn't mean people don't need reminding.

This used to be seen as a (relatively) safe place to seek and give support.

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 16:46:28


I agree

I think some of us are not necessarily familiar with forums - I know I wasn't when I started using MN. I think in my naivety I did believe everything I read.

bodygoingsouth Wed 22-Jan-14 16:48:29

you are right op. I have over shared and then felt had to name change.

it's a salutary reminder that there are a few vile people on line and in here that are quite or worried to upset vulnerable and even the bereaved.

if a thread feels wrong it's vital to report and let mumsnet decide.

HavantGuard Wed 22-Jan-14 16:53:26

I don't think it's naive to not automatically assume that someone who seems to be reaching out for support isn't genuine.

I think that the higher profile of MN attracts more posters and more trolls. Forums that don't change wither and stagnate. Change is good. Unfortunately the moderation on MN hasn't necessarily kept up with the pace of the change.

4horsesforcourses Wed 22-Jan-14 16:58:09

You're going to out me as not having a pet donkey called mike aren't you?

<Pats Alfred>

DollyHouse Wed 22-Jan-14 17:04:12

I agree. It's a good reminder for people who are a little too trusting. I'm all for replying in case someone out there can use the advice but some of these trolls take it too far.

usuallyright Wed 22-Jan-14 17:05:30

I've read threads in the past and been almost certain that the poster has worded it quite brilliantly so as to extract specific details from posters. It's worrying.

wannaBe Wed 22-Jan-14 17:07:30

tbh I'm not sure that mn has any more trolls now than it ever did.

I've been here for nine years and there have always been trolls who have caused massive stirs on the boards. In fact the fallout was much worse when I first joined because people appeared to be far more gullible then. But before I'd joined there had already been judge flounce, Lavendar, some other troll whose name escapes me but who had gone down in history titania or something (I'm sure that wasn't the name but ...).

Since then there have been some deeply damaging trolls, the fox troll, (who people met up with) izzyRuby on the modelling threads, CVQ, Ethanchristopher, Dizzymare, sassysusan/washwithcare to name just a couple. And all of those were very, very damaging trolls and their outing caused a massive fallout all over the boards.

Now it all appears to happen much quicker, but even when a troll is outed it's as if discussion about it is disallowed and nobody really even knows who the trolls are any more. It's been a while since a troll was outed on the public boards...

My personal view is that any thread which involves drama is almost certainly a troll. I'm talking about the "oh, I'm in the bathroom and he's coming up the stairs to rip my head off, I'm so scared yet I'll sit here on mn and post about it," type ones.

And I don't believe that people shouldn't talk about how to spot a troll for fear the trolls get any ideas. It's pretty easy to find out how to be a troll iyswim...

HavantGuard Wed 22-Jan-14 17:08:02

No one minds Alfred Mike, or the kind of trolls that create a husband with an excessive interest in cutlery.

DollyHouse Wed 22-Jan-14 17:09:05

There's trolls everyday wannabe. I'm reporting threads daily and come back to them to find it's a previously banned user. It's not a rare occurrence. These daily trolls are just as bad as the big long term role playing ones when they stir up emotions about sensitive subjects.

HavantGuard Wed 22-Jan-14 17:12:41

I have come to think that way WannaBe. I have begun to doubt anything posted about a serious issue is true. I read an OP the other day and assumed it was a troll until I noticed the poster's name. I was surprised that it was genuine. I don't like thinking like that.

etoo Wed 22-Jan-14 17:13:47

The best idea is to assume that nothing that people you don't know post on the internet is true, and that they are not who they say the are. Treat questions as requests for advice as hypothetical questions, they may not use the advice themselves (although if they do great) but somebody who actually has a comparable problem may find your response useful.

wannaBe Wed 22-Jan-14 17:15:53

yes but the difference now is that people report much quicker.

IMO there are less likely to be long-term damaging trolls now because people are more aware.

And that's a good thing.

lougle Wed 22-Jan-14 17:16:28

I don't think this thread should be deleted. It's a real issue and there are many, many, people who get sucked in. It's not condescending to make a general point that people shouldn't post something they'd regret if it was found to be a troll on the other side of the computer screen.

bodygoingsouth Wed 22-Jan-14 17:16:31

the problem is though that some people do lead extraordinary lives and have complex issues to deal with and although might seem ott are actually true.

how do you spot a liar. obviously if a poster is being downright nasty and vile then that's easily seen but others posting about seriously ill children or domestic violence etc how would you know?

DollyHouse Wed 22-Jan-14 17:19:12

It's hard body but you just know. Without providing help to trolls, there's distinct writing styles and build ups to the story. You read the thread and it just becomes clear from that alone sometimes.

HavantGuard Wed 22-Jan-14 17:19:53

There are still ongoing sagas of threads that read like 'A Series of Unfortunate Events.'

NewtRipley Wed 22-Jan-14 17:20:47


I think you get a nose for the way trolls post. I don't think I get it right all the time, but if in doubt I don't post at all, or, like etoo, just hold back a bit on the personal disclosures.

bodygoingsouth Wed 22-Jan-14 17:22:06

yes I suppose it's the ones who drip feed and it gets more dramatic as the thread develops.

it's a very strange thing to do though.

I tend to have the rule that I don't post anything on here that I wouldn't be prepared to say in public face to face to someone I didn't know well.

I will post on threads that I think are questionable if there is something that might help a real person with the same problem. I will also quietly report the thread (as do many others)

HavantGuard Wed 22-Jan-14 17:38:01

I think that's a pretty sound policy Chazs.

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