To be taken in by trolls? How can I spot one?

(559 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

ChocolateChangesEverything Wed 25-May-16 20:21:49

Feeling stupid and naive for being taken in by apparent troll thread.

Without making a TAAT, genuine question, how do you spot one?

Storminateapot Wed 25-May-16 20:23:54

There's a very busy one going at the moment, where the OP has contradicted themselves all over the place & the story is getting more & more outlandish. It's funny though, so....

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 25-May-16 20:24:01

If we list the ways, the trolls will read it and it becomes harder to spot them because they'll cover their tracks better. That's why mnhq don't usually reveal how they know things, too.

In general, trust your instinct and if something doesn't feel like it fits, it probably doesn't.

Sparklingbrook Wed 25-May-16 20:24:58

The problem with a thread like this is it will end up as a masterclass in how to troll MN.

Pettywoman Wed 25-May-16 20:25:31

I'm terrible at spotting them. One tip I do have though is to check the timescale of the troll posts. They're often unrealistically fast paced.

dailymaillazyjournos Wed 25-May-16 20:26:09

Well I've been here for years and am still hopeless at spotting them! The latest one totally got me sucked in. I clearly have NO instinct as to whether something feels right. i think because life can be so flipping bizarre and having so many experiences that if i were to start threads about them, people would call troll, that I think just about anything is possible/believable.

UnderTheGreenwoodTree Wed 25-May-16 20:26:14

If something makes you think "WTAF" then that's the first alarm bell.

Very regular updates, fast moving threads. That sort of thing.

DuckAndPancakes Wed 25-May-16 20:26:29

Trust nobody.

Sparklingbrook Wed 25-May-16 20:27:34

Don't take everything at face value, ask yourself what they are gaining from posting the thread in the first place.

PurpleDaisies Wed 25-May-16 20:28:09

You hang around here long enough the same trolls keep coming back.

Just report anything that seems fishy. Mnhq are lovely and will send you friendly emails about your suspicions (they don't just automatically delete threads).

Buttock Wed 25-May-16 20:28:44

Can someone tell me where these troll threads are? I haven't seen any.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Wed 25-May-16 20:29:23

You are not alone OP!

Queenbean Wed 25-May-16 20:29:25

Don't post too much of yourself

If something seems to be good to be true, it usually is

And MNHQ should have a head wobble for allowing certain trolly threads to remain just because some people think they're fully (even though they're not)

ChocolateChangesEverything Wed 25-May-16 20:29:56

anchor But what if it seems genuine? It's such a shock sad

ChocolateChangesEverything Wed 25-May-16 20:30:46

Sorry for asking sparkling It appears I am an utter MN novice! Not sure I want to graduate!

ChocolateChangesEverything Wed 25-May-16 20:31:23

Thanks petty I guess I over invested sad

Kenduskeag Wed 25-May-16 20:31:46

I guess one tip is to imagine the scenario is really happening, then imagine if it makes sense the OP is tap-tap-tapping away on a phone or keyboard about it.

"My house is burning down! I can smell smoke and see flames! AIBU?"

Probably not that likely.

"My house burned down last night. I am at my mum's. This sucks."

Read on.

Another is whether it seems plausible. Though we may be unaware of the finer details of how some organisations work, such as mental health teams, refuges, the police, we can usually hazard a guess if the behaviour seems outlandish or like something from a TV show rather than a sleepy British town.

"I dropped a sweet wrapper and then I was arrested, charged, trialled and sentences to 2-4 years inside, all within the space of 4 hours!"

I also try and figure out what the poster really wants - is it advice, support, guidance? Asking questions like "What happens now?" or "Who should I call?" or "Is this the way it was for you?" are reasonable signs of a true thread. Piling on fresh dramatic episodes, commenting on how hard everything is, adding in more detail, more things for people to comment on and stir up.

DuckAndPancakes Wed 25-May-16 20:31:53

dont let the few trolls that there are ruin your empathy and care for others.

I hope that I dont, though maybe after a few more wanky bastard trolls I really will trust nobody and always be looking through narrowed eyes at everyone.

ChocolateChangesEverything Wed 25-May-16 20:32:14

Thanks daily good to know I'm not alone

Sparklingbrook Wed 25-May-16 20:32:27

When I first joined MN in 2011 I had no idea about trolls. I was really shocked when the first one that sucked me in got deleted. But you do get to spot them really quickly after a while then report and hide them.

BonitaFangita Wed 25-May-16 20:32:33

I hardly ever spot them. Please tell me it wasn't the suicidal boy

cottonweary Wed 25-May-16 20:32:49

Forensic levels of detail.
And then eventually, when all the "oh you're so funny!" "Literally spat my tea out!" comments start building and building...... they start to believe their own hype and just become, too cocky really.

paxillin Wed 25-May-16 20:32:53

Well, if your friend told you the story in RL, would you shout BOLLOCKS? Because if so, it probably is bollocks. That's my really not fail safe approach. And the speed, first date, proposal, marriage and positive pregnancy test tend to happen in 72 h, 48 if it's a weekend.

WellErrr Wed 25-May-16 20:33:07

The more you read, the easier it'll get to spot them.

PurpleDaisies Wed 25-May-16 20:33:14

It was bonita but discussing specific threads means this one will be deleted.

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