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So can we ban 'begging' threads, or even threads started by other people to have a whip round for posters?

(370 Posts)
ThatBastardSanta Wed 21-Nov-12 10:52:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThatBastardSanta Wed 21-Nov-12 11:59:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 21-Nov-12 12:00:38

And I'm getting quite sick and cross at people equating Giraffe's needing money for a flight to see a child she once nannied for with any appeal for Expat/Ailidh. The one has absolutely fuck all to do with the other.

hmm <<brain cogs grinding into action>>

FivesAndNorks Wed 21-Nov-12 12:03:33

I agree with chipping. However op I think you started this with the usual "oh woe is me, its Christmas and the Hoover has broken" threads in mind, am I right? Still think people should donate if they want to, in possession of the knowledge that they actually have no idea who they're giving to or what the money will be used for

SweetMingePie Wed 21-Nov-12 12:04:48

I think it would be silly to stop them. Just look at all the people such whip rounds have helped.

It's up to the poster to decide who they are going to donate to.

If you don't know the poster or the back story don't donate. That's how I operate anyway.

I get your point, Bastard, and I think I'm with Artex on this.

maillotjaune Wed 21-Nov-12 12:13:02

No we shouldn't ban them, although as adults we all have to decide who to give to and how much we can give.

I am always reminded of my grandad's philosophy in situations like this - he always said he would prefer to be taken in occasionally than to avoid helping someone in genuine need.

YouSeveredHead Wed 21-Nov-12 12:24:05

Totally get the point your making op, come sept anyone complaining about being broke or worrying already about Xmas usually gets at least one comment basically saying they are trying to scam the Xmas appeal. In fact there was even a time when I didn't post because I was worried that's what people would think.

Mnhq stance has always been to act with caution (as per everything in tge interent) and to never give away more than you don't mind losing.

The problem is that this particular case is very emotive (and for good reason). The unseen links meant this streched far across mn and people sometimes think they are giving blindly.

MmeLindor Wed 21-Nov-12 12:27:35

I do get where you are coming from but think that it would put an enormous amount of stress on MNHQ to decide which MNetter is sufficiently in need to have an official appeal started.

It is very much part of MN, that when something dreadful happens, our thoughts turn to 'What can I do? How can we, as a community, help?'.

This comes from a mixture of counting one's blessings, sorrow and empathy for the person affected and sheer helplessness because I can't fucking cure cancer, no matter how much money I donate, or how many blankets I knit.

It is support for the person, rage at circumstances and making us feel better for having helped in a tiny way.

Everyone who donates to a person or a cause must decide for themselves if they think it is the right thing to do, and we should all be aware that there are people who would take advantage of our good natures.

In my years of MNetting, I have probably donated a couple of hundred pounds to charities, funds, personal appeals (made by friends of the needy), blanket wool, Xmas Appeal etc. Only once has the person been subsequently revealed to be on the make.

I think that is a risk worth taking.

TigerFeet Wed 21-Nov-12 12:34:19

I do see where you're coming from Bastard, but I don't agree.

We are all adults, we do as we see fit. If people get sucked into scams then more fool them. I'd rather that than someone genuinely in need go without because we're not allowed to use MN to help - not everyone has FB and I don't know the mobile numbers of many other MNers. If someone wants to start a thread asking for help for someone else then I fail to see how that can be seen as a begging thread anyway. If there are any suspicions then threads can be reported and MNHQ can investigate.

I'd also rather that MNHQ didn't get to decide which causes were worthy enough. I prefer to make that decision myself. There have been plenty of threads on here that I haven't got involved with and I'm generally a sucker for a hard luck tale

akaemmafrost Wed 21-Nov-12 12:35:25

No, I don't agree let them bitch and moan, I don't care. if someone needs help they should get it. Also I think there should a little more faith in the average MN poster to spot the unworthy. I am the hardest faced cow there is and I think i always tell if someone's trying it on or not. I don't go anywhere near those threads. They are really obvious.

Anyone who has issues with the situation this thread is based on is just a first class arsehole. If this rule was in place, people who really needed it wouldn't have got help and the thought of that makes me want to cry.

I think it's a risk worth taking.

MmeLindor Wed 21-Nov-12 12:38:29

(I always forget to add something)

I would also like to say that I think this is a good discussion to have, and one that we should have regularly.

There are people on MN who are vulnerable to those who would manipulate them, and who do not recognise that there are people who will troll - for money but also for emotional responses.

I have seen at least one thread in the past day or two that made me raise both eyebrows to the sky, where I thought, 'OMG, how ridiculous, how could anyone believe this crap' but people were offering advice, assistance and sharing their own personal stories of abuse.

When posters start using MN, they do not know about trolls. Those of us who have been around a while have seen them come and go, and are more likely to recognise them (and report to MNHQ).

It is GOOD to have this issue raised, and raised often so that new posters get a heads up and don't get taken in.

For me, losing some money is the least of my worries. I get more upset when posters share obviously traumatic and very personal stories to support an emotional troll.

hhhhhhh Wed 21-Nov-12 12:41:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thumbwitch Wed 21-Nov-12 12:48:43

I think each thread should be taken on its own merit. And since Giraffe's thread was clearly NOT a "begging" thread, it shouldn't even be relevant to this - and yet somehow it is. hmm

It really does piss me off that some people can't allow others to do something nice for someone who really deserves it without whinging about it.

DownTheRabidHole Wed 21-Nov-12 12:51:47

I get where you're coming from OP, and it makes me uncomfortable that a number of women on mn are clearly in levels of distress - but because they are not "well known" or "notorious" on other streams of social media - their plight is ignored.

But mnhq are not the administrators of a charity.

The begging is distasteful - and we all know that you can beg without being quite so blatent!

RooneyMara Wed 21-Nov-12 13:02:19

I don't know.

There was one the other week saying has anyone got anything in a certain child's size, as my son is growing and I've got no money...people queued up to suggest sending stuff they had.

It wasn't a well known poster.

They even offered to pay for postage - surely it'd have been easier and cheaper to buy stuff from a local boot sale or charity shop, not ask people on the net to send things? I mean kids' clothes are ten a penny if you go in a charity shop.

Back to the point, but I tend to separate RL from MN nowadays. I've had some good experiences involving doing favours for people and vice versa - always repaid with gifts or such, it was a bit uncomfortable at times, feeling like someone is helping you out and you're not sure WHY they would want to. But it was Ok thankfully. (someone collected and posted a buggy to me, I took a buggy to someone else on the train...good fun!)

But when it comes to money, or 'having a bad time' and people wanting to donate actual hard cash - well I can see some people are FINE with that and I have no problem with it if so.
But for me, this place is about talking, not action - it's about letting off steam, about having someone say, Yes, I get you - it's about friendliness and understanding.
I don't want money or things from the people here.

I declined to receive anything after being nominated for the Christmas appeal a while back (not this year) as it felt like it crossed a line, it wasn't necessary (though very kind of whoever nominated - I was polite and said to pass on my thanks)

Do you see what I mean, we're here for support, for mutual hand holding - I don't really understand why money HAS to come into it.

And absolutely no offence intended to those who feel differently. It's just my view.

Portofino Wed 21-Nov-12 13:11:41

I think Bastard was making the point that SOMEONE else started asking for money for Giraffes, not Giraffes herself, and then Giraffes was attacked for begging - a situation not of her own making, and also for misusing funds previously sent - where we are entering seriously dodgy territory. No way should Giraffes have to face these sorts of accusations.

I don't think money should play a place here either - it is an internet chat board. I too think it would be better, in similar cases to that of Expat and Aillidh that MN sanction an official collection.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Nov-12 13:17:20


Thanks for all your posts on this thread.

We do agree that this is a tricky issue. And we know from the number of reports we get about this sort of thing - and from other Site Stuff threads in the past - that it's something that many folks feel strongly about.

This is kinda where we're at with it all...

Having seen many very wonderful and very moving threads in the past where MNers have banded together to help another MNer in crisis, we wouldn't want to ban threads of this sort outright. We think this sort of thing can be the very best of Mumsnet.

That said, we are aware that there have also been attempts to abuse MNers' generosity in the past. We're always grateful for reports that draw our attention to possible scammers and we hope we always act swiftly to stop this kind of thing.

We understand why some might think it a better idea that we at MNHQ organise and verify collections but, to be brutally honest, we simply don't have the resources to do this <passes extra gin to the Christmas Appeal spreadsheeters>.

Also, we really don't want to get into the position of having to say, "Yes, you are a worthy recipient" and "No, sorry, you're not". It's not really what we're about - and we think it's probably a bit patronising to think we might know better than you folks who'd you want to have a whipround for.

(It goes without saying, though, that if we clocked that folks were organising a whipround for someone we KNEW to be a bit, erm, dodgy, we'd likely have a quiet word...)

We have also made it a policy, quite recently, to make sure we post on all "collection" threads - even when we know and trust the Mner who is being collected for - the following warning from our Trolls and Troublemakers' policy:

"We do advise all our members to be aware that not everyone on t'internet is who they say they are, and that, although we're awed daily by the astonishing support our members give each other through life's trickier twists and turns, we'd always caution anyone never to give more of themselves to another poster, emotionally or financially, than they can afford to spare."

ScrambledSmegs Wed 21-Nov-12 13:25:28

Tricky. The problem with having official donation threads is that would mean MNHQ is effectively endorsing them, and I can imagine that there would be ramifications (legal? ethical?) with that.

ScrambledSmegs Wed 21-Nov-12 13:26:36

Bah, that took me so long to phrase properly that I've x-posted with HelenMN, and she's obviously said it much better than me.

lisad123 Wed 21-Nov-12 13:35:18

Oh for goodness sake. We are all adults and can make decisions as to weather to donate our money or time.
If you don't want to donate, don't!
If your concerned someone is a troll, report it!
I on the other hand feel I would rather give a few pounds now and then to 3 people and would be happy if one of them was genuine.

I should say in most cases where money is collected in large amounts, they are long standing posters and IME they have all been in national papers, therefore backing up proof they are truthful and in need of help. Help I'm happy to give.

lisad123 Wed 21-Nov-12 14:24:13

Oh I killed this thread, such a shame wink

Pinot Wed 21-Nov-12 14:29:52

Or, if you don't like threads like that (and you'll be able to tell by the title), don't click it. If you know they get you riled, or if you are an old-skool MNer prone to cynicism and easily irritated, don't look at those threads. Stick to other bits of the board.

I get irritated at many things, but it's entirely my choice where to click and what to read.

I agree with everything chipping said!

BIWI Wed 21-Nov-12 14:33:26

I am running out of gin

Pinot Wed 21-Nov-12 14:37:23

BIWI that's cos of last nights experiments ;)

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