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Trolling of the Bereavement board

(166 Posts)
NorthernLebkuchen Tue 17-Dec-13 17:13:37

Yet again I have reported a thread which has turned out to be dodgy and deleted. I've lost count of how many that is over the time I've been on mumsnet. Trouble is that on that board, above all others, people want to be kind. People struggling withtheir loss reach out hands to others. It's fantastic support but truly awful when it's some git of a troll getting a very sick kick indeed. So can something be done? Maybe a time delay so no new thread will appear there till checked by MNHQ? Maybe no recent namechanges or new registrations posting unless cleared by MHHQ?

i know none of this is easy to arrange but I really feel something needs to be done. It's just awful.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Wed 18-Dec-13 23:56:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

working9while5 Wed 18-Dec-13 23:43:17

Just came across this on active.

I think the mh vs personality disorder point is a good one. I used to lurk on bereavement threads when I had severe PND and OCD basically to beat myself up for being so selfish and weak and disgusting to feel as I did when I hadn't lost a child. A feature of my illness was repetitive intrusive images of my baby dying/passed away eg up to thirty an hour at one point.

I would never have trolled.

A friend of a friend sent bizarre emails about having triplets and then two dying. She was psychotic. There was no coherence to her emails and she sadly genuinely believed this had happened and was intensely distressed. I don't think anyone would mistake the emails for trolling as they were obviously disjointed and lacking in a sense of reality.

Mad is not bad usually and there tends to be a manipulation in trolling threads which, while not psychologically healthy, can't be excused or explained. Paedophiles and murderers are not psychologically healthy either but we can't condone behaviour undertaken in a calculating way that causes harm to others.

LoveAndDeath Wed 18-Dec-13 23:39:26

It also makes me wary of linking to the thread now. Once, if someone posted saying that their child died, I would link to our thread. Now I'm afraid to, unless it's a well-known or long-standing MNer. I'm sure other people feel the same.
So in fact, what these trolls are doing is preventing genuinely bereaved parents from being invited into our group. And the trolls are probably too self-absorbed to care about that.

shabbs Wed 18-Dec-13 23:32:18

'So people stop posting on the thread which is horrible because we need each other.'

So very true Love - we all help each other - no matter the length of time since our precious children matter how they died.....the pain of that loss is all consuming. xx

LoveAndDeath Wed 18-Dec-13 23:29:23

I think the worst trolls are the ones who post on the thread, rather than starting their own. Particularly if they're convincing or semi-convincing. Some people get taken in, others don't. Then, if you have suspicions, wonder whether you should warn the friends you have made, not to get sucked in or whether you are being a suspicious cow and creating doubt about an innocent poster.

Then, when they are found out, it all goes pear-shaped.
People become suspicious of all new posters on the thread.
People on the thread become paranoid that people think they are a troll.
And we are bereaved parents and we have enough crap on our plates without having to look over our virtual shoulders all the time and wondering if our safe haven is safe.
So people stop posting on the thread which is horrible because we need each other.

MmeCinqAnneauxDor Wed 18-Dec-13 22:30:52

I don't blame you, Everlong. It is such a shame.

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 22:16:34

It's good that you keep it going Shabs - it's there for someone who needs it.

Golddigger - no, I wouldn't say it's once a week but when it happens it can have very detrimental effects on those reading it who are fragile and vulnerable, causing uncertainty and unease.

shabbs Wed 18-Dec-13 22:08:45

Thats very true Everlong.....I still post every day but it has been very quiet for a long time.

Cant walk away from the thread though........remember when we first started it and how fantastic it was to be able to go and talk about how I was feeling and be amongst other Mums who knew exactly what I was talking about.

Golddigger Wed 18-Dec-13 21:57:31

LoveAndDeath sad

I dont go on the bereavement board often.
I would have thought that it is in everyones best interest on there to report suspicions sooner rather than later.

everlong. How often are there trolls on there. Once a week?

LoveAndDeath Wed 18-Dec-13 21:54:07

I am the poster who replied on that thread because my baby died too. My trolldar didn't go off quickly enough, I'm afraid and I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt anyway.

I suppose that if people with better trolldar than me, which to be frank, is most people, report if they are a bit suspicious, then it might have saved me from posting. MNHQ don't tell the person they have been reported so if it is a genuine poster they will never know. As it was MNHQ were fairly quick off the mark.

AngelsLie I can't believe your SIL! And in another way I can believe it because that is precisely what these trolls do, make up a dead child to get sympathy. It's a pathetic thing to do and I do find it hard that someone seemingly is so lacking in empathy that they can't understand that the sympathy and attention we get when we lose our children in no way, shape or form makes up for the loss of a child. I am grateful that people have been lovely and have done wonderful things to show that they care but the loss of my daughter has made such a vast hole in my life that all the sympathy in the world couldn't fill a tenth of it. And if I do extend sympathy to another bereaved parent, it is with the sad knowledge that all I can do is empathise and that no words of mine will make it better at all and that the only comfort I can offer is that time softens the pain though it doesn't lessen it.

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 21:52:07

Mme tbh I think a lot of the bereaved mums have stop posting on the bereavement board because of such trolls, it knocks the stuffing out of you and makes you feel like not posting much.

shabbs Wed 18-Dec-13 21:50:17

To be honest I am not sure what could be done to help. Think that MNHQ get sick of me keep reporting stuff grin I think we are all much more 'on alert' if that makes sense?

MmeCinqAnneauxDor Wed 18-Dec-13 21:46:31

Would it help to have some kind of a early warning system, do you think? I am guessing that the regulars on the 'safe haven' thread have highly developed Trolldar. I know it is a lot to ask, but if you guys were able to have a kind of enhanced reporting function for suspected trolling on the bereavement boards - do you think it would help?

ie a report from a few known posters would trigger a closer look, rather than having to wait till a lot of posters reported.

InTheRedCorner Wed 18-Dec-13 21:11:07

I found that thread very goadyin content and reported it which is sad to say about a thread on the bereavement board.

Reporting doesn't harm the poster but protects those that share on the threads imo.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 18-Dec-13 21:10:13

I was just speaking for myself, Northern.

shabbs Wed 18-Dec-13 21:08:58

Northern - our 'safe haven' thread has been going for about 6 years - it has been 'blown apart' several times by trolling. We always manage to gather back together afterwards but the shock and distress takes over for a while. Its a thread where we all share the same emotions about bereavement but we all have different ways of coping with them. xx

PacificDingbat Wed 18-Dec-13 21:04:31

My new year's resolution is to report more threads that make me go hmm. Starting as of now. I feel embarrassed that I have not done so on the most recent thread.

I agree anybody who has not lost a child can comprehend what those who have go through, as we struggle to even get close to what that must feel like. It speaks of such largesse of spirit that bereaved parents often want to reach out to others in a similar position. And to then find out that a thread was started maliciously must be very hard to bear.

Re the whole ?are they sick or evil thing: this is why psychiatry tries to differentiate between mental illness (people suffering from mental illness may be nice or not, just like anybody else) and personality disorders (often very difficult to deal with people who seem to have their own selfish 'rules').

I am sorry for anybody who's been hurt by the most recent episode sad.

NorthernLebkuchen Wed 18-Dec-13 21:03:49

Toffee - there is a long running support thead for bereaved mums. The people who have cause to use that have posted alongside one another for many years and are frankly awe-inspiring in their courage and desire to support each other. If any of them wish to speak, using that shared knowledge and experience then that's fine with me. To say everybody can only speak for themselves devalues the sense of community on this forum.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 18-Dec-13 20:55:55

And no one said they should, everlong.

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 20:39:05

I've not seen any bereaved parent have understanding for someone trolling about a dead child, strangely enough.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 18-Dec-13 20:32:53

Trolls get given the benefit of the doubt on the Bereavement board, I think that's one of the reasons they target it. No one wants to be the arsehole that reports or doubts a bereaved parent, and they know it. I don't think it's a MH issue, I think it's a first class wanker issue. Stirring up other people's pain for your own deviant means should earn you a really nasty dose of syphilis, imo. I save my sympathy and understanding for the people targeted by these emotional vampires.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 18-Dec-13 20:23:17

Yes. People can only speak for themselves and it is not right when things are posted as fact as if all bereaved parents would act in such a way.

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 20:18:32

Need to be careful?

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Wed 18-Dec-13 19:29:43

I think people need to be careful about speaking for all bereaved parents. Everyone is different and will have a different response to things even if there are similarities.

This thread has been useful though as more people will not be less apprehensive about reporting and I have reported a thread tonight as one to look at that I would probably have not bothered about before.

MmeCinqAnneauxDor Wed 18-Dec-13 16:56:44

I think the kind of person who trolls a parenting website a week before Xmas with a story of a baby dying is a cunt. Anyone who knows me, knows that I very rarely use that word, but that is the only one that fits.

I don't see them as sick or ill, or traumatised. I see them as attention seeking wankers who do this for kicks and I will save my sympathy for those most hurt by their actions.

I do wonder though if it is possible to have reports on Bereavement boards flag up quicker. I know that if MNHQ get a lot of reports in a short time about a thread that they will look at it quicker (which is why it is important to report, even if you think someone else will have done so already).

Perhaps having some kind of automated system, that when x reports come in, they take a quick look.

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