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Can we have a discussion about online safety?

(42 Posts)
MmeLindor Thu 30-Jan-14 13:17:54

Its not really a thread about a thread about a thread, and please don't turn it into a bunfight but I think it has to be said.

1. You don't know who the person on the other side of the screen is. I might be a naice middle-aged mum from Scotland. I might be a hairy-handed trucker from Milnathorpe. You don't know for sure.

2. No one on here can 100% vouch for another poster. We can say 'I've met that person in RL and she seemed fine/genuine/luffly' and we can say 'I've conversed for several years with this person online and as far as I know she is a real person'. We cannot say for sure.

3. MNHQ cannot vouch for a poster. They are not the FBI, they have no special powers to snoop around (even if they had the time to do this).

4. For this reason, do not EVER arrange to meet a poster from MN at their home, your home or in a secluded location. It should go without saying.

These are basic internet security tips. The kind that we give to our kids. I would really like if MNHQ would comment/add their own tips.

MmeLindor Thu 30-Jan-14 13:25:50

And perhaps we could also have a discussion of a kind of MN protocol when there is a thread about someone trying to escape domestic violence.

I totally understand people wanting to help, but this shouldn't be at the expense of putting others in danger.

Could we have a standard post from MNHQ on such threads advising people to be cautious? Perhaps MNHQ could get together with Refuge and Women's Aid to work out an appropriate response, and how they think posters should proceed.

ginslinger Thu 30-Jan-14 13:28:58

Exercise common sense. Well said Mmme

Ubik1 Thu 30-Jan-14 13:30:59

OOh brave MmeLindor

I do agree to some extent - but really it shouldn't need saying and posters are all adults in charge of their lives. Mumsnet is not Mummy.

CatAmongThePigeons Thu 30-Jan-14 13:35:37

People do need reminders to stay safe online, people are not always who they say they they are. <bitter experience>

MmeLindor Thu 30-Jan-14 13:37:40

I feel it needs open discussion and a clear response from MNHQ.

And yes, we are all adults, but many of us are responsible not just for ourselves, but for the others in our lives.

There is a risk of a thread going a bit postal, and people falling over themselves to help, which could lead to a dangerous situation.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 30-Jan-14 13:39:15

Well said MmeL

Ubik1 Thu 30-Jan-14 13:48:05

HQ does pop up with health warnings about this but if it is happening more frequently then perhaps there needs to be something more explicit.. where/when would it appear?

Maryz Thu 30-Jan-14 13:50:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ubik1 Thu 30-Jan-14 13:55:36

It does amaze me that people aren't more careful

WorraLiberty Thu 30-Jan-14 13:58:57

Perhaps MNHQ could get together with Refuge and Women's Aid to work out an appropriate response, and how they think posters should proceed.

I think that's a fantastic idea.

It's difficult for HQ because they don't have our addresses. On other forums where the moderators do (ebay for example) I've seen people post about taking overdoses and help has been sent.

Rooners Thu 30-Jan-14 14:08:56

I think it would send a useful signal if they posted on threads which were turning that way.

It would be a sort of 'policy' statement if you like. So people didn't feel bad if they didn't want to get personally involved.

I may be criticised for saying that but I think it's important we main tain a boundary in that respect.

Rooners Thu 30-Jan-14 14:09:26

maintain sorry

blame the baby, he's trying to get my chocolate

MmeLindor Thu 30-Jan-14 14:10:40

Yes, Rooners. In the way that they post when people start talking of paypal-ing the OMG-I'veNoFoodInTheHouseAndMyChildBenefitHasn'tComeThroughTrolls

Rooners Thu 30-Jan-14 14:13:33


It HAS stopped people getting so personally involved, so physically involved if you like

I remember before they started that and it was very frequent that people would have a whip round.

Not good

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 30-Jan-14 15:09:08

Yes yes and yes.

ArtexMonkey Thu 30-Jan-14 15:12:13

I do think that troll enabling should become as frowned on as troll hunting tends to be too. There was the big recent hoo haa situation, then another recent thread which has been locked and the op banned, not before some increasingly silly and aggressive pom pom waving had occurred though, a lot of it by posters I would class as serial offenders for this kind of thing. Be as daft and gullible as you like, but if you can't manage it without putting yourself or other people in danger, or breaking talk guidelines (ie going "all you posters asking op to clarify xyz ARE ALL HORRIBLE CUNTS" etc, which happens a fair bit) then cry havoc and let slip the "mumsnet calling" emails.

MrsDeanAmbrose Thu 30-Jan-14 15:17:23

Perhaps MNHQ could get together with Refuge and Women's Aid to work out an appropriate response, and how they think posters should proceed.

I think this is a really good idea, and I think a webchat/something similar with WA would be useful because there are a lot of misconceptions about what they are practically able/willing to do to support people fleeing DV.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 30-Jan-14 15:24:43

Given that a lot of women might now be very worried about the info of WA answering phones and confirming that a booking has been made I'd like it if HQ could speak to them and get a statement confirming what information they do/do not give out.

To set people's minds at rest.

MmeLindor Thu 30-Jan-14 15:38:30

That is a good point, Artex.

If MNHQ were to post on a thread, then the newer posters would at least be made aware - most are totally oblivious about trolls. Then at least there is no excuse for being totally gullible and believing everything.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 30-Jan-14 16:34:14

Good thread, Mme.

I think the idea about getting advice for us all to link to about how to respond in situations with DV is brilliant. It would be helpful for so many people beyond this kind of situation.

Would also be useful to have some guidelines about how anonymity works - both in terms of MN not being able to vouch for us, and in terms of how easily people can be traced. Because that was obviously a really scary worry on that thread.

MmeLindor Thu 30-Jan-14 16:47:45

Yes, that would be good.

I do think that when people are doing things like calling police to verify crime numbers, it would be good to have clarification on how much that actually tells one.

And how to protect one's own identity, if there is a risk of the abusive ex finding out that it is being discussed on MN.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 30-Jan-14 16:51:54


I have to say, one of the things that concerns me hugely is that people seem to think 'information' or 'outing' refers to something very detailed. When DV is in question, it could be something as minor as confirmation you've seen someone in a particular place, or that they're expected to go somewhere at a particular time. Really small details can be really important.

Hulababy Thu 30-Jan-14 16:59:27

It is Safer Internet Day on Feb 11th:;jsessionid=0932F36900F21D0104D81D4655D7E483

Could be a good link/tie in

MmeLindor Thu 30-Jan-14 17:17:08

Someone also mentioned on the other thread - the being sure who you are meeting goes both ways.

If a woman is fleeing a DV situation, she shouldn't be meeting some random person from MN. There are some odd folks about, who love to feed off the drama of others.

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