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OFFICIAL MNHQ THREAD on posts about suicide, troll-hunting and related matters

(834 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Oct-14 10:10:28

Hello

There have been so many threads about this over the past few days, and so many divergent points of view - and so much upset - that we'd really like to have the discussion in one place rather than in many different threads all over the boards.

For those who haven't heard yet: we are actively reviewing our policy about threads regarding suicidal feelings and suicidal intent. We are seeking expert input from outside organisations including the Samaritans. Once we have that we will come back and have a further discussion with MNers about the way forward.

We'll be here to talk on the thread throughout the day, but do please note that we WILL delete troll-hunting posts for all the obvious reasons. So PLEASE do not use this thread to make insinuations about identifiable posters - keep it general please.

Re: Wombat: we understand that some reporters had concerns, but at the same time this poster had been around for years with a very consistent posting history. We absolutely do not have any concrete reason to disbelieve her. However, her thread had been immensely upsetting and triggering for many users, and has prompted a site-wide discussion about how we handle these threads. Once her husband had posted that she was at home with him and under the care of RL professionals it really seemed best all round to delete the thread.

We contacted Wombat at the time to explain our deletion and we still feel that for many very good reasons this is best sorted out off-board between us and her; we've asked her again to reply to our email and we will happily take it from there.

We also think that this whole case is a very good illustration of why we have no-trollhunting rules. We understand that some of you find them frustrating, but for every correct troll-call, there's an incorrect one. Being called a troll in public when you're giving an honest account of deeply upsetting real-life circumstances can be devastating for people.

Equally, we do 'get' that there are a lot posters and threads at the moment that seem deeply suspicious. We are on the front foot with this and have been being pretty pro-active at closing things down when they are reported to us and when we can see that things aren't adding up, particularly if they are new users.

So we need you to keep reporting and NOT break troll-hunting rules on the boards unless MNHQ itself has said publicly that we are confident that someone was a deliberate trouble-maker.

The namechange/sock-puppeting thing is extremely easy for us to spot when it's reported. It's not a judgement call - it's black and white and it's the work of a moment for us to spot it and deal with it.

Modestine Thu 23-Oct-14 10:17:13

You are right, Rowan. It absolutely vindicates the Talk Guidelines' banning of troll hunting, and that should be enforced with rigour.

wooooosualsuspect Thu 23-Oct-14 10:18:00

There's no point reporting any more.

The Trolls are winning.

wooooosualsuspect Thu 23-Oct-14 10:19:12

MN, the only forum on the internet where troll hunting is worse than trolling.

No wonder this place is riddled with trolls.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 23-Oct-14 10:20:30

Mumsnet, by trolls and parents, for trolls and parents.

Big fail.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Oct-14 10:22:00

wooooosualsuspect

There's no point reporting any more.

The Trolls are winning.

That's just not true Usual. We've banned scores of people recently off the back of users' reports.

And the real trolls are presumably very much enjoying seeing perfectly innocent users being accused of trolling, to the extent that anyone posting under a new name runs the risk of being openly disbelieved.

MrsVamoOOOOOOOOOOs Thu 23-Oct-14 10:24:10

Not good. sad

Name changing/ sock-puppeting is easy for HQ to spot, not us.

How can we report when you are more likely to be admonished for suspecting a troll than being one ?

wooooosualsuspect Thu 23-Oct-14 10:25:04

The reason people are so suspicious is because there are so many trolls on here.

It's so easy to troll MN.

ChillingGrinBloodLover Thu 23-Oct-14 10:27:25

Rowan It will be good to have it all on the one thread!

Are you going to lock all the other threads and put a link to this one?

Are you going to be able to read all of the others so we don't need to repost the same things on this thread?

brew

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Oct-14 10:27:43

MrsVamoOOOOOOOOOOs

Not good. sad

Name changing/ sock-puppeting is easy for HQ to spot, not us.

How can we report when you are more likely to be admonished for suspecting a troll than being one ?

We're not saying don't report - we're saying don't say it on the thread. Not sure if we understand your point?

ghostisonthecanvas Thu 23-Oct-14 10:28:04

Going out on a limb here and agreeing with MN. It was obvious that Wombat was genuine. I thought the decision to pull the thread probably was because she was getting help and it was a very triggering thread. I feel very frustrated when I see posters feeding the trolls. It is not MNHQ that are the problem. It is all the bloody hysteria and public troll calling. Use the system. Report suspicious posts. If you don't trust MN to deal with the problem then you probably shouldn't be here.

GilesGirl Thu 23-Oct-14 10:28:30

And look! I can name change right in the middle of a thread! What shall I sock as today?

If what Justine said the other day is true? That Mumsnet is a moderated forum? Then you don't have enough moderators.

If it is self moderating, as we've been told for years, then let the users self moderate.

As we used to.

What a load of bollocks. Say good bye to Mumsnet, the trolls have taken over the asylum.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Oct-14 10:28:34

Nobody has ever been admonished for reporting to MNHQ for any reason!

Thanks Chilling, we will do and we will read them brew

BettyMoody Thu 23-Oct-14 10:29:05

Mumsnet isn't compulsory, you know,

ElliotLovesGrub Thu 23-Oct-14 10:29:29

It is hard not to troll hunt when they are so blatant sometimes and you watch their story contradicting itself and people being sucked in regardless. Like with the thread that is still being seen as real, it's very hard to see that and know that there are women out there reading it and getting upset by it and missing the parts where it doesn't match up. It's like long term trolls are an unspoken thing here, like they don't exist. I understand that those are the hardest to spot but we can't pretend they don't happen.

LEMmingaround Thu 23-Oct-14 10:29:38

Thank-you for this thread. I really hope wombat is ok. As you say yourself, you have no concrete reason to disbelieve her. In some way i now hope it wasn't true because it would be a shameful disgrace the way she has been treated if she was genuine. I could never openly call troll in that situation as lets be honest, that could be the straw that breaks the camels back.

As for whether suicide threads belong here? I don't know. I do think there is a danger for the vulnerable poster who needs help as they will receive lots of well meaning but often inappropriate advice. That could do more harm than good.

I often worry about vulnerable posters being made to feel worse posting on here. There have been times at my lowest that i have found myself in that situation. I have learnt to modify how and where i post for support.

I do worry for the future of this forum as a genuine support tool and wonder if it will turn into something more trivial. It is a great shame.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 23-Oct-14 10:29:40

I'll ask a few final questions though, then I'll leave you to it, because I am not having anyone's blood on my hands. <dramatic>

Yours is the only parenting forum that I know of that allows these threads to rumble on. So, coupled with the, shall we say, eclectic moderation, you know, and history has shown, that you are going to attract more than your fair share of trolls and fakers. How is it taking you this long to realise (I live in hope) that you cannot put yourselves (because it will be on HQ's heads, not RandomMummy1234 user's that the Daily Fail headline will concentrate when the day comes (and it will) that someone kills themselves on live MN.

How will you respond to that? Because you're coming at this all wrong. Taking away whether or not poster A is genuine or not when she says she's about to kill herself.....one day someone will be genuine, their thread will run, and the savers won't be able to save. And because you didn't delete it when it happened it will become your responsibility. Morally. And I don't know how you can even contemplate that happening.

Sockpuppeting: are sockpuppets going to be banned? What with it being dead obvious to HQ when it happens? You know, when hypothetical poster A even makes the same stylistic/grammar errors/missing punctuation as her sockie? Or are we going to become a safe haven for them as well?

Since when did being a long term poster make you more believable? Trolling Grade 1- you build up a history. I am an internet luddite, even I know that. You are running a website for god's sake. Don't your realise how using "a long term poster" as a reason for believing someone is not a troll makes you look a bit, erm, simple?

One thing for sure today. The trolls, the sockies and the savers are in back slapping heaven.

You are getting this so, so wrong.

TeaAndALemonTart Thu 23-Oct-14 10:30:18

The trolls are taking over.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Oct-14 10:30:43

GilesGirl

And look! I can name change right in the middle of a thread! What shall I sock as today?

If what Justine said the other day is true? That Mumsnet is a moderated forum? Then you don't have enough moderators.

If it is self moderating, as we've been told for years, then let the users self moderate.

As we used to.

What a load of bollocks. Say good bye to Mumsnet, the trolls have taken over the asylum.

If you had namechanged a little box would have popped up on the thread to tell MNHQ so and to direct us to each of your posts in turn.

It's lightly moderated. We have rules, but not loads. We do rely on our users to stick to them.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 23-Oct-14 10:32:17

It's hard not to troll hunt when you see such obvious bollocks and fairy stories being written (at least Trolly McTroll grade 1 should have the sense not to change their fucking story half way through d'oh) and you see vulnerable people that you actually care for spilling their guts and being sucked in.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Oct-14 10:32:36

Sangria we are actively reviewing our policy on suicidal posts right now.

And yes, we do ban people who use the namechange policy to deliberately mislead.

WannaBe Thu 23-Oct-14 10:32:47

"particularly if they are new users." and here is where the issue lies - someone has a posting history - must automatically be believed. someone doesn't - must be a troll. And you know that is simply not true.

As I have said before - I outed a troll on another website who was a long-standing member of years and years. She had numerous persona's, all of whom had severe issues, mh or disability related or both (usually one leading to the other) she befriended other vulnerable members and just as they got to a point where they were about to meet up the persona committed suicide leaving a devastated group of online friends behind, many of whom were vulnerable in their own right. And the worst of it is that she had a main persona - herself - who is actually all the things she says she is - she just has these little personas on the side. And this is in a small community (the VI community) where everyone essentially knows everyone (well not literally but you don't have to look far to find someone who knows someone) and she the person is well known. The only reason she got caught was because she slipped up - just once - but at a time when I was newly a moderator so was being extra diligent in my checks... so it peaked my suspicion and I followed a trail which gave me irrefuteable proof that she was a troll. And probably still is tbh.

But all you have to do to keep more than one persona going is to have access to more than one IP address, which really isn't hard if you have a job and a house.

And it's not that hard to set up a new account and be untraceable

GilesGirl Thu 23-Oct-14 10:34:11

Your rules are crap.

Either be moderated or be self moderating. Fuck off with this half assed 'light moderation'.

It doesn't work. It's never worked. It will never work.

Don't bother to ban me. I'm gone anyway.

MrsVamoOOOOOOOOOOs Thu 23-Oct-14 10:34:31

Rowan

You are telling us to report and let you deal with things.

The thing is, with no HQ around over night, things don't get dealt with. Genuine posters are hurt at accusations, and real trolls are having a fine old time.

Its got completely out of hand. sad

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Oct-14 10:34:41

ElliotLovesGrub

It is hard not to troll hunt when they are so blatant sometimes and you watch their story contradicting itself and people being sucked in regardless. Like with the thread that is still being seen as real, it's very hard to see that and know that there are women out there reading it and getting upset by it and missing the parts where it doesn't match up. It's like long term trolls are an unspoken thing here, like they don't exist. I understand that those are the hardest to spot but we can't pretend they don't happen.

We do know it's bloody hard at times. The hardest cases are those in which nobody knows for sure, including us.

We aren't asking for people to pretend they're not happening - but we are asking you to keep on-board discussions general and report specific concerns to MNHQ.

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