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Guidelines regarding agitation on boards

(47 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 12:43:33

Mumsnet, like many other online fora but in particular as a result of it being a female dominated public place is subject to attack by men who come here explicitly to dominate, derail and ultimately silence discussion.

This can be seen across almost all boards on the site. This is different to goady fuckery, they do find it fun but it is also much more insidious. When it is found and women begin to point to it, challenge it and discuss it between themselves Mumsnet deletes the thread and does his work for him. The women have been silenced.

How could Mumsnet do better? After all if there is anywhere on the internet that should lead the way and do better it should be here surely?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 24-Oct-17 12:45:43

How do you know if someone online is a man or a woman?

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 12:50:25

Sometimes they self-declare but ultimately you don't know. However you can recognise the traits, patterns and behaviours of the MRAs/wannabes who have come to play their games.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 24-Oct-17 12:59:09

How is it different to “goady fuckery” (love that expression grin) though? Ultimately you don’t know who that person is, what their motives are, what their beliefs, what their political views are... nothing.

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 13:03:31

This is rather my point, I think you can. Once you see them a few times the patterns become recognisable but as Mumsnet deletes the thread they cannot be referenced. This includes the dissection and explanations within the thread that are useful to take forward.

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Oct-17 13:09:49

Hi woolly,
We're all ears on this, tbh. We totally see your point in terms of a poster's public profile being built over time, although we would say that the majority of reports are asking for the sorts of threads you mention to be taken down. Obviously we at HQ can still see the history, and it's something we do look at when people report. Any ideas for how we can work it better, though, gratefully appreciated.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 24-Oct-17 13:20:28

Tbh dissections, explanations and referencing sounds like you’re giving way to much time and mental headspace to people who are little more than the internet’s equivalent of toddlers.

Deleting the thread sounds like the best way imo.

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 13:23:42

An argument I have heard against letting them stand is that the dissection provides them with a toolkit of what works and helps them to adapt and improve their 'skills' and that is probably a good point.

I think I would like Mumsnet to take a much more head-on approach. To acknowledge that what is going on is symptomatic of what women and subject to in analogue and digital public places, that it is deliberate and that it's not OK to be shushed.

Much stronger moderation, challenge within the thread or a direct acknowledgment in the deletion post might be things to discuss?

meditrina Tue 24-Oct-17 13:24:25

I've been dubious about recognising the traits of an MRA ever since I was labelled as such and told I was only posting to derail.

If you don't like how a thread is going, for whatever reason, then the only course of action is to report to MNHQ and let them deal with it. It's their site and their rules.

And pretty clear, of late, that it you don't like it, they'd rather you fucked off.

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 13:26:03

No, M2ST, if ever there was a time to talk about what, when and how women should be able to speak then I think it is now. These are not toddlers.

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 13:28:43

Meditrini - which is why this is is an appropriate discussion for the the Site Stuff board, no?

meditrina Tue 24-Oct-17 13:30:25

I think stronger moderation would change the very essence of MN, and I wouldn't support it.

Challenge within the thread is already totally possible. That it is not happening means that other MNers simply don't see it like you do. i think it would be highly detrimental to have censorship beyond the current talk guidelines.

More info on deletion message - yes, I think that helps, whatever the reason for deletion.

meditrina Tue 24-Oct-17 13:31:31

"Meditrini - which is why this is is an appropriate discussion for the the Site Stuff board, no?"

On the contrary, 'yes' and I was adding my points to the discussion.

onefortheroadplease Tue 24-Oct-17 13:32:29

What’s an MRA?

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 13:33:54

Sorry. Mens Rights Activist.

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 13:39:18

Ah, meditrini, I miss-understood you.

Yes, heavy clunky moderation is not good. But part of their MO is to come on when they know there are fewer moderators around, or to exploit the space between official moderation and the responders who call them out who then risk being the dreaded 'troll hunter'.

thecatfromjapan Tue 24-Oct-17 13:39:33

It's different to 'SM toddler-like behaviour' and 'standard goady-fuckery' because it's primary intent is to silence women. It's political in intent (even if the people doing it haven't quite reached that level of self-awareness - though I suspect quite a few have).

Personally, I think it has a lot in common with other forms of political trollery, which also have as their goal silencing/closing down political areas of SM.

Would a MN sticker warning people about this sort of behaviour - acknowledging it exists, for a start - be a beginning?

It's a real issues, and it feels like reinventing the wheel when you see posters having to explain that it's a real thing to the unaware/newbies/disbelieving, so even acknowledging - from the off - that it is a fact - could be quite empowering.

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Tue 24-Oct-17 13:46:46

I think a sticky at the top of some threads might be helpful

I think that it must be very difficult for MNHQ but some threads are incredibly emotive and its all sorts of posters derailing

How do sticky's happen...could the OP of a thread request one to say for example that on the feminist board NAMALT, women can be violent and sexually aggressive as well...and anyone who posts those things are obviously goady fuckers and should be expelled from the thread..or electrocuted or something .....just a gentle shock...not like a charge that could kill

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 13:55:39

Having to start at the beginning every single time is not on anymore.

To take this out on the digital public space and into the outside world...all those responses to the Weinstein (and plenty others) saying 'why didn't they speak up before?'. THEY FUCKING DID and they were shushed, paid off, ignored, belittled, shamed, told if they didn't like this place they should look away, move away, go away.

Are we to do the same here? Pretend that every time is the first time?

thecatfromjapan Tue 24-Oct-17 14:06:20

A sticky moves the onus of proof: instead of having to 'prove' (without falling foul of the anti-troll-hunting guidelines) that a poster is a poli-troll (MRA/sexist/general social media pollutant), a sticky gently moves the onus of proof onto a poster to have to demonstrate - by means of their engagement - that they aren't. At the very least, they'll have to give the semblance of civilised, non-derailing engagement.

And legitimate posters don't feel obligated to put up with huge levels of frustration and impotence as the pollutants come on and spoil the space. for a start, there's a stickie, warning everyone that this is a feature of social media/MN - bit like a sign warning you that pickpockets operate in this area.

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 14:09:46

I would like Mumsnet to provide more leadership. To amplify women's voices. To be less fluffy and be more direct. When something is unacceptable to be firm and clear about why. When posters to come on to a thread and say 'those are the phrases and tactics of MRAs' MNHQ could come on too and say 'yes, we see that too'. To stand up and not go 'oh well, it's the internet isn't it, the biggest communication network the world has ever seen, it's obviously a place where women should suck it up or shut up'

woollyminded Tue 24-Oct-17 14:12:02

thecatfromjapan and rufus those are constructive suggestions. What do you say YetAnotherHelenMumsnet?

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Oct-17 15:05:17

Bearing in mind that we are a hive mind here at HQ wink, we can't really agree or disagree until we've discussed it through, but we are following the thread. Not sure we'd really recognise the last line of your last post, though, if there are any occasions when any of us staff has said (or even imputed) anything like that we would certainly like to know about it.

YetAnotherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Oct-17 15:09:18

(Not sure I mean impute btw. Might be imply. Definitely not infer. Serves me right for trying to talk fancy.)

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Tue 24-Oct-17 15:22:34

Just had another check on the guide lines...its this bit causing the problem

No trolling, misleading or deliberately inflammatory behaviour

The deliberately inflammatory behaviour especially

So a fair few posters skirt round the personal attacks and trolling

So helen could you give me an example of what you would delete re infammatory?

Use woolly and the cat cis that'll be funny grin

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