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Updating the guidelines

(30 Posts)
Maryz Thu 02-Jan-14 21:39:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sanssoleil Thu 02-Jan-14 21:57:06

I agree^^ and would be good to get clarity-even not allowing members to start posting until they confirmed they had read and would abide by guidelines-

No haha I never read them odious guffery

Maryz Thu 02-Jan-14 23:20:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DazzleII Thu 02-Jan-14 23:39:09

This is a great idea. Some MNers don't mind if their username is linked to their real identity, and may therefore imagine it doesn't really matter for anyone. It DOES matter, a lot, for some MNers. So maybe there also needs to be explicit emphasis on how important anonymity is for some site users.

Maryz Thu 02-Jan-14 23:46:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spero Thu 02-Jan-14 23:47:33

Yes I agree. It shouldn't need saying, but obviously for some, it does.

PacificDogwood Thu 02-Jan-14 23:47:48

I agree with MaryZ on this one.

Off to bed, so no further eloquence on the subject.

I think there was a thread on it recently (before hemminggate, I mean) can't remember the outcome, will look now...

Lioninthesun Thu 02-Jan-14 23:53:19

Sounds really good.
After everything that has gone on recently I imagine this will put a few vulnerable people's minds at rest. People who might otherwise not post.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Thu 02-Jan-14 23:56:44

Yes, get people to confirm having read guidelines, and agree to observe them.
RL names and previous nick-names included.

JungleHumps Fri 03-Jan-14 00:05:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

holycowwhatnow Fri 03-Jan-14 00:06:56

Total agreement here.

nennypops Fri 03-Jan-14 00:09:28

Yes, I agree. It shouldn't be necessary, but recent events have demonstrated that it certainly is.

WestmorlandSausage Fri 03-Jan-14 00:13:31

I do agree with you in the main - but my concern about a blanket rule on this is the Melvinscomment type scenarios where actually it might be quite useful to be able to point out a reasonable belief that the person posting was a certain person known to cause distress.

A MNer (can't remember who) did 'out' JH's partner when she started posting on one of the threads just before Christmas and she was also a regular 'anonymous' MNer until that point as far as most people were concerned. In that case her posts would probably outed her anyway to any sensible person (she had been outed previously for similar reasons and had to name change I believe). I presume she will have name changed again after recent events and I wouldn't blame her if she had.

WestmorlandSausage Fri 03-Jan-14 00:18:31

damn posted too soon.

I think there does need to be a little flexibility rather than a blanket rule as I think that kind of rule may cause us more problems with people blatantly trolling in an identifiable way in the knowledge that if someone calls them on it may get them banned.

I would be devastated if someone outed me on here so would like some protection from that but ultimately I don't think a ban would actually stop people from doing it if they had the inclination to do so anyway.

I can't find the thread I'm thinking of, but I think it was decided that malicious outing came under "deliberately inflammatory behaviour" so could be a bannable offence, but also allows for westmorelands example to be okay...?

Maryz Fri 03-Jan-14 00:20:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Fri 03-Jan-14 00:20:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CarpeVinum Fri 03-Jan-14 00:30:13

Hear hear !

Not everybody has Big Pointy Alps to hide behind and CrackItalianLawyer team.

So many people are PMing me, posters are actually SCARED to even post on a thread under their nickname.

And I don't bleeding blame them.

I know full well when I am being threatened and intimidated, even when the attempt is ineffectual becuase of where I am and what kind of back up I have ... unbeknown to the power/money muscle flexer.

It is not one of those thing you can necessarily predict and include in a common or garden TOS, but the specific scenario is here and it is happening and it does require a firm line in the sand to be drawn.

thekitchenfairy Fri 03-Jan-14 04:49:52

I think there needs to be a little flexibility but agree outing someone should be against talk guidelines not against general ethos.

BoffinMum Fri 03-Jan-14 09:46:46

I am not happy with the way things are going on here at the moment. I reckon that unless there is a bit of sensitivity about covering the backs of posters, in terms of confidentiality and low level privacy, the site will morph into a sterile Netmums type place where nobody says anything apart from inane platitudes using text speak. Obviously people aren't posting state secrets on here, but they do talk about personal things (pelvic floors, irritations with employers and the less attractive domestic habits of husbands and partners, to name three fairly harmless things that ought to be given a bit of pragmatic privacy) and it's reasonable to expect a bit of support from MNHQ with regard to protecting the social space where posters like to discuss things like this, that they feel are important to them, or supportive and helpful to others. Otherwise what's the point of any of it?

Whilst on the matter of site stuff, I also think it is important to identify where contributions are paid for, and where they are free. I was pretty appalled to learn that MN apparently charge for web chats without specifying at the top of the respective web chat that it's effectively a form of advertorial. In any other form of media this practice would be considered dodgy.

I'm sensitive to this as MNHQ have just pulled a thread of mine in rather a lofty fashion, where I was tipping MNetters off that one of my books was free for a few days if they wanted to download it for nothing. To me, this seemed a bit hypocritical given the paid web chat development. I've regularly put up threads like this as I think it's a useful symbiosis - from my point of view, I post austerity stuff on my blog for free, I link to MN as an approved blogger (in effect giving them some free content every time I update the site), I put the blog into an eBook that people can download for on their phones or iPads for wandering around the shops with, etc, people PM me and contact me via the blog and send me lots of ideas and point out corrections, I think, 'that's decent of them' and make sure every time there is a free promotion MNetters are the first to know in case it's helpful to someone who helped, or someone on a really restricted budget. So having felt quite generous, I was shocked to be slapped down and told to pay for an advertisement or else. Not good karma, I felt, given that my blog officially feeds MN free content, as I say. It felt out of balance, and I have told them so.

TBH from time to time I've experimentally sneaked a few links onto The Other Site and my stats zoom up a lot faster if I do that, both in terms of blog hits and (paid) book downloads (I do not alert them to free promotions). So I imagine their site is a lot bigger, and it's probably in my commercial interests to develop that side of things a lot more. But I don't, because thus far I have felt my values aligned more closely with MN. Whether that will continue into the future, time will only tell.

At least we have a good stab at free speech on here, anyway. I suppose if I posted something like this on The Other Site they'd delete it immediately, being as Pollyanna-ish as they are.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 03-Jan-14 10:54:00


Thanks for this.

In most cases we do crack down on posts that 'out' other posters when they're reported to us, whether that's outing someone's RL identity or outing a namechange.

We understand that anonymity is one of the things that users really value about MN, and we're very happy to protect posters' anonymity as far as we can.

That said, as some of you have pointed out, there are occasionally circumstances where this doesn't really apply - a user who has NC but is very happy to confirm that she was previously OtherUsername, or users (very occasionally) who genuinely don't mind if their RL identities are associated with their MN identities.

We'll always err on the side of protecting anonymity, but a blanket ruling wouldn't be appropriate in every case.

All of that said, you may be right that adding a line about the general expectation of anonymity to this page would be a good idea - we'll take a look at doing that.

BoffinMum Fri 03-Jan-14 11:03:17

I think also a dialogue with MNHQ is also highly valued. The way we are all grown ups on here, generally speaking. So often women are infantilised and patronised online, and this is one of the rare places we can be really quite free, or at least argue about the boundaries.

SoupDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 11:10:11

Surely it is easy to distinguish between a poster outing themselves happily and someone else doing so? Thus it is Ok for someone to out themselves but not OK for someone else to out another poster.

If anyone has suspicions that a poster is a troll under a namechange, they should report it, not out them.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 03-Jan-14 11:13:56


Surely it is easy to distinguish between a poster outing themselves happily and someone else doing so? Thus it is Ok for someone to out themselves but not OK for someone else to out another poster.

Yes sure - but sometimes it can go like this:

PosterA to PosterB on Thread C: 'Do I know you?'
PosterB: 'yes I used to be PosterD'
PosterA 'Ah right'

Then subsequently on Thread E:

PosterF 'Oh PosterD's still around and posting, she's PosterB now'

Obvs in these circumstances, we'd generally assume that PosterB/D is fine with having her NC confirmed as she's already done it herself on other threads.

Does that make sense?

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