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trolls, attention seekers and other wierdos.

257 replies

whatwouldjesusdo · 11/01/2007 09:45

I thought it might be useful to have a reference thread on this subject. It isn't aimed at any particular person or thread, and would be good to keep it as a general reference for people who are new to the site, ie not discuss particular threads here.

TROLLS are typically new posters, previously unseen on mn,
They may have weird sexual problems, which they try to suck people into discussing. In MN folklore, they are hairy arsed truckdrivers or schoolboys, and they may invite posts like "trippety trap" or "go and do your homework"
Alternatively, they may post something inflamatory, eg insulting another poster, to start a fight.

ATTENTION SEEKERS may run a mumsnet persona over several months, and may be mothers, so look much more genuine. However, there are genuine mothers who also suffer from attention seeking disorders.
Look out for some or all of the following:

  • an unusual story
  • a poster whose only help comes apparently from mumsnet
  • a poster who has apparently convincing reasons for not seeking help from the authorities
  • a poster who makes people feel sorry for them all the time, and thanks them for their sympathy with pathetic gratitude
  • an extreme story, such as suicide or the poster saying that they are about to abandon their children
  • generally, a poster who appears to live in the middle of a dramatic situation, and who posts at key dramatic moments.

CON ARTISTS will run a convincing story, and, having got your sympathy, will try and get you to do things for them. Eg, they put themselves apparently into situations where you can help them, and then wait for you to offer your help. They are hard to spot online, and you have to make up your own mind about what sort of risk you are prepared to take about corresponding with other posters.

This is emphatically not intended as a discussion of whether we are gullible or not, but if anyone's sympathies are particularly aroused by any thread, please do come back here now or in the future and have another read.
and of course, please add your own recommendations on spotting threads that dont add up.
OP posts:
LIZS · 12/01/2007 13:36

Her db didn't have a passport, and there were lots of excuses as to why she could not get one in time locally, so think it was suggested that she just turn up at UK Immigration with her sob story, someone get one in UK on her behalf to send out to her or borrow another child's..... Only eavesdropped on the threads so may not have the full picture .

KezzaG · 12/01/2007 13:36

I agree Pruni, and this was exactly the case here. For example I told her not to sign for the sale of her oh so expensive family home until she had agreed a divorce settlement, or at least knew she would get some of the money. She didnt listen. Now I know there was no house sale....

Also, some others gave her details of a safe contact at the British Embassy in Japan. If my life and that of my dc;s was in danger I would have contacted this person rather than writing on MN about escaping while my dh was asleep.

these seem to me to be so inconsistent with someone genuinely in trouble that it doesnt ring true.

Pruni · 12/01/2007 13:39

Message withdrawn

Mhamai · 12/01/2007 13:40

Sorry pruni misread your post and yes would have to agree with you on that point but also sadly by the same token some genuine people can act this way when they are messed up and can't see the woods for the trees so to speak. I think the point about consistency is probably key though as to those who are genuine.

Pruni · 12/01/2007 13:44

Message withdrawn

AitchTwoOhOhSeven · 12/01/2007 13:47

i didn't read every single one of the fox threads but surely the point is that this person is deserving of our sympathy, if not for the reasons she'd like us to believe. she can't be in a very healthy place mentally if she's doing this sort of thing. everyone who tried to help or was concerned did so with the purest of motives, so that doesn't make a mug of anyone.

afaik there was dv in the situation because embassy contacts had previously been made for a similar event, so there is a villain. that the victim has become unstable, vulnerable and needy as a recult is hardly surprising. Domestic abusers pick vulnerable people and render them more vulnerable. they don't often pick on people who are feeling strong... too much like hard work breaking them.

i've had experience of this with a friend who is still with a very abusive man... she had a fairly rich fantasy life and i did feel hurt and lied to when i found out, but it doesn't actually change the fact that she's got a shit life and is unable to change it.

Mhamai · 12/01/2007 13:53

True, I suppose it depends on the level too, I mean you could for arguments sake have someone who is so embriolled in their misery that they want peole to feed off their pain and have no intention of resolving their issues, taking a victim stance but this can be for want of a better word someone who may be genuine but has yet to work through their problems as opposed to someone who is deliberatly setting out to cause a drama where none or very grey areas exist. In my experience as a trainee counsellor I have encountered clients who present with so many defences and working through issues can and does take time and sadly as supportive as the threads can be it often takes a lot more than however well intentioned advice offered on the boards.

KezzaG · 12/01/2007 13:57

the reason I dont thnk there was dv is because she was telling me that they had a happy marriage, he was a solid dependable man etc etc and just upped and left her a week after baby was born. He then asked her to go to Japan to try to reconcile and she went willingly, but also angry and concerned as to how it would work out.

She has told me she is not scared of him, and right up to end of Dec was telling me he was unreasonable but that was all.

Compare this to the other verion and who knows what is true. It really wouldnt suprise me if the last allegation and subsequent repatriation was also made up.

So many other things she has lied about - told me she had mc, told someone else she had emergency c-sec and baby died. the first story of dv could be true, I really hope not, but I personally dont believe it.

I need to stop thinking about this, it is so incredulous I keep going over it!

Mhamai · 12/01/2007 13:59

Ps before I get bounced on I'm not for a minute suggesting that people with problems should not post. MN is a wonderful site and I have been awed and humbled by the support and advice given on the threads, I'm trying maybe not very eleqently to shed some light onto aspects of some people's behaviour when they have issues.

AitchTwoOhOhSeven · 12/01/2007 14:10

righto kezza. i had thought that one of the reasons people became suspicious was because it turned out that thanks to a previous incident of dv she had a contact at the embassy all along and therefore a lot of the recent worry and 'i've got no-one' was proved to be false.

KezzaG · 12/01/2007 14:13

you are right that she was repatriated due to dv, that is true, but what some of us now doubt is whether the dv happnened at all or she made that up. So yes, she did have a contact at the embassy.

AitchTwoOhOhSeven · 12/01/2007 14:19

oh i see. you're right, though, there's probably not much benefit in over-analysing it. she's a very unfortunate person, whatever happened. glad i'm not her.

KTeePee · 12/01/2007 14:59

Just wanted to say (as someone who followed and posted on some of the threads this is referring to) that one of the reasons I felt the story was plausible initially was that at the start the poster implied that the various aliases she was using (Foxy, Madame Reynard, etc) were hints at her "real" MN name and in the first thread (which wa deleted for "safety" reasons) some of the posters on that thread seemed (to me) to "know" the poster so I initially assumed it was all above board....

VeniVidiVickiQV · 12/01/2007 16:50

Have to say.....I pondered whether her not mentioning previous repatriation was through shame of having gone back to him after being helped before (A common thing in DV i think....)

zippitippitoes · 12/01/2007 17:14

after this I think i better take a break..

I particularly apologise ot Kezza for dragging her in and I only dipped in and out of the fox threads but knew it was the same person, but thought it was strange but didn't post as i didn't want to make trouble.

So I apologise.

I'm upset about this tbh, I think I made things worse.

Sorry to everyone.

Mercy · 12/01/2007 17:15

VVV, the same thought occured to me too.

Would dearly love to know who worked it out, and when. There were obviously a lot more people working behind the scenes than I realise (when I first came across foxy's thread I vaguely recalled another poster with similar aged children who wanted to leave the UK in a hurry, but didn't follow the thread to the end).

VeniVidiVickiQV · 12/01/2007 17:21


Mercy · 12/01/2007 17:25

zippi, please don't be upset

KezzaG · 12/01/2007 17:38

Oh please dont be upset zippi. I think you and I and the others who helped should actually be proud of what we did. At least it has ended now with some chance of her getting help, and her children hopefully being safe. This is a far better position than it was before we all got involved. Who knows where they would have all ended up.

Honestly dont apologise to me, it was my own choice to become involved and at the nend of the day none of us got hurt (or arrested!)

Just think in a few months time we can dine out on this story.

We will get our rewards in heaven.....LOL I bloody hope so anyway.

Vev · 12/01/2007 17:38

I followed the foxy threads but I didn't realise she was also someone else on MN and I suppose you have to feel sorry for her. I was concerned for her welfare and was impressed with how people were helping her and no-one should feel "that they've been had". It's her with the problem and hope she gets help now.

lulumama · 12/01/2007 17:39

i was the one frantically bumping the initial thread and did the right and good thing.....(((hugs ))) you are a wonderful asset to musmnet and give sterling advice..don;t leave


mellowma · 12/01/2007 17:39

Message withdrawn

lissielou · 12/01/2007 17:44

well just been back to the threads, and im almost crying again. part of me wishes i didnt know iykwim. no-ones fault zippi, some people are just good at spinning a line. i hope she gets some help tho.

NappiesGalore · 12/01/2007 18:07

wow - just read whole thread. makes me glad i missed the whole thing! and glad i missed the JF stuff too... i'd miss a drama if it came up and bit me on the bum, me!

good on you, those who tried to help... dont feel bad, feel good that you are not cynical bitter people, despite being 'had' by strange people with problems in a league of their own...

zippitippitoes · 12/01/2007 18:25

Thank you for the kindness.

This thread helped to get things clarified for those not in touch already luckily.

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