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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:
tamum · 12/01/2007 18:33

zippi, I don't know anything about all this but please don't go.

messyoldmess · 12/01/2007 18:54

Blimey! I totally missed this whole foxy thing, but I'm really sorry so many people were taken in by her.
I have to admit to posting under several different guises myself, when posting about my relationship issues - but that is because I am paranoid about people I know in RL reading all of my most personal issues.
I do post on MN during some of my lowest moments, because it really helps me, but I take all advice on board & have a lot of RL help too, a lot of which I wouldn't have got if it wasn't for the sensible advice of sensible, caring MN'ers.
I just wanted to make it as clear as I could to all who have offered me support over the last 2 years, that I am completely genuine, despite using a variety of nicknames, as I suspect posters will be feeling extra cautious now!

Flumpytina · 12/01/2007 19:01

As a relative newbie to MN I just wanted to say having read this thread that I am extremely impressed and moved by the MNers who invested so much real and emotional time and effort in helping this woman.
It has greatly increased my respect and admiration for what the site is trying to achieve.
MN has been mentioned quite a few times in the Times recently, and all in a very positive light. From what I have read it seems that it is the leading UK site for Mum's to chat about whatever and give each other advice and support. I would hate to think that because of what seems to be one individual's desire to take advantage of the geniune generosity and compassion of the respondee's that these lovely ladies now feel compelled to leave or take an extended break from the site.
It's people like you that really make MN what it is (cue cheering in the background!!), and the reason why MN continues to have regular and genuine cries for help... because they are relying on someone who does have compassion and usually some great practical advice to respond.

Hope this doesn't sound too erm girlie and over emotional, it is meant as real praise of all the MNers involved.

Pinkchampagne · 12/01/2007 19:14

Totally agree, Flumpytina!
My counsellor asked for MN details, after me explaining how much support I have received here. She asked for the web address, so she could pass it on to people she felt would benefit from a bit of extra support.

lissielou · 12/01/2007 19:17

mine too,

flutterbee · 12/01/2007 19:23

My email address needs a councillor after all the extra emails it has had to cope with because of this total tangled web of lies.

No matter how much trouble this has caused and how many hours have been wasted I am still glad that it happened because I have met some lovely people who all like me wanted nothing more than to help.

mellowma · 12/01/2007 20:07

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