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.