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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:
noddyholder · 12/01/2007 08:31

trolls are sweet little hairy creatures with big eyes leave them alone!

KezzaG · 12/01/2007 08:33

Thanks Mellowma, I am just so shocked that someone could be so plausible. Her dc's were lovely and I spent so much time and effort worrying about her.

I hope this doesnt stop genuine posters being belived but I am glad it is all out in the open now.

dotty has my address......mmmmm that wasnt a good idea was it!?

giddy1 · 12/01/2007 08:33

Message deleted

Budababe · 12/01/2007 08:40

Kezza - your post yesterday that dottymummy and fox/MR were 2 different people totally confused me as I had been told they were the same person. I tried searching for messages from Dottymummy but couldn't find anything.

It all begins to come clear now.

Thanks you for a very dignified post trying to clarify matters.

WWJD - I know you were very instrumental in trying to help this person and were trying to let MN know that things are not always what they seem - sorry you have been "got at".

WWJD is not trying to say that everyone who post on MN with problems/depression etc is "attention seeking". From one incident where she believed what she read/was told and acted accordingly - she then found out that things were not as they seemed and some things were not true.

We know there are trolls - we do need to beaware of this fact. However we don't need to assume every newbie is a troll.

We know there are people who we could call "attention seekers" - there always will be in every walk of life.

But - there are lots of people with genuine issues that they need support/advice or just to be able to vent/use MN as a sounding board. We need to be careful not to assume that every person with a problem/issue is either attention seeking or a troll and we also need to be careful about assuming everything we read on here is true.

Obviously Fox/MR/Dottymummy does need help - just possibly not the help that she led Kezza/WWJD/NurseyJo to believe she needed- but they couldn't know that at the time.

Again this showed the generosity of Mumsnetters lots of whom were willing to offer whatever help they could. It is a shame it has turned to be like this but I do still think that no-one should regret the help offered.

Sorry if i have waffled on!

mellowma · 12/01/2007 08:40

Message withdrawn

lissielou · 12/01/2007 08:47

i was a newbie to mn when dottymums situation was being played out and i was in tears that someone was in the situation she was in. wwjd has come for a lot of slack for this thread and i for one am glad that things have been cleared up.

lissielou · 12/01/2007 08:52

out of curiosity, what is the mn name of foxy?

KezzaG · 12/01/2007 09:02

I dont know lissie, I think they have all been deleted anway as part of her story that she was in danger of being tracked by her husband. I completely missed the whole thing at the start which is why I didnt realise it was the same person.

I too would like to see the fox threads out of curiosity.

whatwouldjesusdo · 12/01/2007 09:02

giddy, mumsnet is chat threads. If you dont like the op, you can improve on it, not just post criticism. The idea of warning people is good, no? the mn troll page doesnt cover attention seeking disorders and describe the sort of thing that mn has been used for recently. ("but its up to mn" - er, mn is a CHAT shop for anyone to post stuff. Most mn guidelines arise from stuff that first appears on the boards.)

sorry I didnt spend a whole morning carefully preparing a post that couldnt possibly offend anyone in the world.

thank you flutterbee and kezza.

I didnt post more details when I started this thread, because there was still a lot that I didnt know at the time, eg whether this sad, dishonest little fantasist who has been using mumsnet recently ever had suffered from domestic violence.
Put yourself in my position - would you go public on mumsnet to out someone who you know to be an attention seeker but that you suspected could still be the victim of dv?
I realise that for the people who jumped in to insult me on this thread, the answer could be "yes" but for me it is "no"

I posted this thread, because this attention seeking con artist, is still using mumsnet. I'm sure she'll read this post - hello! As a result of this thread, one person who was being strung along now knows the truth. Therefore, it was worth starting it.

OP posts:
SisterOfSoapbox · 12/01/2007 09:03

I have used message boards for years and have helped many people on line, particularly those suffering from DV.

The basic thing that stands out between those in genuine need and those who are either trolling or who have some kind of attention seeking problem is consistency - if you are living in a truly arduous situation then you will post consistently about that and if anyone queries any discrepancies then you can provide simple explanations that will clear up any misunderstandings completely (because, of course your situation is genuine).

Trolls and those who are attention seeking are more caught up in the drama and are more prone to being inconsistent (a) because the situation they are describing is not real or (b) they are caught up in the drama and the responses from other posters etc.

For those willing to help people who are genuinely in need of help, you have to discern whether the need is genuine or not.

On this media there is always a chance of being duped and this is the sadness about all of this, responsible caring people may become reluctant to help others due to bad experiences and this then means that truly genuine cases may end up not receiving the help they deserve.

For those who change names in order to protect their identity that is understandable and if your situation is genuine then there will be consistency in what you post. WWJD is not getting at you and you should not take offence in what she is saying, she is speaking about other groups of people who are either causing mischief or are in need of another form of help which may not require immediate intervention.

All in all, I think WWJD is just trying to protect those in genuine need so that people don't stop offering help and get so disillusioned that they walk away from MN for a while, as NurseyJo would appear to have had to do.

whatwouldjesusdo · 12/01/2007 09:05

thank you budababe and lissie
lissie - what you describe is exactly how this person has wound a lot of people up.

OP posts:
whatwouldjesusdo · 12/01/2007 09:07

thank you sister, so much better put than I managed - the difference is the ongoing drama of it all.

OP posts:
evilsparklystepmom · 12/01/2007 09:11

wwjd - having now read whole thread i stand by my first comment that your intial post was a useful guideline in general. now that the background has been revealed i think it must have taken you a lot of guts to post and appreciate your stance on the matter.

2shoes · 12/01/2007 09:13
  • generally, a poster who appears to live in the middle of a dramatic situation, and who posts at key dramatic moments



just about sums up all of us on the sn board thanks.........not
Marina · 12/01/2007 09:16

WWJD, I can see why you posted as you did now. I am really very sorry to hear about this , and for NurseyJo and others who were drawn in too.

Mercy · 12/01/2007 09:18

Well said Budababe and Sisterofsoapbox.

BuffysMum · 12/01/2007 09:19

Glad some more people are seeing what wwjd was really trying to achieve with op.

Just wanted to add wwjd and I discussed at the very beginning whether she was genuine or not so it wasn't like we were completely gullible, there are also some things that were posted that were def true as wwjd heard the dd talking about them in the background.

BTW dottymum/MR/foxy shame you've lost yourself alot of support & practical help that would have been beneficial for you. Hope your sister & BIL are please to find out what you've been up to!

100PerCentCod · 12/01/2007 09:20

so the fox is realy or not

Budababe · 12/01/2007 09:21

Yay! Cod's back!

(sorry for hijack!)

Missed you - want a hug??

KezzaG · 12/01/2007 09:22

the fox is dottymum, and there is no great escaspe from an abusive situation. In fact her dh is probably a very nice man!

mellowma · 12/01/2007 09:23

Message withdrawn

100PerCentCod · 12/01/2007 09:23

so the fox=dottdot
ther is /is not abuse

she is mad/isnot mad

please delete as necc

lulumama · 12/01/2007 09:23

kezzag- please can you cat me / email me

lulumama21 @ hotmail .com

ta x lulu x

BuffysMum · 12/01/2007 09:25

Hi cod good to see you around, I'm a newbie and I have missed you!

Well she's real - but it's just a question of how much she said is real - some is, some isn't, but we don't know which bits for certain.

She's very frugal though - got other people to get her a birth certificate and send it to Japan all for free. Anyone know how much the small claims court proceedure costs?

schneebly · 12/01/2007 09:25

no cod - fox is not dottydot - she is dottymum!

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