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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.
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justJAM · 12/01/2007 09:39

I didn't see it either cod and though I have never spoken to you, I know from many, many posts you were greatly missed...now be gracious and accept these fluffy twee hugs that you love sooooo much
{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Welcome back

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100PerCentCod · 12/01/2007 09:40

fark orf

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Plibble · 12/01/2007 09:40

I didn't know what all the fuss was about until I read the lastest posts on this thread. It seems that because of the nature of MN it is easy to get drawn in. If someone you didn't really know came to you in r/l and said that they were in the middle of some horrid situation, you would be pretty measured about what help you offered - a lift to the police station, perhaps, or a bit of money you could easily afford, but not necessarily to go to their house, for them to stay at yours etc. For some reason, on MN, unusually helpful offers are made, perhaps because it is easy to start thinking of people on MN as your friends, even when you don't know much about them. This is the problem, but it is also one of the nice things about MN.

I'm sorry to hear that people got burned by whoever this person was and that Nurseyjo has taken a break as a result.

Kezzag and WWJD- it's good to hear that this episode won't stop you helping people. No matter what, Dotty/Foxy/whoeverthehell clearly needs some sort of help.

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expatinscotland · 12/01/2007 09:40

JudgeFlounce was the ultimate troll.

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whatwouldjesusdo · 12/01/2007 09:41

there were a lot of lies on them, dino, mixed with how much truth, is difficult to say.

to my certain knowledge, she has used 3 different names in RL.

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BuffysMum · 12/01/2007 09:42

Wwjd next time I'm over near Munich (could be years) we'll get our 8 children together get a bit drunk and crease up laughing over this. We could even dp dramatic re-enactments!

Hopefully by then your ex will have disappeared

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mellowma · 12/01/2007 09:42

Message withdrawn

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100PerCentCod · 12/01/2007 09:43

nothing worng wiht a little name changing ime

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mellowma · 12/01/2007 09:43

Message withdrawn

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SSShakeTheChi · 12/01/2007 09:45

Well I never pick up on these trolls but I'm not too bothered. Do you really think the majority of posters on here are ALWAYS truthful? I don't think so but then I lost my innocence on other forums I suppose...

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whatwouldjesusdo · 12/01/2007 09:45

ooh, yes, you have an open invitation buffysmum!


cod, your new name looks like a fish finger though

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Soapbox · 12/01/2007 09:45

JF's reveal was in January too - we must have heightened powers of supersleuthing post Christmas or something

I have to say the detective work that has been done behind the scenes is almost as impressive as the JF outing! Perhaps even more satisfying as quite a lot of RL info about the woman concerned has been unearthed!

At least this one does appear to be female

However, let us not forget that as someone else said - might have been Jesus - attention seeking of this kind, is likely to be as a result of some kind of mental health issue or substance abuse - so perhaps whilst furious at the lies, maybe we shouldn't be too quick to condemn

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100PerCentCod · 12/01/2007 09:46

its was bosscat ppha nd were you in it soapy?

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Dinosaur · 12/01/2007 09:46

God, I had absolutely no idea. Didn't smell a rat at all. Bless you all for helping her, anyway, and I do hope that the poster who is taking a break because of this comes back soon .

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whatwouldjesusdo · 12/01/2007 09:47

munchausens syndrome type stuff is different from normal lies though

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eemie · 12/01/2007 09:51

WWB makes a good point - one of the outstanding features of troll threads is the genuine concern shown by responders. The advice given is often excellent. Even if the OP is making it all up, someone who is genuinely in a similar situation could benefit.

There's also a range, which WWJD has described, from outright cynical con artists to genuine mnetters who characteristically dramatise everything in their lives (and yes, I do have someone in mind, but not any of the current posters ).

It's the same in RL isn't it? Some people can't just say they need a few days off work without a lurid tale of family tragedy. One of my colleagues is on her fourth or fifth dying grandmother ('she was the one who really brought me up after my mother abandoned us on Christmas Day....'). WWJD is just trying to think clearly about it, which surely does no harm. I don't read her first post as prescriptive.

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justJAM · 12/01/2007 09:54

a colleague's wife is in prison for the murder of her son, munchausens by proxy....so sad.

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mellowma · 12/01/2007 09:57

Message withdrawn

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justJAM · 12/01/2007 10:01

just think mellow, would you rather be the person who cared or the person who didn't give a f**k?
I know which I'd rather be. You are not stupid for giving a shit

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lulumama · 12/01/2007 10:01

no mellow.......and neither should you

her story seemed really plausible to me , when she was posting as dottymum, her description of feeling depressed was , to me, spot on. so i didn;lt want to ignore her...and lots of other people then got involved, and then became involved again when she became foxy/ reynard etc..... i didn;t know it was the same person until recently.....

i think the bottom line is, she needs help of some sort, which hopefully she will get now

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Soapbox · 12/01/2007 10:06

Don't feel stupid - it's hard enough to spot a liar when you are face to face, take all the affairs that go undetected in RL.

It's going to be doubly different in virtual life, especially when someone is working with a personna that is not completely made up. This person used her RL name, her DCs real lkife names/ages etc etc etc. Hard to spot therefore!

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tortoiseSHELL · 12/01/2007 10:09

Just read through this thread - didn't really catch the whole MR/fox thing, but have known a few people like this in real life, and they do fit that 'attention seeker' definition, and are very convincing!

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Marina · 12/01/2007 10:11

Mellowma, look at what WWB and eemie say though - the advice on those threads, thoughtfully given by people like you, will help other people facing a similar situation in real life.
Please don't feel stupid. I was taken in by JudgeFlounce because having lost a baby myself I really could not believe anyone, however troubled or wicked, would make up the death of a child. I was soooo wrong.
soapbox is right though, I think. People who engage in this sort of extended hoax usually do have underlying mental health issues and may not be able to help themselves.

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SSShakeTheChi · 12/01/2007 10:12

Someone was on here saying their dc had died and it wasn't true?

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tortoiseSHELL · 12/01/2007 10:13

Agree, don't feel stupid. The JF thing was a good example of how things can very quickly unravel - one or two people had doubts throughout, but when they were finally voiced, lots and lots of people posted about how bad a 'witchhunt' it was, and how JF was a decent, well respected poster. But it only took a day for the whole charade to collapse.

What was most bizarre was that it was JF her/himself that posted 'doubts had been made about her authenticity' and that she was investigating them and would clear her name. Agree with Marina, the business about the death of the child was really wicked.

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