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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:
tortoiseSHELL · 12/01/2007 10:14

She posted that it was something that had happened in the past.

mufti · 12/01/2007 10:17

just looked and dottymum is in dagenham, yet madame r, somewhere abroad? so how can they be the same person?
totally agree re a lot of people who have had genuine need have been helped, which is the whole point of this site

Marina · 12/01/2007 10:18

Fairly convincingly Ssshake Although the slight oddness of the phrasing I just put down to grief

whatwouldjesusdo · 12/01/2007 10:26

mufti, she went back to japan in november.

marina, I hadnt realised that jf did that...

OP posts:
SSShakeTheChi · 12/01/2007 10:26
mylittlestar · 12/01/2007 10:33
Dottydot · 12/01/2007 10:35

Just seen this thread - I'm Dottydot (or have been Dot1 in the past!) and I'm definitely NOT Dotty mum!!!

You know, I'm the one with the female dp and 2 ds's, been here forever - 6 years now??! - honest, I'm not a troll!!!

Marina · 12/01/2007 10:41

We know dottydot

themildmanneredjanitor · 12/01/2007 10:43

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Soapbox · 12/01/2007 10:43

Are you sure you haven't been to Japan recently - LOL

ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands · 12/01/2007 10:43

Dotty's not a troll... she sent me a shedload of stamps for sending on items for Soapy's appeal. Trolls don't send stamps... they just stamp around under bridges!

ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands · 12/01/2007 10:55

Having read through the whole thread, I can understand why you posted what you did Jesus, but your advice is so general that it appears to apply to an awful lot of threads/Mners who are and were quite genuine.. that's the problem with it. (That's why Quootie and others feel upset.)

Sometimes it takes a long time for people in horrid situations (of varying degrees.. horrid is a very relative term!) to get up the courage to post.. and sometimes people really dont have anyone they can share these things with in real life. This is not suspicious; it's the sad truth.

Blu · 12/01/2007 10:57

The value of MN is offering a listening ear, a view from another perspective, and advice, support - or sometimes a bit of plain speaking. If this sometimes reaches a hoaxer, so be it - all for the greater good, as Soapbox says.

But I do think that we should beware of turning MN into an alternative welfare state / rescue service. Personally I don't think we should be seen as an alternative to the professionals, and people in very serious situations need to be pushed towards professional help.

I am full of admiration for the people who responded to someone apparantly in need, sad that their generosity was abused over financial outlay etc, but a bit alarmed that anyone was planning to break the law on behalf of someone they had 'met' on these boards.

But if all people with extreme or unusual situations are viewed with suspicion, and people who do support genuine sounding types get sneered at when the occasional hoaxer is discovered, then the trolls and attention seekers have won posession of the spirit of MN.

ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands · 12/01/2007 11:00

Good sense in your post Blu.. but alternative welfare state? You referring to Soapy's Christmas appeal and similar? I really don't think those examples of human kindness that can sometimes be seen on MN are turning into any kind of alternative welfare service. You might want to reconsider that one.

Blu · 12/01/2007 11:05

Mufti - and you can SEE where a poster is posting from? I'm in Iceland, but you won't know that from my posts!

(and several regular MN-ers will probably pop up and say 'no she isn't! blu is in S London, we've seen her there recently and are meeting her soon...but you take my point. Unless you have met a person, any single aspect of thier post could be fictional. And, sadly, in the dotfox case, even if you HAVE met them))

Blu · 12/01/2007 11:07, I'm not meaning the Christmas Initiative.

Dinosaur · 12/01/2007 11:11

Blu, for a minute there I really thought you were in Iceland.

Then I realised you'd never shop in there....

ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands · 12/01/2007 11:13

Ok sorry. But also, they have been some heartwarming situations (restoring your faith in human nature-type stuff) when people have "put in" financially.. just a little from a lot.. to help people out of dire straits.. and these people (often under other names so NOT aiming to get this sort of help) have "come out" to known Mners who also know them in RL, so have proven themselves genuine. Yes these could also be massive elaborate scams, but it's not very likely is it. I don't think these are a bad thing. How can they be? They don't happen all the time.

Dottydot · 12/01/2007 11:21

Phew - was beginning to think after all this time and many inane posts, no-one still knew who I was..! [Grin]

MMJ - I'm in Heaton Chapel in Stockport!

mufti · 12/01/2007 11:21

blu - i get your point.

i like to give the benefit of the doubt, as i said , there are many in genunine need of all types of help , not just practical.

and , until this happened, apart from the really obvious jokes, eg hamsters in casseroles!, i believed all i read , now maybe i am a bit naive

tamum · 12/01/2007 11:24

I knew it wasn't you dottydot, we've seen your lovely wedding pictures after all

I agree with Blu and soapbox. There are some incredibly plausible people out there but that can't be allowed to prevent help getting to those who genuinely need it.

FioFio · 12/01/2007 11:24

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

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themildmanneredjanitor · 12/01/2007 11:25

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rhubarb · 12/01/2007 11:26

Just like real life in fact. You can be taken in by people, you can be conned, you can be followed around by an attention seeker etc etc. This board attracts thousands of posters, why should it be any different?

It happens, get over it.

misdee · 12/01/2007 11:27

look at me LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME

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