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Fictional members -- what sets off your radar?

Discussion in 'Other Hot Topics' started by Lisa P., Jul 31, 2010.

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  1. Lisa P.

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    Not so hot a topic, but kind of a sensitive one.

    Several times over the past few years there have been threads started by new members that go wonky. Some of them, it becomes obvious that the original posts are fiction.

    It's touchy, because sometimes life is stranger than fiction and you never want to ignore or, worse, call out someone who really is relaying a personal need.

    At the same time, folks who predatorily make up a story to illicit emotional responses and then sit back to watch the fireworks -- well, I don't like to reward that kind of nastiness when it's just mean, and I don't like to encourage that kind of unhealthy behavior if there's social dysfunction there.

    So I thought I'd start a thread. Please don't be specific about any members or any threads. Keep this to generalities, if you will. But maybe we can help each other not spend our energy on these odd folks.

    I usually start to have suspicions when. . . .

    1. The OP gets advice that she dismisses over and over again, telling her advisers that she cannot do what they recommend or is somehow blocked from doing anything to help herself like they suggest.

    2. The situation escalates within the thread, becoming more urgent and drawing more and more emotional responses as it goes on. Eventually, the situation becomes an emergency and yet no attempts to help seem to work.

    3. The OP disappears for a long period of time during which folks banter back and forth about what she should do and eventually turn to questioning the OP and sometimes appealing to the OP to return.

    4. Lots of technical terms get thrown about, but their usage is not quite correct.

    5. The OP leaves the impression that folks in this forum are her only resource, no one else can help her, we are indispensable and her tragedy will spin out of control if she doesn't get her answers here.

    Again, I'm not encouraging any witch hunts here, ever, and I think we should err on the side of helping someone who potentially needs it. But the first time I saw this behavior I had no idea folks pulled this stuff, and I think it's fair to give some tips on when to think about being wary that you're being used.
     
  2. Kaylas mom

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    There is a member on another board.. not D related that is driving me bonky.. She is worried people (dr's and nurses) are "watching her" and her child had tests that no one has ever heard of and some of the treatment of the child while inpt should never have been done if they think she has the condition she says she does.
     
  3. kiwiliz

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    OK - I may be a bit naive - I tend to have very straightforward friends. Is there any way we could flag that something might be a bit off? I haven't seen any of the dodgy threads - or maybe I have and haven't realised it. I would be really ticked off if, with everything we have to deal with, someone took advantage of us and wasted our time and emotional energy. Maybe a star system with only one star?

    This is a very compassionate forum and it is a pity people would try to take advantage of that.
     
  4. Lisa P.

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    I think the best way to handle it, one people have used before, is contacting the administrators of the forum through a PM. They are qualified to look into it and as far as I can tell from my seat they've done an excellent job of screening that sort of thing when it's brought to their attention.

    Which is why I don't know how useful this thread is, but I notice that a lot of people put a lot of energy into these things sometimes and then when the thread closes or disappears it can be kind of difficult and discouraging. It seems like if they have a heads up that it might be happening it won't sting so much? But I may be fooling myself. I hesitate to bring it up because -- well, remember that Twilight Zone where the aliens just got everyone to turn on each other in the nice little neighborhood and get all suspicious, and they "destroyed" themselves? :eek::p But I think folks who are on forums and etc. a lot see this scenario and develop a "radar" and can give some tips.
     
  5. PatriciaMidwest

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    Thanks for the heads up. I am pretty naive about these things because I can't really imagine why someone would come here and pose as having a CWD. It's weird and creepy. I did have a lightbulb moment when reading your post, LOL.
     
  6. Becky Stevens mom

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    I was very naive when I started in CWD. Actually pretty ignorant about internet/chatrooms/forums/computers in general. I didnt mean to be a pollyanna but thats the way I seemed at times to some people Im sure. I did get my feelings hurt by a young troll who I still believe had some type of mental illness and really wasnt trying to be mean or obnoxious. Some of the things this person did was to demand a great deal of attention, in forums and in the chat. Even when it was suggested that she keep things to herself and not share things that would make others wonder she continued to do so. Im thankful that there were people that told me gently and kindly to smarten up and get my head out of my.....of the clouds:rolleyes: Recently there has been another younger:confused: poster who loved to draw attention to him or herself with odd, disturbing posts.
     
  7. Lisa P.

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    Thanks, Becky -- just for the record, I would really love for this to stay as general as possible, tips for recognizing when a conversation might not be so healthy.

    Any suggestions?
     
  8. Lisa P.

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    Oh, that reminds me of another one, thanks.

    If there are two posters that seem to play tag back and forth "proving" what the other one says, for example if I posted something about giving my kid her basal of Novolog and someone asked whether I knew Novolog was a bolus insulin, then suddenly another (new) poster gets on and says her endo prescribed Novolog as a basal insulin too. . . .not just supporting each other, but trying to enhance each other's credibility. This could be one poster with two persona.
     
  9. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    Person asks for financial or supplies type help within the first couple of posts.
     
  10. Mike&Dans.Mom

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    I think you also have to be careful too - about possibly offending people who are new here.

    We've been on this Diabetes roller coaster for 12 years now. I only joined this forum last year, but there was one person who had been on for a couple of years that felt that they needed to challenge me. When we were the first on the board to receive new Navigator sensors and we posted a picture - I felt like finally here is proof we are not fooling around here!

    Diabetes treatment has changed so much in the last decade - in 1998 we used had Danny on NPH and Regular! Just because we have dealt with this longer then many does not mean that we know everything! Change sometimes comes slow to those of us who are used to handling things a certain way. And sometimes after 12 years the diabetes educators assume you know everything, and don't even think to let you in on new info. So sometimes you can sound like newbie.
     
  11. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    These threads never end well.

    "Oh, you'll frighten away new posters!"

    "I'm new but I'm real! Please don't make me feel bad"

    "I hope you're not talking about me."

    "How can I prove I'm real?"

    "Let's have a litmus test and a rating system"

    :rolleyes:

    Yeah, this will come to no good end.
     
  12. MikailasMom

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    While I realize that those of you who have been on here for awhile, may have things that have "set off your radar", I hope that your adversion to trolls is not causing an automatic prejudgement of newbies. I cannot blame people who are leary b/c of past experiences with "fake" posters ( i have seen them on here myself old SN and the new one) but I too often see new people who post a question or a problem that are hoping to get help/advice/
    encouragement/ support from the more experienced crowd who have been dealing with this awhile and get very few responses. It makes me wonder if the lack of responses are simply b/c this person is new? I can tell you from a newbie perspective that coming here and spilling out your "dirty D laudry" in order to get advice is like admitting failure, at least to me, but its worth it to get help for your child and being treated like a troll (or called one on FB b/c you had the nerve to post on this site) is heart wrenching.

    I myself only respond if I have had personal experience with the related topic, or it is an open question of the "what would you do" nature. But I do not feel comfortable helping others with dosage/basal adjustments because we are still on the that learning curve with Mikaila...I leave those questions to those much D wiser than myself! But I do read and learn something new everyday because of the simple wealth of knowledge on this board. I truely value the friends I have met on this board and the kind family that came clear out of the way to meet myself and my family. My real-life family doesnt give a hoot about diabetes, so support from them is non-existant. My husband works 12 hour nights 7 days a week, so he isnt usually available. The help that I get from the people on this board is amazing. I guess in short that I would hate for any other newbie to get shut out or feel rejected based on past experiences of all of you wouderful intelligent women and men.

    Maybe it is the character of some people to be so cold and calloused that they dont care whos feelings they hurt or who feels like they are being attacked, you know who you are, but karma is a bi***, and I hope she bites you in the ass someday for treating people the way you do and making proud posts about your lack of caring.

    You never know when that one thing you say to someone makes them feel like everything IS going to be alright. To me thats what life and this board are all about.

    BTW... Sorry this is so long, I struggle at times to actually type what my brain wants to express so it makes some sense. ( and I am by nature long-winded lol)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  13. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I disagree that posts seeking "help/advice/encouragement/support" go unanswered here.
     
  14. Mike&Dans.Mom

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    I personally just won't respond to any posts that seem off.

    I'm here for info - it pretty much started when we were investigating CGMS systems, but I also have found some nice people around here.:)
     
  15. Lisa P.

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    Mike&Dans and Mikailas,

    Please do me a favor -- reread my original post?

    My point is really not that newbies should be considered trolls or disregarded or viewed with suspicion.

    My point is that there really are folks out there that are pretending to be parents of kids with diabetes, or to have diabetes themselves. And my request was that people who have seen this kind of thing here and elsewhere give some tips on how to recognize a potential problem.

    I've never, and would never, suggest to anyone that they not respond to a question they felt they should respond to. You have to use your own judgment.

    Also, you have to weigh what you lose by being vulnerable to someone "fooling" you. Personally, I am not overly bothered if I'm grifted or scammed, I just hate that I wasted time or led others to take the grifter seriously because I responded. But there are people who are shocked and hurt when they find that they've poured their hearts out to someone who isn't who they say they are. Also, there are people who offer real world help and to meet with folks in the real world, and that can be dangerous.

    In theory, if people better understand what the real "clues" are, and that the clues aren't infallible, and that you should probably see a bunch of them before starting to wonder, then it will make people more likely to open up to new members.

    Make sense?
     
  16. Lisa P.

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    Well, ya know, it doesn't have to.

    But so far, I think only a couple people have actually answered the question I actually asked.
     
  17. Lisa P.

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    For the record, I've been an outspoken (me? outspoken?) opponent of members here ever, ever, ever telling other people not to post. I also am extremely unfond of people being called trolls or being told they don't have a right to post, any of that stuff.

    I'm not talking about someone getting a bug in her bonnet and telling another member to go away, that's rotten.

    I'm not talking about someone having to show creds before they can post. If you review my previous posts, you'll see I rail against that.

    I'm talking specifically about people who lie about who they are -- not, like, shaving five years off their age or ten pounds off their weight. Like, claiming to be the mother of a diabetic child when you're really a bored teenager texting posts in math class. Or pretending to be a dad with a diabetic child when you're really a single fifty year old guy trying to see what you can stir up on as many boards as you can find.

    Hope that's more clear. :cwds:
     
  18. sammysmom

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    A newbie post asking about old deleted posts...that would be one dead give away.

    LOTS of drama with family life and even drama with the pets in their life.

    Other family members posting under users name.

    Starts arguments and then leaves.

    Never answering questions when asked, but always starts drama.

    I think we had a "how to spot a troll" thing on here before. It had some very good points to it.
     
  19. LARSMS

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    My experience has been that trolls love attention. The only way to be rid of trolls is to avoid feeding them. Therefore, if a post seems off, I may provide my opinion once. Repeating my position or trying to make myself understood with subsequent posts may simply be adding fuel to a troll fire. If the poster is genuine, then hopefully my original input may be of some use to them. If they are a troll, by not playing into their game hopefully I have aided in limiting their interest in continuing to bait for responses.
     
  20. Mike&Dans.Mom

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    I read your post:p - I was just saying that sometimes people seem to think you are not real if you are newer or "supposed to know something already but don't" Not trying to change the subject - just pointing out that it is hard to be on the outside looking in.
    I'm going to go away quietly now:)
     
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