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'Troll hunting'?

(35 Posts)

GNHQ have commented on this thread. Read here.

Rosina Tue 11-Sep-18 10:19:11

I have just had a notification pop up about a new message on a discussion thread, and then when clicking on the link, saw that the thread had been deleted by GN due to 'Troll Hunting'. I have not encountered this before. Does this mean that there have been unacceptable posts and GN Admin. are on the case to find the perpetrators - who, presumably, must be registered and logged on - or are the 'Trolls' hunting the OP? Please excuse my ignorance but as I don't delve into social media (only GN) I am not familiar with the terms and some of the horrors that seem to arise.
The press have had reports about trolls that have been caught, convicted and even imprisoned for the vilest behaviour - why do they behave so badly? Cloak and safety of perceived anonymity? Spite? Need to vindicate their own sad existence?

Greenfinch Tue 11-Sep-18 10:43:14

I don't know what it means,either.

NatashaGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 11-Sep-18 11:21:46

Hi Rosina and Greenfinch,

Troll-hunting is when users question whether a poster is genuine on the forum, which is against our guidelines.

If users suspect that a poster is a troll they can email [email protected] so we can investigate, but we don't allow these accusations to be posted on the forums.

We usually don't delete whole threads because of troll-hunting, but in some cases we have to due to the volume of these comments.

Hope this clears things up! grin

Rosina Tue 11-Sep-18 12:07:28

Thank you!

Eglantine21 Tue 11-Sep-18 12:10:50

Natasha, can I just ask.....

I have been blessed (cursed?) with a very good memory for people’s life stories.

Sometimes somebody posts something and I think “No that doesn’t add up with something they’ve said before”. Mostly it’s not important. People maybe change things a little to avoid being recognised.

But sometimes it is. They are maybe giving advice or even being even more heavy handed (nasty), speaking with authority based on their experience and I think ‘No, no, no! That’s doesn’t fit with something you posted six months ago.” Can I point that out?

Sometimes I recognise a “style”. It’s harder to disguise than people think. And it’s someone who likes to “get people going”. Regardless of the hurt they cause. Is it wrong to flag up a warning?

And sometimes it’s the old favourites that Ive actually become quite fond of in a weird sort of way. You know, the onesie and plimsoll poster. The comments that follow that are usually very funny. I’d be sad to lose that bit of lightness.

Is all this troll hunting?

Greenfinch Tue 11-Sep-18 12:18:54

Thanks Natasha.I was under the impression that a troll was a nasty and vindictive person not just someone who invents a situation for whatever reason they may have.

Jane10 Tue 11-Sep-18 12:39:40

I've just had a message from GNHQ about my having questioned an OP. My post querying whether or not it was a wind up was before the OP had replied. The apparent silence from the OP turns out to have been due to them having been in a very different time zone. Having read their responses and accepting the truth of them my intention was to have sat down and replied apologetically once I got home from my group. Alas too late it would seem! Oh well.

NatashaGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 11-Sep-18 12:48:19

Hi Eglantine21,

If you do have any doubts about a poster, please do email us about these concerns so we can look into this as soon as possible, rather than posting on the forums.

Obviously, as with any forum, we do get the occasional troll or troublemaker, but accusations on the forum can cause upset to a user who may be genuine.


Eglantine21 Tue 11-Sep-18 13:19:03


What would you do about someone who, say, claimed to have medical knowledge and gave advice based on that, when that couldn’t possibly tie up with details they’d posted earlier?

Would you ask them to retract publicly on the thread, ask them to retract through a pm, pm the OP who had been given spurious advice, just let the OP maybe take the advice on board.

What would happen?

BlueBelle Tue 11-Sep-18 13:36:59

I too have just been accused of troll hunting in the same thread I presume and I take exception to that, by asking if a thread is a wind up it is NOT troll hunting
I belueve hunting means going after someone, in other words following them around and posting nasty personal things about them
So GNHQ by all means remove my post but do not call me a troll and don’t accuse me of troll hunting I am offended

Maggiemaybe Tue 11-Sep-18 13:48:32

I thought that was an interesting thread, so I’m quite annoyed that it’s been deleted. The OP and her circumstances were certainly unusual, but I never doubted that she was genuine. I know troll hunting is against the rules, but surely those few posts could have been addressed, rather than everyone else’s input being deleted as well?

sparkly1000 Tue 11-Sep-18 13:58:54

Good point Eglantine. Earlier this year there was a post on how to deal with ear wax. Some bright spark suggested shoving a cotton bud into ones lugs! Well if I learned one thing from 3 years as a nursing student, it's that you don't shove a cotton bud into any orifice.
As for the Ugg boots and plimsolls brigade, these posts are not from malicious trolls, just bored teens.
I am sure that after reading the first paragraph of these that the majority of G.netters have them sussed and respond in a light hearted and often hilarious way.

lemongrove Tue 11-Sep-18 14:00:28

I have no idea what this thread was..... and too late now!

Jalima1108 Tue 11-Sep-18 14:06:02

What did I miss? I want to know now

Maggiemaybe Tue 11-Sep-18 14:25:58

Oh dear. If we told you, this’d be even more of a thread about a thread than it already is, and they’re definitely against the rules, so it would probably be deleted. Then people would wonder what this thread was on about..... It could go on forever. grin

Elegran Tue 11-Sep-18 14:27:28

Remember the agony aunts, the Evelyn Home and Anna Raeburn type journalists who were in every magazine? I remember when I was in secondary school, some of the girls had a good giggle sending fake letters and getting back solemn advice on their "problems". I imagine the journalists saw through them, but had a standard reply that went off to genuine and fake writers alike.

lemongrove Tue 11-Sep-18 14:33:47

Quick! Tell us now Maggie grin

Elegran Tue 11-Sep-18 14:34:06

We do get the occasional spiteful post that is designed to set posters against one another, but we more often get ones like Eglantine describes, which are spoofs done for a laugh. The thing is, this is a site where anyone at all can join and post, and not everyone is deadly serious. They can develop into a laugh for all concerned, if posters see the wind-up and reply in kind.

There is a spectrum that goes from "Oh, you must be pulling our legs with that one!" to full-on accusations of being a nasty mischief-making troll. Reporting it to GNHQ is the recommended response, but sometimes that is taking a sledgehammer to a bunch of feathers.

Jane10 Tue 11-Sep-18 14:41:07

Great analogy Elegran! Obviously I'm a bunch of feathers!

BlueBelle Tue 11-Sep-18 14:45:50

Well I think all I said was ....surely this is a wind up because no body would really say blah blah blah and for that I m called a troll hunter I m really astonished It took Gransnet about 36 hours and numerous reports about a post showing Russian ( I think they were Russian) scantily clad women for brides and about two hours to call some of us troll hunting because we question a rather far fetched story

Rosina Tue 11-Sep-18 14:55:25

I thought that too, Greenfinch. I too thought the OP was rather ...what can I say? Hard to believe? I don't see how questioning it makes you a troll, rather GN seem to be saying that whoever posts these over excitable made up stories is a troll. That seems a bit strong given the understanding of the word that most of us seem to have. There was a story in the press a week or so ago about a post on (I think) Mumsmet about a bride who demanded money and refused to allow anyone who didn't cough up around 1,500 dollars to come to her 'once in a lifetime experience wedding' . That post was generally thought to be a wind up. I don't understand trolls and I don't understand why you would want to stir up posters on a genuine site with fictional situations . Perhaps both scenarios are about power.

Elegran Tue 11-Sep-18 17:23:12

Rosina I don't think GN was saying that questioning a post makes the doubter a troll, but that the doubter is accusing another poster of being a troll.

Elegran Tue 11-Sep-18 17:26:07

I don't understand either why anyone would want to stir up other posters, but some people do get their kicks from conning others and making them look foolish for taking them seriously. Candid camera, for example. That had very high viewing figures, but it often just seemed cruel to me.

Anniebach Tue 11-Sep-18 17:40:33

That is cruel Elegran

BlueBell, you a troll hunter ? Rubbish

Rosina Tue 11-Sep-18 17:42:37

Sorry Elegran, I think this is getting a bit convoluted and I am not expressing myself too well. An earlier poster on here said that she was not best pleased at being called a troll hunter for questioning the validity of a post. I now realise that I had left the word 'hunter' off my last post. Also I think anyone who starts a rather over excitable thread on here that people start to wonder about is not a 'Troll' as I now understand it to be. This is all too much for my tiny brain and I am off to make myself a cup of tea.