Author Topic: confront or ignore ” inconsistent ” or ” exaggerating” posters in online forum?  (Read 6745 times)

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Luci

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 One of the easiest ways to get someone seriously angry with you is to tell them that some cherished myth is false. If someone is emotionally involved with the life story of a (possibly) fraudulent poster, they're not going to react well to being told that they're  doing something wrong.

Yes -- and don't forget the hurt feelings that come when, "Oh, my! I am so stupid," if the sympathizer realises the mistake. (Or thinks you are so stupid by questioning the post.)

Human interactions are so ............. mixed. Makes me tired.

MamaMootz

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I POD Art, as usual. Nothing good can come from confrontation. If anything, I feel badly for these people because it seems like they are reaching out for attention. Any attention.

But I think PM'ing other member or confronting is just a bad, bad, idea. PM'ing other members will start more drama as will confronting the poster. Just ignore. When they don't get the attention they are seeking, they will move on. If it's really getting bad, contact a mod.
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O'Dell

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What say y'all about PMing other posters who seem to be getting emotionally involved in an obviously fake story?  To use an example, when I was a teenager I posted on a forum for *ahem* fans of a certain boy band  :-[ There was one poster who was pregnant, and it was twins!, but then she lost them, and oh noes she has cancer!  You know the type.  There were so many factual errors that it was obvious to me that she was lying, but not so much to other posters.

In a situation like this, would you PM another poster who is getting caught up in the story and point out the errors, or just leave it?

I think it's a really bad idea. One of the easiest ways to get someone seriously angry with you is to tell them that some cherished myth is false. If someone is emotionally involved with the life story of a (possibly) fraudulent poster, they're not going to react well to being told that they're  doing something wrong.

At best, they'll just ignore you. More likely you'll get "how can you possibly say something like that about someone who's going through so much?" At worst, they'll turn all of their anger and frustration towards you. Saying "You know, Missy-catastrophe is probably lying" is the equivalent of saying "Aim your flamethrowers here!"

I think most often it is a bad idea, but I have been on some forums where there was a group of us old-timers who could PM each other with comments like this. Not ranting communications, just the occasional heads up to clue someone in. It was helpful on that forum as one of the "old-timers" had a stalker who would pop in under new usernames and try to start trouble.

I think you might have to go with your gut on this type of thing. Avoid accusations unless you know they are true. Make it an inquiry..."What do you think about DramaLlama123's story? Seems to be some holes in it." Of course on the forum I'm talking about, we didn't have to say much. The mods on that forum were right on top of reported problematic or hinky behavior. Most of our communications were when the mods were slow in responding or after the fact if someone were confused as to what happened.

To put this in a larger etiquette context, I've gotten really good at ignoring real life drama llamas and trolls too. These people sometimes get up to the same tricks in real life. The same "ignore" policy works well on them too. If they address their silliness to others, I take off. If they address it to me, I make a neutral response and make an excuse to not spend time with them. I like to think that my time on internet forums has helped me in this respect. :D
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Winterlight

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I once got a PM on Livejournal telling me that the poster who was poking at me is in fact a notorious troll, so not to take what they said seriously. I was relieved. (I did check and it was pretty obviously a sockpuppet account for someone.)
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JoyinVirginia

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Update: is been over two weeks since any posts from the person who had one looming disaster after another. There was a brief flurry of other concerned posters wondering if person is alright.  I did pm couple of long time posters who also noticed just too many coincidences and some contradictions.
I am thinking it could have been someone with a real problem who likes attention who just kept adding to the story, or maybe someone bored who was seeing how long they could keep story going.

Moray

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Good update, OP (for now, anyways!)

Utah