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Joshua

Troll - Fairy

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Joshua

You may have noticed that this forum is subject to the annoyance of trolls and has been for quite some time. One of the main culprits of this has been someone who used to be known here named ‘fairy’. Fairy was banned for her behaviour quite some time ago but continued to cause trouble.

This person found my mobile number and threatened me over the phone, the police were involved and she received an official warning. She was also warned by my solicitors to cease her unwelcome behaviour.

Due to the availability of proxy servers, people can mask their own IP addresses and therefore make it difficult for mods here to identify who the culprits are.

Some people are committed to seeing this forums demise.

I have a few options to deal with this behaviour and I seek your opinions in making this decision.

  1. I can block all those who use proxy servers from using this website. The problem with this is some innocent members use proxy servers.
  2. We can continue to ban those identified as trolls as soon as possible. The problem with this is many people with personality disorder can find interpersonal relations difficult and therefore those who seek to cause trouble and those that unaware of the effects they have on others are hard to separate.
  3. I can make it a condition of using this forum that each person who is identified as using a proxy server is contacted prior to becoming a member and the issues we have is explained to them and possibly this will aid us in the issues we are having.

I await your thoughts and apologise that we must all suffer from such sad behaviour.

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bibiddi

.

My initial thought would be to put new members using Proxy servers on pre-mod, then you contact them.

But I'm not sure what they can do to prove they aren't Fairy, other than not use a proxy server.

Are proxy servers used a lot on here by non-trolls?

Edited by bibiddi

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Data

I have spoken to Fairy a few times and I recently discovered that a member who has been active here was in fact yet another alias/sock-puppet for Fairy. I did not pass on that information as it was told to me in confidence. I hope that Fairy moves on with her life and leaves this place behind as its not doing her any good coming back here.

I prefer option 3.

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catsmother21

I think option 3 would be the best way to go with bibiddi's idea of putting them on pre-mod and sorry to hear that you've had so much trouble with her personally.

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jam-parker

Josh

In the interests of this being a support site, option 3 is the only way to go in my own humble opinion. :)

Jamie

xxx.

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Christine001

thanks for discussing this with us, sorry you personally have had problems, option 3 to for me, but prefer any option that keeps your work to a minimum.

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Villan

still havent got a clue what the point of a proxy server is even with wiki, but i know how much you care about the site and i trust you to make the best decision to keep the site both accessible AND safe, within the bounds of any acceptable extra work for you and lily, cos you kinda do loads atm anyway...

but thanks for asking :)

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hummm_mabbe

Is it even possible to trace dynamic IP addresses? I know my IP address changes every time I log in, at least going to those "what is my IP address" sites always tells me something different.

With dynamic IP, do you even need a proxy server?

Maybe to be honest we just need to be a bit less tolerant of out of order behaviour here. We tend to put up with appalling antics from people for weeks, and usually everyone knows exactly who is going to end up banned / leaving the site in a month or two the moment they start. You get the whole "Oh s/he just lashing out, s/he's not a troll / cant help it, s/he's ill" bit for a while, and then bang - they're banned. Turned out they were a troll all along. But point that out at the time and people close ranks and start sticking up for them. This site seems to get 'troll blindness' a lot of the time.

Personally I think personality disorder or not, if someone is regularly acting in a way designed to wind up, offend or alienate others, in an obvious or slightly covert way, thats a warning. 2 warnings and GOODBYE. Thats how it worked at a social anxiety forum I was on, and there were far less trolls. No excuses - act like a decent human being or go away. I'm not Jesus - if you slap me in the face I am not going to give you my other cheek. I am going to keep far, far away from you or hit you back.

I know everyone will say how unfair this is, how people with PD's cant help it and need support - but at the same time we all need a place we can come without someone subtly trying to sow seeds of conflict and manipulate this place into being unpleasant - as we have seen time and time again. Now you mention sock puppets, chances are its always been the same person, and in fact there did seem to be re-occurring themes with some of our most recent unpleasant users. Re-occurring behavioural themes.

I dont agree that its hard to spot the difference between honest, reactive anger / retailiation and intentional unpleasantness - you can spot subtleties in behavior. So dont look for IP - look for behaviour patterns and then state right now, we arent putting up with it. Why should we have to make concessions to those few people that cannot treat others with respect "because of their illness" when there are countless members here with the same illness that CAN treat people with respect online? Retaliation is one thing, but when you get one person who is constantly making those "subtle dig" type threads - the ones that are basically shitty but carefully phrased so it seems they were "just saying" or "exercising free speech", then its a pattern. The ones who start a fight and then claim everyone else is being dreadful to them. They are here to wind people up and to get away with it - and unfortunately all too often we let them because they seem to know exactly how to play us all.

Sure, sometimes innocent people might get caught by a '2 strikes' rule, but then innocent people ALWAYS get affected by the trolls. It ends up twisting that famous phrase and being "The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many" - It begins to have shades of Stockholm Syndrome when we are prioritising the feelings of the abusers over the users who on the whole behave with honest decency (not the fabricated decency that comes up as a smoke-screen when people are finally figuring out what they're really about.)

Edited by hummm_mabbe

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Data

I understand what Ross is saying. However, I have come close to a ban from this site a couple of times, but this forum has always been patient, tolerant and reasonable in its response to me, and I have learned. I have progressed from being a figure of controversy who was hated by several people on here and responsible for triggering many complaints, to someone who gets along just fine.

I suppose the difficulty is that there are a minority who don't want to conform, learn, or change, they just want to draw attention to themselves, show off by playing clever games, and to hurt others. The difficulty for the staff is distinguishing between the two.

And Ross is also right about dynamic IP addresses. An IP address is not a foolproof way of identifying a user.

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manja.

think option 3 is the best.

definitely would not like to see option 1 happen.

better to have trolls i think than be risking cutting off new members who badly need our support xx

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Dice

I really don't understand any thing you have said if I am honest o.O, But with the options on options 3 is say's about " that each person who is identified as using a proxy server is contacted prior to becoming a member " Does that mean you would have to talk to them on the phone or some thing :eh: ... How would you know it wasn't fairy again...

But this whole post has got me :confused02: :confused02: :confused02: ...

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toaster

I agree with option 3 :)

Have you considered reporting her to the police again, or your solicitor?

Thank you for asking for our opinions :)

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Saharah Blue

Part of recovery is accepting a greater responsibility for yourself than you previously or presently have been. 2 & 3 sound like they are geared the most towards accountability, a mix of both is best. I don' think either as a single option is adequate to stand alone and work. A little extra caution and security, definitely less tolerance for prolonged bad behavior.

One of the things that my bf said to me back in my OD days was, you OD in front of me I call emergency services, no compromise. He made it clear I could pay for the ambulance , deal with the humiliation of disrupting the neighbors in the middle of the night, face my landlords questioning later. Deal with the ER staff, and all the financial costs of ODing (not free in this country $1000.00 per OD ). He was not going to try and carry me to his car and chauffer me to the ER or call me a cab or be responsible for my death. At the time I thought he was an asshole for saying this to me, my thinking was yeah get out. I hated someone taking a hardline and trying to control me.

Clear firm boundaries make all the difference, even when we hate it.

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lonelyheartemma

I think option 3, if it doesnt work we can think again but it sounds like a way of protecting the members here but hopefully without stopping proxy server people from getting support

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Silverwolf

Am gonna stick my neck out on a limb here a minute

and say as a first thought I would go for option 1.

  • The reason for this is, is there really any justifiable reason for someone to use a proxy so that their ip address is hidden. ie what has a member got to hide?

It could at time of registration show a statement which says that the site doesn't support proxies and if s/one is using one switch it off to be able to use the site.

they can always switch it back on when they go other places.

I understand that peeps may access via a work network and therefore there may be a proxy but surely they don't only post here in work time and will have a home computer/laptop to use so that they won't loose access.

Maybe i haven't fully understood the proxy thing, but to me if s/one uses one i wonder what they are trying to hide?

  • The other option I support is the firm boundaries that was suggested.

Having it laid out clearly that certain behaviours are classed as trolling and that there will be a certain number of warnings and then a ban.

A firm stance to say that as a forum, trolling will not be tolerated here.

Anyway those are my views for what it's worth.

x

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Data

  • The other option I support is the firm boundaries that was suggested.

Having it laid out clearly that certain behaviours are classed as trolling and that there will be a certain number of warnings and then a ban.

A firm stance to say that as a forum, trolling will not be tolerated here.

Anyway those are my views for what it's worth.

I think what you wrote makes sense.

I actually think that the boundaries need to be made clear, not necessarily firmer. An indefinite ban from this site isn't necessarily permanent. Several people have had bans reversed by appealing to the admins, after a period of time has passed and if they have apologised for what they have done. I think that people need to be made very clear that if they are banned, they need to leave the site alone, and that if they have any questions or want to appeal their ban, that they need to contact the admins direct by email. The sort of behaviour that needs to be clamped down on is when people have more than one account. If people have several accounts, and their isn't a VERY good reason, then they ought to be banned permanently.

What I am saying is, maybe some of the people who were banned and still wanted support didn't realise that the site sometimes reverses bans, so their only outlet was to form a covert/sock-puppet account.

Just my rambling, suspect theres more bullshit than brilliance in there :D.

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DaisyChain

Fairy was a good friend to me when she was here, felt like someone understood me, I know this is not necessarily what people want to hear, but I felt that she cared for me.

I guess this is controversial, but I guess I just wanted to say that there are two sides to every story.

I dont know if I have a proxy server, dont know what that is! but I have been a member a long time, even before my current username, but I dont wish to hurt anyone here or elsewhere

Fairy isnt always the bad guy, its easy to be the scapegoat

huggles to anyone that got hurt by this, and love and huggles to all xxx

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b0bulat0r

I disagree with blocking any connections that use a proxy, for the work reason, Actually i do use this site ALOT when im stressed at work to vent and get things off my chest and my work internet does require a proxy server in order to get on to it, so it would seriously limit the time i spend on this site, However I do agree that deliberately masking yourself to hide yourself from being found out is not on and is a serous issue,

all computers in my network at work go to our server called Sonic which acts as a proxy server, from sonic it goes out to bedford boroughs internet service (as i work in bedford borough for the education system) i'm happy to provide full details of all the settings that i'm aware of in the chain that my traffic follows because I don't have anything to hide, but the proxies are sometimes necessary, borough hall blocked all connections without a proxy coming into the schools which they did for reasons of filtering, so they could make sure anything coming in to our filters is clean,

its quite funny, we have 4 county proxies, .4, .5 .6 and .7, 4 is lower school, 5 is middle, 6 is upper 7 is adult education, if i try to access this site via 4 or 5 i get a county block saying the page is unsuitable (we swear etc on here or use case words that their server is sensitive to) thus i have to put it on 6 just to log into the site (10.15.48.6) since anyone techy will think me just giving the end identifier doesnt make sense as its not "a valid address" even on 6 i can only access the light topics general/good day etc, if i want anything like crisis point to vent i have to be on 7 or the proxy blocks me.

anyway, what I mean is that its more complicated than a simple use a proxy/block em off thing,

Rant over

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boobsticle

Having been on the other end of what Fairy is putting the staff through, I have to say I would go for option 1. She has gone too far for too long with her abuse (yes, abuse) and while option 3 seems nice, it is just not viable since there is no way of proving that they are who they claim to be.

Personally, I would take a zero-tolerance approach. Nobody needs a proxy server at all. In this day and age, if people have something to say, they can use their smartphones, or wait until they get home. Proxies are completely unnecessary unless you have something to hide (or are bypassing internet security features) and too many people are suffering at the hands of people hiding their identity using these proxies to allow it to go on much further.

Think of what's best for the majority - a small minority of people get miffed they can no longer use proxies, versus no more trolls hurting and abusing people and wasting staff's time.

IMO, it's a no-brainer.

Edited by Arrakis

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Data

bobulator, your sort of proxy might not be a problem.... my networking knowledge is limited but I think they are talking about an open proxy, which anyone can connect to to hide their IP. Proxy servers that are part of a corporate network might not be a problem... I guess it depends on how the filter works. I suppose Josh would have to ask his I.T. provider if this sort of proxy would be blocked (but I am hoping it wouldn't).

Arrakis, I understand what you are saying but even if we ban proxy servers it still does not guarrantee we won't get trolls. The troll can get their IP changed or just use a computer down at the library.

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Joshua

Arrakis, I understand what you are saying but even if we ban proxy servers it still does not guarrantee we won't get trolls. The troll can get their IP changed or just use a computer down at the library.

Its just one of many things to do. Also its making it harder work.

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Narcissa

People hide their ip addresses to be able to watch tv that they can't watch in their own country - hulu for example. So there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for masking ip's. Option 1 is not really fair.

You can't stop trolls. If they're determined to come on then they will. It is better to know troll from real and ban them. Or have a zero tolerance on insults and such being posted on the board.

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toaster

Fairy was a good friend to me when she was here, felt like someone understood me, I know this is not necessarily what people want to hear, but I felt that she cared for me.

I guess this is controversial, but I guess I just wanted to say that there are two sides to every story.

I dont know if I have a proxy server, dont know what that is! but I have been a member a long time, even before my current username, but I dont wish to hurt anyone here or elsewhere

Fairy isnt always the bad guy, its easy to be the scapegoat

huggles to anyone that got hurt by this, and love and huggles to all xxx

i can understand u seeing the other side of her, daisy.

but like josh has said, she received an official warning by the police and was advised to stay away by her solicitors.

not everyone is all bad, no. but this is joshs site and he has a right to feel safe as much as us members have that right. josh doesnt run this site as a therapist, he set it up as a sufferer of bpd.

fairy coming here isnt healthy for anyone, including her. she obviously holds some sort of obsession, she cannot stay away, but she cant stay here as a trusted and valued member. she eventually ALWAYS starts conflicts and fucks up, thats how she is found out. she causes arguments and upsets members.

why does she come here if only to constantly banned?! she knows its going to happen, she always fucks up.

i still go with option 3 xx

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