View Full Version : new slant on background checks

Betty W01
05-22-2004, 11:04 PM
OK, I have a problem that I am sure one of you brilliant people can help with. As an AW board mod/administrator, people come to me all the time with their complaints. OK, some of it is legit. But some of it is just plain whining, and of the whining, some of it is about he said - she said stuff like "So-and-so isn't who she/he says she/he is" and "So-and-so is bothering me". (And if that has a flavor of irritated kindergarten teacher, I've reproduced my feelings well...)

In the temporary absence of our fearless leader, Jenna, I need some advice on how to deal with all this. (Fair warning - since the buck stops here - i.e. I'm the one who will get my butt kicked if I make a wrong choice - I may not *take* your advice, but I want to know what it is anyway.)

What should be done when someone suspects a post-er of having a hidden agenda, of posting just to cause trouble, or of being someone other than who they say they are, especially big diffs like older/younger than reality, wrong gender, not affiliated with PA when they are, and so on? Assume no damage has been done... at least, not yet. It just makes people uneasy. Or angry.

I'll share my conclusions on it later, but for now, assume I have no opinion. (Oh, come on, use your imagination...)


I'll delete this post after a while.

James D Macdonald
05-22-2004, 11:34 PM
I'd say let it go. I always post under my real name. Others always use pseuds.

You can tell who has an agenda just by watching and reading. After a while it becomes clear.

Mostly, I wouldn't sweat it. (And I've been moderating boards since '92, back on GEnie.)

Tish Davidson
05-23-2004, 12:49 AM
I'm with Jim. Let it go. Anyone who reads boards should be aware that they have to pick and choose what to believe and what advice to follow. If they hang around and read for a while, they'll know where they stand. if they just drop in - well, let the reader beware. And if they are complaining just to stir up trouble, getting you involved will only encourage them. Like Jim, I post under my real name, mainly as a reminder to me to remain civil and not write anything I would not want my name associated with. But lots of people like cute nicknames and that doesn't bother me. In a writing board, does it really matter what age or gender someone is? It is really the quality of their advice that is important. And if someone is "bothering" someone else, they don't have to respond. Troublemakers get bored with silence and thrive on getting others to join the fray.

05-23-2004, 02:46 AM
who posts under their name, I always sign Shawn, I say leave it. Everyone should know that there are people out there who will say they are something they are not, someone they are not, etc.


aka eraser
05-23-2004, 02:47 AM
Add my echo to the above. Unless malicious intent becomes obvious I don't see it as a biggie. Most rules on a bulletin board should focus on what's being posted not necessarily the bona fides of who's doing the posting.

Most of us are grown-ups here and can make up our own minds about whether or not to take someone seriously, nick or real name, male, female or in-between, 19 or 99.

And we all have the option to ignore.

05-23-2004, 03:57 AM
Okay. I'll come clean. My real name is GConn.

Unless two people are flaming each other or otherwise hassling each other in a very personal way, tell them to work it out on their own.

If someone says that another poster is lying about their identity, remind the complainer that you have no idea who the complainer is, either. Aliases are part of the internet. If people don't like that, they should log off.

05-23-2004, 04:58 AM
As for letting it go, I would think that is the best thing to do as well. However, if a person is attempting to use this board to defraud others, he should be banned. It is is obvious that person comes back under the same name in order to steer people towards sending money to S.T. literary service or some service is definitely a scam, he should be banned.

People who come to you with petty things should be reminded that you aren't their mother, and that isn't kindergarten.:)

05-23-2004, 05:54 AM
For such questions was the moderators' room made. Put differently, you don't have to make those decisions by yourself.

As others have said, on the Internet it's user beware.

When someone who's been banned comes back and posts under another name, that does require attention. Administrators have some information on their screens that helps identify such people. You can also find out whether what appear to be several post-ers in a thread are using the same computer. Jenna has done this and subjected the culprit to public shaming.

05-23-2004, 07:12 AM
Adding to the chorus...let it go. Most of the time, the people who aren't what they say they are wind up giving themselves away.

- Victoria

James D Macdonald
05-23-2004, 07:29 AM
Nah, Justino, I kinda liked hearing from Richard Fletcher and Newflash and Popper20 and that guy from Creative Hive.

Those sorts of posts are very revealing.

05-23-2004, 07:50 AM
I wouldn't forbid posts that recommend sites because it's important to keep in mind that some sites are not in it to make bucks off the writers. Otherwise, Writer Beware and others that do not have a fee would be similarly prohibited from being mentioned.

Betty W01
05-23-2004, 11:24 PM
OK, all, thanks for your input on and off here. I think I know what to do now, and will be deleting this thread in the next week. You guys are the best.:clap

05-24-2004, 11:19 PM
...and i'm really 'maia'!... have been nothing but [except for soc sec checks and passport] for almost 10 years now and will go to my grave [soon, if the gods are kind!] as same...

love and hugs, maia/me

05-25-2004, 01:59 AM
I would let them post. In fact I need to stop prodding them.

Unless it is mean spirited or downright gross/disgusting, we have the right (but not the inclination [points to self]) to simply ignore.

After a warning I would execute a temporary ban and publicly announce it and why.

If they keep harassing or otherwise disrupting then ban them forever and make them get a new name. At least if you keep them active with thier present name we know who they are.

Although some of you know who I am, I don't broadcast it for personal reasons. So I still use a soodo


07-15-2005, 04:39 PM
I've definitely enjoyed some of the threads where people presenting misinformation had several people demonstrate why they were clearly wrong. It's like having an official How Not To list.