The wolves…

Answered

    I know we have been very circumspect about the folks whose motives in posting seem less than pure. I don’t always do well with reading between the lines, and I have trouble remembering every detail I have read before when I read and consider an answer to a new question. I notice there are some questions that have been down-voted and I assume it is because of suspicions about the poster based on other comments, since the question itself, all by itself, seems to actually be exactly the kinds of things we like to discuss here. I am left feeling safe to answer only posts made by long-time, familiar names, since I have trouble discerning (unless the offensive behavior is within the question at hand) who is a wolf and who is just new, and maybe a little less mature in the faith. I don’t like the idea of answering questions in good faith that have been asked in bad, but neither do I want to ostracize new people just because I’m afraid of getting taken in. I have always loved the welcoming and accepting spirit of this board and now I feel…fearful. I know we must use discernment, but this is one area that I am and always have been just really bad at!

    Is there some way we could make this whole issue a little less murky?

    (For what it is worth, I will not answer any new PMs at this point unless I recognize the user as having been her longer than I have.)

    Ideas?

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    14 Answer(s)
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      I’ve been on boards such as this off and on for over 20 years now. I’ve seen some honestly crazy things happen, and developed this set of rules for myself over the years.

      1) No introductory post is a red flag to me. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll ignore a poster, it just puts me a bit more on alert. I’ll click on a username I don’t recognize just to see what posts that person has made, just in case I missed something. And especially here, where I’m only a couple months in myself.

      2) Inconsistencies in statements from post to post.

      3) Being a new poster that jumps in with a thought or a question that is very explicit or seemingly designed to titillate, on a board of this nature. I’m not on this board to be the object of voyeurism.

      4) An unusual number of new posters on a thread or threads that don’t seem to jive with the spirit of the board. It’s just too odd to be coincidental.

      Again, this doesn’t mean I’ll ignore the posters, because sometimes it can be chalked up to spiritual immaturity or ignorance of message board etiquette. It just means I’ll be a little more cautious with those posters at first.

      On the floor Answered on November 25, 2019.

      This is a great set of rules for any online contact one might have. The old boards had a similar ‘sticky post’ possibly entitled ‘Do Not Feed the Tr*lls’ (word not spelled out to avoid them finding us through a search engine, I believe). It also talked about One Trick Ponies, which are folks who visit once a month or so, just to bring up a pet topic (such as nude beaches). It would be beneficial if that sort of post was in the sidebar for members to read as a reminder.

      on November 25, 2019.
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        For me, “too good to be true” is a flag.  If every one to two liner answer is how great and explicit their sex is, or how much they love sex or sexual acts, and there is no other depth to what they share…. a flag, and a sign to be cautious.

        Unrealistic “problems” that seem to go into detail in the wrong places…. a flag.

        As you continue to watch their correspondence and they start asking for more explicit details from others…. a flag.  As DoveGrey mentioned, there’s really a certain spirit about it, that clashes with the spirit of these boards.

        Not willing to let themselves be known in at least a general way publicly, and want to do everything in secret (PM)…. a flag.

         

        Does a flag or flags mean a person is a fraud and deceiver, not necessarily, but it should cause us to practice wisdom and discernement, and to use caution… until a truer answer is revealed, one way or the other.

         

        Apparently I post enough to be a “troll” 😀 but I believe if anyone watches me long enough, they will see my heart come out.  That is true for everyone.  With some, you can see their good heart immediately.  You can see they are authenic, whether they are refined or unrefined, spiritually mature, a babe, or even a seeker, and anything in between.  Authenticy is a HUGE piece to look for.  Others (thankfully not many in the scheme of things), come with a stench of deception and lies, even if their posts seemingly fit the topic of sex.

         

         

        We have to remember also, TMB is catering to CHRISTIANS, this is a place to share and find answers, support, and encouragement in light of Christ and His Word.  It’s a place to transform our thinking and our marrriages in light of the truth and  God’s will.  If someone wants to share explicit details for titillation purposes (theirs or others’), there are plenty of other places they can go and  do that, and be welcomed.  Here, we have people who are fighting for victory in their battle against sin.  We have people who desire to live a life honoring and loving Christ and His church, our brothers and sisters.  We need to make it as safe of a place as we can.  To allow and to not come against out-right unbiblical, un-Christlike advice and opinions, is not love.  It’s not loving the one who is deceived nor the one they are trying to deceive.

         

        Under the stars Answered on November 25, 2019.

        “Apparently I post enough to be a ‘troll’…”

        Okay, so I was the one that said that. I hope it didn’t hurt your feelings, and it was not meant in a negative way at all. I was just stating the truth… 😉

        -Scott

        on November 25, 2019.

        The laughing face is an accurate emotion.

        on November 25, 2019.
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          There are a few wolves… as many already pointed out, some of them are using PMs, and a few of them seem to be linked to the MarriageHeat.com site; they are trying to lure people to join that site. patterns:

          • they approach you with PMs
          • they try to get private information from you
          • they ask you if they can share photos by email
          • some photos are fake
          • at some point in the conversation they will invite you to the marriageheat.com site
          • the same individuals appear under multiple accounts

          As the site marriageheat.com seems to make money selling sex stories of people, they may see many members of TMB as potential generators or earnings for them. Protect yourselves. hunt down the wolves…

          Double bed Answered on December 3, 2019.

          Thank you for sharing this as an answer so more people can see and be aware!

          on December 3, 2019.
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            something else to consider is how all the “new people” respond to each other as if they are all in agreement about something… and usually those questions and answers aren’t Biblically based. I do believe there is a wolf lurking in here under multiple screen names and knows we know… they are being more cautious in their posts, leaving everyone to believe telhey are genuine. originally, they were using offensive language as well, but that has seemed to stop. probably another tactic to throw off the scent. we need to pray through this event and hope that Dale is able to locate all the offenders IP addresses so we can get back to business without the world’s interruption

            On the floor Answered on November 25, 2019.

            There are a few wolves… as many already pointed out, some of them are using PMs, and a few of them seem to be linked to the MarriageHeat.com site; they are trying to lure people to join that site.

            patterns:

            • they approach you with PMs
            • they try to get private information from you
            • they ask you if they can share photos by email
            • some photos are fake
            • at some point in the conversation they will invite you to the marriageheat.com site
            • the same individuals appear under multiple accounts

            As the site marriageheat.com seems to make money selling sex stories of people, they may see many members of TMB as potential generators or earnings for them.

            Protect yourselves. hunt down the wolves…

            on November 30, 2019.

            I just saw this @69greyshades.  I wish you would have done this as an “answer” so that more would have seen it and so it would have gone in the “latest answers” notifications.  Thanks for sharing!

            on December 3, 2019.
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              @neilEthere There is a Report button at the top of the OP. It’s in the shape of a Triangle

              On the floor Answered on November 25, 2019.

              Ah, well I’ll be ……… I have to …… like …… click on the post and then that triangle pops up. I hadn’t seen that. Thanks for pointing it out.

              on November 25, 2019.
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                I will try to do my part. I have been concerned for awhile already, but I thought it was just me and my tendency toward suspicion. I’m very glad to know its not just me thinking this way.

                I will be praying harder for this effort.

                On the floor Answered on November 25, 2019.
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                  It’s always a difficult dance. We’ve had folks who looked bogus who were not. I’d rather keep a few who are fake than chase of anyone who is really looking for help.

                  California King Answered on November 25, 2019.

                  I really like this attitude. Thank you for all you do in this ministry. I know there is a separate thread about possible moderators. I don’t know how to make it happen but, for me, I feel safer participating in an “edgy” thread if I know there is a moderator or team of moderators watching it. I have been on other forums where the moderators post that they are watching a potentially controversial thread and will react if warranted. This allows difficult or challenging conversations to take place, with a safety net of sorts.

                  on November 26, 2019.
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                    I started to “comment” then thought I need to start “answering” more instead. @PaulB:

                    Thank you for doing that dance and working hard to keep this forum available. I would not be able to manage that responsibility and I am very grateful for you and Lori and Dale. I have been blessed so much since I joined, I have enjoyed the camaraderie, and I have very much enjoyed using my small gift with words to attempt to bless others. I will join in praying for God’s hedge of protection around our community and even in praying for the trolls/sock puppets, that they will come to know Jesus in a more personal way and understand his truth in greater depth. (And join us in truth and sincerity rather than malice. 😉 )

                    Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on November 25, 2019.
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                      Do you know what you are looking for in making it less murky?

                      As someone who has always been fairly highly discerning, it’s honestly hard for me to see others “not see it” and to watch them “feed the trolls”. I reason with myself that you all are the “compassionate, mercy filled, loving” ones. But it’s hard enough and frustrating enough that I have thought it would be easier and have been tempted to just leave and wash my hands of the whole thing.

                      If names and details would help, I can PM you all the details I know, and the logic I followed. I have been careful to not call out certain names publicly and to take certain actions until I have (kind of) run it by Dale. My intention and heart has been to honor Dale as the one in charge, as our leader, and have kept myself restrained, as he did or does what he needs to do….even though I am sure I can be a pain in his butt. 🙂 Trust me….I am a fighter, when action is needed I like things to happen “now” and can lack patience, and I have wanted to go vigilante off of the information I know. I have REALLY fought my flesh and kept it in check. I am also aware and try to balance and practice caution and grace when I am not as sure about something and only have some suspicion. But I will err on the side of safe, rather than sorry.

                      The intent of several of my posts have been to “teach” and to “inform”, because the truth is, when one troll goes away, there will be another one who will come. So if the legitimate users can learn what they can do, who to look out for, what to look out for, then you have a whole group of people working together to keep things right and good, rather than just a few who are trying to “rule over” the boards.

                      Under the stars Answered on November 25, 2019.

                      Well, yes I feel like names and details would help. I’ve never been good at unwritten understandings, things “everybody knows”, that sort of thing. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t. Some of the early problem posts were obvious to me:  words we generally reserve for the pillow in favor of abbreviations or more clinical terms here; coarse sentence construction that reminds me of teenagers comparing notes; an emphasis on explicit stories; arguments for unBiblical views; no apparent interest in the spiritual element to intimacy; humble bragging. (Then, because it’s who I am, I immediately think, “Have I posted anything that would raise these flags?” And I’ve posted so much I can’t remember. I would have raised DoveGrey’s first flag–I never posted an introduction. That’s too much like saying, “Hey, look at me, I’m here and I’m important!” Not in my wheelhouse!) But after they change to a new name and come again with questions that seem perfectly legitimate–that’s when I have trouble. I answered a few that seemed like just our kind of discussion. My thought was, if I don’t answer this perfectly reasonable question because I think this person might be here under false pretenses, then I am judging their motives when only God can judge the heart. (That’s if I thought they seemed suspicious at all. I was under the impression there were in fact multiple new people and the idea that one person kept changing  accounts more than once never even occurred to me.) Then after answering, I wonder if I have encouraged someone in wrong-doing and it makes me just not want to be involved because I don’t trust myself to make the right decision. (Decisions are something I struggle mightily with as a part of my clinical anxiety. Shopping in a store when there are too many choices is a nightmare for me; deciding what is the best order in which to tackle my household chores is sometimes my biggest chore of all. All my posts take an inordinate amount of time because I am always reading and re-reading to make sure I have said exactly what I mean (and then sometimes I just give up after an hour and delete it!) I can’t overstate how big a mountain this little mole hill is for me.  Would it be awful if someone who knows–maybe with Dale’s blessing or permission–just posts an edit, as was done for one of the questions, to say, “This user is believed to be a new iteration of a previously blocked user.” If they are a genuine new person, they can always meet the accusation and work on meeting the criteria DoveGrey listed for showing us  they are genuine. Maybe this is purely my problem and I really should just wait for the problem to go away so I don’t make it worse. I would hate that because TMB has been such a thought-provoking outlet and I think I have actually been able to encourage people occasionally too.

                      Just frustrated.

                       

                      on November 25, 2019.
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                        On the old boards there was a ‘report post’ button. It could only be pressed once but it flagged up the post to the admins etc.  During a particularly difficult time I suggested that some of the ‘older hands’ on the site be given the option to actually quarantine these posts until the admins had gone though a process of verifying the posters intentions. But I recognise that would probably have been quite difficult.

                        And given that most of these chat sites are a purchased program with limited options it isn’t likely that would happen in this iteration.

                        So we are back to discernment and street smarts.

                        Queen bed Answered on November 25, 2019.
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