- Mr. Bee
- 10 years ago
Hey all. As you know, the amount of drama on Weddingbee has seemed to increase in recent months.
At first, we thought the culprit was one of the usual trolls that likes to create multiple accounts and drama:
* Bee-loved was active for a long time, and created many fake accounts that she used to troll.
* BABride aka christie.l created many accounts to snark at “fat bridesmaids”.
* ItalianLady has been repeatedly creating fake accounts, including some one-off accounts that have been sending racist PMs (sorry guys).
We have identified and banned all of these trolls. But we’ve been wrestling with another troll situation that I haven’t really shared publicly – until now. It’s a bit of a complicated story, so I’ll break it down a bit:
* At some point over the past few years, a forum of snarky girls started a public thread on a website. Let’s call this group the “Circle of Snark”. On this thread, they would publicly snark on Weddingbee board posters. We ignored it as we do all trolls.
* Every now and then, someone would post a link to the Circle on the Weddingbee boards; we would regularly delete the links, as the site existed entirely to snark. That said: it was a point of pride in the Circle that they would snark only on their forum and keep it off of Weddingbee.
* Eventually, someone reported the snarky thread to the website on which it was hosted. It was deleted by the forum administrators. Right away, I dreaded that this could only mean bad things.
* The snarky girls then moved to a private board, where you had to be a member to read the posts. With their newfound anonymity, the snarkiness started to spread. Soon, the private board started to be used by the snarky girls to coordinate attacks. For example, after one hive member’s fiance joined Weddingbee… ten of the snarky girls immediately PMd him links to posts by his Fiance where she vented about him.
* The administrator of the new snarky girls board got upset about the PMs, and locked down the board even more. Despite this, the coordinated snark attacks increased in frequency. In addition to snark, members started creating multiple accounts to troll Weddingbee. In response, I banned several members in December.
Over the years, I have pushed for a very hands off approach to moderation on the site. This has worked well, until this recent batch of trolls started attacking the site. Here are some of things which the snarky board members have been doing recently:
* Coordinating snark attacks on brides that they disagree with (or just outright dislike). Ever see a thread where 5-6 people suddenly pile on and attack the OP, and agree with each other? Yup, that was probably them.
* Voting on random poll options. There was a link that showed the most recent polls. The snarky board members would post the link and then all vote on random options, to throw off the poll results. Eventually, I had to disable that link.
* Posting troll attacks. Members would create new accounts and post “innocent questions” that were designed to mock or make fun of hive members.
Our hands have been tied in dealing with these trolls.
* If we were to delete a thread or moderate a troll, the members of the snarky board would immediately post about it on Weddingbee. Then they would all pile on and demand to know why we did so and scream that we were to blame.
* Another frequent tactic: members of this group would post demands that we post more precise rules. Then they would privately collude to use these more precise rules to troll more effectively. Say that we blocked a clear troll. Out would come posts about how we didn’t give the troll three warnings, etc.
Anyway, enough is enough. I am sick and tired of these attacks on Weddingbee. Ordinarily we don’t post about trolls, but in this case it has gone too far.
I was approached by remorseful members of the snarky girls board, who told us the history of the board and how things had gotten out of control. A member of that board (who shall remain unnamed) has given us access to the private snarky board, and we have been gathering the names of the ringleaders there. They have all now been permanently banned from Weddingbee. We have also installed other technical remedies to block those users from rejoining the site. There are a number of Weddingbee members who participated on the snarky board, but did not participate in the snark attacks and troll attacks on the site. We have decided to grant a one-time amnesty to these members.
I can understand the desire to say something snarky in response to board posts. I have even appreciated at times that these members snark somewhere else, rather than here on Weddingbee. But at this point, the snarky boards have clearly crossed the line and are being used to attack Weddingbee members. This is not acceptable.
Plus to be honest, I am just really disappointed in the snarkers. I know many of the board members by name, and some of you I even like (from what I’ve read on Weddingbee, at least). To find out that you guys are coordinating snark and troll attacks… well, I’m just really disappointed and to be honest, a bit disgusted. We considered posting the names of the snarky board ringleaders, but for now I’m going to err on the side of discretion.
One last thing. We’ve been moderating the site with a bit more of a heavy hand lately, because of all the snark and troll attacks. But now that these snarkers and trolls have been banned, I am hoping that we’ll be able to switch back to our much lighter moderation system. (If you see any residual trolling, please drop a flag and then ignore them!)
In the meantime, a huge thanks goes to our moderator team who has helped the site fight off all of these snark and troll attacks over the past few months! It’s taken a significant toll on the personal lives of our moderators, and I am so so grateful for all of their hard work. Thanks guys!
In fact, thanks to everyone on the site for your patience as of late. Despite all of these issues, the Weddingbee boards have been growing like crazy and we’ve been seeing record posting and traffic. We’re so grateful to everyone for making the boards such a wonderful place overall. Thank you!
All the best,