How can you tell which users are fake?

@katinka, I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while. How do you know when a user is faking information? Some posts are pretty obvious, of course, but others, not so much. [name_m]Just[/name_m] curious!

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I was wondering the same thing! I understand when someone has just joined and posts about having quintuplets or something like that, but there have been users that I’ve gotten to know that then get suspended.

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Oftentimes there are contradictions or inconsistencies between posts, even over a long period. We may suspect that someone is faking or not who they purport to be for many days/weeks/months, but don’t have actual evidence to substantiate. But eventually some actual proof comes to light, whether on the public forum or behind the scenes. Sometimes users wind up suspended because they are maintaining multiple accounts, which we eventually uncover on the admin side… clearly one person isn’t going to have multiple different sibling sets or be pregnant with children of different gestation at the same time…

Rest assured that users at risk of being banned are generally contacted about the suspicious activity and given a chance to substantiate or explain their situation. We also generally welcome those who come clean that haven’t committed egregious errors or violations of the community guidelines to continue participating in the forums as their true selves. But often it is actually what is going on behind the scenes that leads to the actual ban/“suspension.”

Our community guidelines state that “Anyone over the age of 13 can participate in the Nameberry community, so please do not pretend to be anyone or anything you are not.” There simply aren’t reasons to lie or fake being someone you aren’t and we hope for honesty and transparency (encouraging users to only post what they feel comfortable sharing on a public forum and in Google searches) from users. In particular, many people are triggered by fake pregnancy or birth announcements so we do what we can to clear away the noise/confusion on that front. See the memes and infographics on “Pregnancy is not an [name_f]April[/name_f] Fool’s joke” for more information on why many find it offensive or triggering.

Hopefully that clears some of it up. I recognize it can be confusing and also jarring when users who have been around for a good chunk of time get banned seemingly suddenly.

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Thanks for the great explanation!

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I can’t speak about Nameberry specifically, but generally speaking, there are ways in which website admins can tell if people are using multiple accounts. [name_f]My[/name_f] hunch would be that a lot of the users who get banned “suddenly” have had previous accounts with different stories.

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IP addresses is my guess!

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