Please Stop Negative Comments toward suspected Trolls

Hey there my beautiful Berries,

I’ve been considering starting this thread for a little while now and have finally decided to get this off of my chest. I think that we spend too much time and anxiety over posting negative comments on threads that we suspect belong to trolls. I fear that we have started even suspecting real parents asking for advice because of their unusual situations. Things like 8 kids, quads, a third set of twins are all very rare but not impossible. I fear that our responses toward people we might not fully believe are discouraging others to ask for advice and help.

Like all of you I’d prefer for hypothetical situations to be phrased as such. But if people want their pretend lives to be read by us as their real lives, that is their choice. I feel that we should respect that choice or we become no better than trolls ourselves. There are many people who don’t post on NB but have access to reading our threads - a thoughtful discussion on naming octuplets could help them out, even-though they might feel uncomfortable posting themselves. Instead a bitting thread on how the question must have been posted by a troll could scare them away, or make them feel unwelcome.

None the less I feel that if someone asks about what to name their octuplets and gives a parameter of their lives we could choose to:

  1. answer thoughtfully and potentially spark an interesting conversation on larger sib-sets and the virtues of planning all names at once.
  2. ignore their thread - therefore slowing dropping the thread off of the first few pages and more visible thread positions.
  3. accuse them of being a troll.

I find the first two options much more intriguing than the third. If you feel the need to report a troll there is a thread for that. You can find this thread in the “All About Nameberry” forum “Annoying Trolls” -> it even has a nice little red exclamation mark in front of it. If nobody has posted in a while just add [name]Pam[/name], [name]Linda[/name] or [name]Hugh[/name]'s name as well as the person you suspect of being a troll. That way the moderators can decide if the person in fact is a troll and to ban them if need be. This also helps prevent troll threads from trending and legit trends from slipping into oblivion.

We all have so many great ideas, opinions and insight to share, that I’d rather we did that then gripe about people trying to take advantage of that.

Thanks for listening, I know it’s a bit long. I’d love to hear any constructive thoughts you might have as well.


I tend to use option two most of the time but if the trolls are being very annoying then I might say something. In future I’ll write on the troll thread instead (I didn’t know there was one).

I really wouldn’t recommend encouraging the trolls by conversing with them about names though. I in no way would want them to believe they’ve duped us into thinking their stories are real.

Since I’ve become the nameberry Witchfinder [name]General[/name], I feel obligated to respond.

I think the fake posters (who don’t typically meet the internet definition of trolls, as they are trying to ‘pass’ rather than stir up trouble) do the entire website a grave disservice. The website forums exist for two core sets of people: a) name aficionados, who enjoy discussing names, their meanings, their sociologic significance, their origins, etc; as well as giving advice to others; and b) prospective parents asking for feedback on names.

In general, the fake stories attract far more interest and attention than does the average real person seeking to name a real-life baby. It’s a lot more fun, if you’re a nameberry core member, to give advice on large families or multiples or whatnot, than it is for someone’s first child who’s deciding between a relatively well-known set of names. Therefore the real threads sometimes garner a handful of responses, while the fake threads get 20 posts within an hour. This is not fair to the prospective parents who genuinely want help naming a real human baby. It’s not fair to [name]Pam[/name] & [name]Linda[/name], who both want their brand to become better known, and to sell books.

In general too I, and other members, dislike deception and don’t want to foster or encourage it. There is a very strong, and perfectly legitimate & healthy, "fantasy’ aspect to baby naming. There’s a lot of daydreaming of future families and future partners and future lives, especially amongst people for whom those big life milestones haven’t happened yet. I absolutely don’t want to come across as though I think that should be discouraged or that nameberry shouldn’t be a place for speculative discussions.

I don’t think simply ignoring a fake thread makes it magically sink to the bottom of the page, especially if many responders don’t cotton on to the fact that it’s fake. However, if it’s the consensus feeling of members of this site (particularly of [name]Pam[/name] & [name]Linda[/name]) that we should stop calling out fakers, then I at least will definitely do so. Personally I’ve enjoyed the forums much, much more since that kind of thing has trickled off. I lurked on nameberry for a year but found the fake stories so frustrating that I never joined; it wasn’t until a comments section on one of the blog posts (started by mei_mei) pointing out how many of the ‘babyberries’ were fake children that I decided, with relief, other people felt the same way I did about the issue.

I agree with a lot of this.

Deception like this would not be tolerated in a face-to-face interaction, so I don’t see why I should tolerated on forum where many actual pregnancies take place, there are several options to outlet ones fantasy family ideas.
I personally feel it’d be hypocritical of me to act like I find faking a pregnancy and family okay when in a face-to-face situation, I’d find it pretty appalling. Some people [name]DO[/name] take it to far, and once they’re backed into a corner have to lie to get out, such as lucysomethingortheother who faked a health scare with her fake unborn baby.

There are so many women on here who’ve had real health scares, miscarriages and loss of their children that it’s just beyond acceptable to even think about posting a fake one on here.

Ultimately, I believe that it’s better to encourage honest fantasy posts, than to make those who post deceptive ones feel that it’s acceptable to do so.

I agree. Usually, when called out, they go away, too. Especially if you catch them with a story full of inconsistencies. I’ve been on “baby name” forums since I was 14 years old (I am in my mid twenties currently) so it’s been a very long time - and I can say from my experience that these fake stories and such really, really irk me. There simply is NO reason or need to make stuff up - it takes away from the integrity of the board, it casts an air of doubt on legit members who do not deserve it and just playing along is just encouraging the behavior. I have SEEN it first hand, been the victim of even, of women (people? who knows, they could be men, this is the internet) who will share stories and become close personal friends with someone only to be outed and find that this person who you became friends with, shared personal stories with…is just a huge fake and you feel taken advantage of. It’s sick and I [name]WILL[/name] call it out when I see it.

I don’t think there’s any reason to be rude and accusatory towards half the people that get chewed out. If you don’t like their post, ignore it.

I think that if people are constantly posting inconsistent posts people can call them out on it. They put it out there for everyone to read, therefore it’s opening a door for someone to notice. I do think that it should only be called out when there is evidence, but I don’t like hearing people making up traumatic events. That’s more disrespectful in my books.

I don’t think we should be nasty to them, like I’ve seen some people do (cough blade cough). Because what if the “troll” turns out to be an honest post? I do think we should politely tell them that trolling isn’t very funny, and we should only do that if we have proof that they’re lying.

I make absolutely no apologies for being decisively ruthless towards people who pretend to be raped, to have dead babies, or life-threatening pregnancy complications simply for attention/ lulz. None.

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I like this!

I agree with blade, east93, and flick!

When has it happened that we accused someone without reasonable doubt and been wrong? Cause based on my record, that’s never happen. Everyone that’s been called out, we’ve had enough reason to believe they’re lying, and has miraculously just stopped posting.

It’s not that hard to find out if someone’s lying regarding pregnancies. Especially if they state that they’re not pregnant just looking for names for the years to come in one thread, then two days later they’re pregnant with twin girls.

If they end up being honest then you apologize and move on but how many do you actually think are being honest?

Let’s endeavor to be honest and forthright without being nasty. The many devoted people on this board who give such fantastic name advice so generously are extremely valuable to us, and to the many visitors who come here legitimately seeking opinions on names. I hate to see their time and knowledge taken advantage of by people who are faking their situations. But I also hate to see too much energy expended on arguing over the fakery or among ourselves. If in doubt, report suspected fakes to us or mention our names in your comments to give us a heads up (mine and [name]Linda[/name]'s, not [name]Hugh[/name]'s as he’s busy with the engineering and not the editorial side of the site).

At the risk of repeating myself, I would say be respectful but direct in calling out fakes as you are in giving legitimate advice. A lot of people respond to threads without reading all the comments, so you can very persuasively call out a fake and then three comments later, someone will blythely answer the original question. At that point, I say, just let it go. You’ve made your point and those who are conscientious readers of the thread and who agree with you will abandon the thread. If things get weird, just let us know. Thanks.

[name]Roger[/name] that [name]Pam[/name]. I really like the way you spell blithely “blythely.” That’s the sign of someone who is so focused on names that they start overtaking her vocabulary. I will endeavor (in ernest) to be respectful with these charlotte-annes.

Ha, you made me laugh!

Me too :slight_smile:

L-[name]Ike[/name] the onomastic [name]Shannon[/name]-igans.

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Haha. Nice try, blade.


I really don’t want to make a splash, as I’m not a regular here, but I did want to weigh in.

I fully understand wanting to have a reduced fakery on this site. You all seem to love this place very much and want to defend it’s integrity. [name]Bravo[/name]! It doesn’t do anyone any favors to have made-up stories perpetrated here.

However, please, please, please, I implore you, be careful with your words and choose your accused very deliberately! As a doula, child birth educator professionally, and one who has been pregnant, postpartum and is currently pregnant personally, I can ASSURE you that pregnant and recently postpartum women, whom I assume are the majority of the transient members here, are very vulnerable emotionally.
The other day I saw a poster accused of trolling because of an inconsistency in the spelling of her child’s name in previous posts. I don’t know this person from [name]Adam[/name], but she didn’t sound like she was faking to me. She sounded like a mom who had doubts about her decision in names and wanted to present a spelling that was most accepted by this august crowd of name devotees. No one comes here to be told that they have bad taste.

Yesterday I received what felt like a sarcastic comment about the spacing of my children from someone I’ve noticed as a supporter of imposter outings. I felt I was being judged and subtly accused of fakery, especially since my youngest has an unusual name. The comment was not only incorrect but since the poster didn’t mention where they had gotten this information about my family I was a little shocked – in retrospect my guess is that it was extrapolated from the date my daughter’s birth announcement was posted. I do want to be perfectly frank and note that this would have been no big deal to me if child spacing wasn’t already an issue that I’m deeply self-conscious about for both myself and other parents (see emotional!!) and feel has little bearing on name choices whatsoever.

Really, if you are going to be posting on anonymous internet forums you need to grow a few layers of skin, but childbearing women lay it all on the line right now. If you have doubts about legitimacy please consider a private message to the poster, or have some code word to alert other “core members” and admins so they can be watchful also. I’m not sure any outing should be done in the public forum, if only on the off chance that they could be telling the truth.

I do want to take just a little more space (blah blah blah - sorry!) and thank those who have given me kind feedback in the past, especially when I first joined and was feeling secret but severe doubt about the appropriateness of my daughter’s name. I have already gotten some wonderfully thoughtful suggestions for this next baby.

Thank you!


You’re clearly referring to me in your post and I wanted to say that I was not implying you were a faker at all. I was referring to the close spacing and was going to reply to your response with a comment about how lovely a close spacing is (my brother and I are a year and a half apart). I wasn’t being sarcastic in the slightest and I think you’re being over-sensitive about the topic. I do apologise for offending you, however, as it was not my intention.

I disagree with you though - people who are very clearly faking should be called out.