Lifting The Veil

More on Trolls With Wooden Spoons | May 30, 2013

Who needs soap operas or reality TV? With the vastness of the internet, the world is your oyster.

That’s how Trolls With Wooden Spoons feel.

Their forum was created as a frustrated off-shoot from MDC (mothering.com). Feeling overrun by the “woo” (natural parenting), they needed a place to bitch and moan. Being a mother can be so dull, after all. They needed a place where trolls could be trolls.

These women are very harsh on things they have a distaste for. It’s like a no holds barred competition of who can be the rudest, foulest, judgmental woman towards other women and mothers. Why women who hated “woo” were every interested in Mothering Magazine or mothering.com in the first place is a point oft overlooked. Some say they were “steeped in the woo” and then “detoxed” with the help of TWWS. Others simply seem to like floating to any forum as long as it fills the hours in their days. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Hey, as long as you have some place to log into on the internet where people can tell you what’s okay to think, right?

The following pictures show examples of just some of the snark coming from TWWS. Most of the snark had been and still is based off of users of the MDC forum. They had a huge thread crash back in early 2011 which cost them some of their most disgusting behavior.  Therefore, some of their most offensive antics are missing.

(These ones start with concern for someone and devolve quickly into something a little disturbing.)
twws1

twws4(Next they discuss their favorite “trainwrecks” of the MDC forum, with much joy. The same user from the previous posts is also discussed among them.)

Yep, such a snoozefest you had to remember her and discuss her in your best-of. Pathetic.

Snark and frustration in and of themselves are not crimes. Everyone has an opinion and having a place to express that with like-minded folks is understandable. What is most worrisome about TWWS are the following things.

  • People stay members of (a) forum(s) they despise merely to try to cause disruption in sub-forums, find entertainment “material” (other people’s lives) to bring back to their lair, or find things to be pissed about.
  • People inform others about when they are being discussed. They are then directly or indirectly invited to TWWS. Sometimes this is done under the guise of compassion, and with a link provided. It would be mean enough if they kept their negative thoughts only to themselves in their forum (you have to be a member and log in to read), but to then purposely try to hurt others or engage them in being shredded by a large group of mean-spirited trolls is totally different.
  • Obsession and amusement. They would sometimes have 50 page threads all dedicated to how much they hated one particular user. Their comments would be full of speculation, lies, gossip, and some of the nastiest things human beings could ever say about other human beings (especially those they’d never met). They often “break out popcorn” to enjoy disputes or entertaining lives at the expense of their victims. They will follow a person’s every move just to report back, and will try to locate them in other internet places in order to track the “adventures”. They will go on to remember this individual for years after they started in on them, having a whole timeline as one might recall a favorite television series. A lot of times their opinions and recollections are mish-mashed from several people they lump in together who must have seemed similar to them.
  • They do not extend the same courtesy to others that they would like for themselves. They don’t want people to be judgy towards them, yet they feel free to judge others. They want a forum where they can have a home to snark on natural parenting, call those forums oppressive in their attitudes and moderation, but they aren’t willing to let natural parenting folks have a safe place for forum– free of their judgments and mind games (which skillfully make it past moderation, plenty).
  • The worst: interference in personal lives. Examples? Women use internet forums looking for help with a situation. Maybe they are having money or relationship troubles. The trolls get close to them at whatever forum they find them. The women are obviously already desperate to even be posting on an internet forum asking for advice from strangers. The trolls send private messages offering to help somehow (“I’ll get you a bus ticket to come stay near me for a while, and get away from that abusive deadbeat. There’s a job waiting for you here.“, etc.). As soon as the victim gives up ANY identifying info (address, full name, kids names, significant other and friends names, personal facebook address, etc.), things take a dark turn. Women get CPS at their door. Sometimes children are removed from them, even if temporarily. Women spend the night in jail from trumped up “concerns”. Others have their small businesses tampered with. Some have had to close due to trolls successfully scaring off all their customers and ruining their reputation. Phony bad reviews are left for people. The list goes on.

The harassment goes well beyond a single forum and begins to follow the victim, whether just on the internet or in real life.

The trolls will have many aliases, sometimes even within the same forum, just to play these games. These come in handy when pretending to be different people or in case of being banned from a forum (which is almost inevitable).

You may say that people with common sense who are careful can never be truly hurt by the trolls. It is fair to say that common sense goes a long way in protection. However, if they take a personal interest in you, they sometimes go to great lengths to keep affecting your life in whatever way they can manage. Despising people also comes quite easily to them. You’re a game and they’re bored. They’re also great “concern trolls”, acting like they care about your issues, your life, your children, and this justifying their interference. When they can be heartlessly cruel in one moment and switch it to pretending to want to help in the next, and when their whole forum was based off of and continues to specialize in hate, the act falls flat.

Some members of TWWS will tell you how great they are. They have helped each other through tragedy. They have helped each other have nice holidays. They have met up in person. They have sent presents. They have braided each other’s hair. Whatever. Everyone has good in them somewhere, and if you’re fortunate enough to see their good side, great for you. Someone else out there was less lucky. Their good does not at all dismiss the very painful negative impact they are having on the world (especially when the good is so selective, and their hate so easy and merciless). You could be the pregnant mom crying at home at the shock of “meeting” them, or the businesswoman closing up shop for good, or the woman finding herself answering authorities while her children sit in a holding room. It’s all wrong and decent people don’t do that to each other. End of story.

They like to say that they aren’t really trolls. The name references something else, and they’re just an innocent forum of smart, sassy women. Right. Maybe there are better ways to feel more happy about your own unsatisfying lives than attacking other women you encounter on the internet. HTH.


1 Comment »

  1. OMG. This story is so much like my story and experiences with the TWWS board that it could’ve been written by me. They’ve been harassing me for over two years now, and it’s unrelenting, unrepentant, pure hell for me. I’m also listed on one of their lists of “favorite threads ever”. Zilch (I know her IRL name) even was contacting my IRL friends and family to “warn them about me, to warn them against having contact with me, and to tell them if they ignored her, there would be really serious consequences.” I had to change my phone number and e-mail address several times. I talked to local police authorities about it. But nothing could be done; the Internet affords them their anonymity. But hopefully not for long.

    Comment by Melinda ElHajji (@memaha51281) — June 13, 2013 @ 4:34 am


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    Disclaimer

    Content not accompanied/supported by evidence is anecdotal and provided by participants and donor submission. Everything herein is factual to the best of our knowledge; however, individual discretion is urged and advised.

    The opinions expressed here through observation and experience are protected by free speech.

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