Periodically, people who admit that they are sociopaths stop by Lovefraud to cause trouble. Sociopaths usually engage in manipulation to gain something tangible, such as money, sex or a place to live. But sometimes they engage in manipulation simply to entertain themselves. From their twisted perspectives, what could be more fun than messing with the minds of people who are trying to recover from sociopathic “comrades” who have already messed with their minds? So they log on to Lovefraud and post comments.
Usually, they start off by portraying themselves as victims. Because Lovefraud readers are so generous about welcoming newbies, they, too, are welcomed. Eventually, however, their comments start becoming sarcastic or derogatory, and the sociopaths’ true colors emerge.
A particular sociopath made many appearances over the weekend, creating several identities. Although I kept banning this particular person, he figured out a way to get around the bans. I could not prevent him from creating new identities—I could only react when he started posting under a new identity.
Unfortunately, I am not at my desk all the time. (I try to have a life!) So, if these characters show up when I’m not looking, well, they continue until I come back to the computer and take action.
Therefore, if you suspect someone is a troll intent on causing trouble, please do the following:
- Click the “report abusive comment link.”
- Ignore the sociopath’s comments.
- To help other readers who may not realize what is going on, go ahead and post the link to this article on the thread where the sociopath is posting.
This is important. DO NOT ENGAGE THE TROLL. Remember, what they want is attention and entertainment. Do not call the person out. Do not post nonsensical comments. Please consider the person a nuisance to be ignored.
I am very cautious about banning people, for two reasons:
- I want Lovefraud to be an open exchange of information. Therefore, I won’t ban someone just because I, or another reader, disagree with him or her.
- Several times over the years, visitors to Lovefraud have been accused of being trolls when they were not. Generally what happened was that they commented on a post without telling a personal story of involvement with a sociopath first. Remember, there is no requirement that people talk about what happened to them in order to comment on Lovefraud.
We have one rule on Lovefraud: Do not disparage other members of the site. Feel free to disagree—lively discussions are terrific—but argue the merits of the ideas without personal attacks.
As for the trolls—their agenda is essentially an attack on all of us. I will get rid of them as soon as I can. But if they don’t get a rise out of us, sometimes they just go away on their own.
Thank you all for making Lovefraud such a wonderful healing community.