Continuing with my previous blog post about discussion on the misuse on these support groups sites, I found that there are trolls in DailyStrength. I remember that one of you asked me a question about people who mess around with the site during my presentation. As I was looking around the site, I found a post by a CL in one of the groups’ discussion recently expressing their concerns on trolling. CLs in the site are referred to as Community Leaders who police a particular group and make sure users are playing nice. There is a new user who added lots of CLs on his friends list and managed to achieve an admin status in a group. He then invites people to talk to him through email instead of posting on the DailyStrength site and ban users who are reaching the admin status. This user took advantage of his status and played trust among the community. Apparently the whole group is affected by what this user did and it takes some effort for the other users to redevelop the groups. In the post, the CL mentioned about the trust issue and asked the other users to be alert about exchanging personal contact information to participate safely in the site.
Previously I didn’t expect this to happen as most of the users seem to be quite nice to each other and provide support to them when needed. I feel that it is a really crucial thing to manage the ethics of these online support groups. As people who participate in these groups are already fairly vulnerable to their issues, having these trolls around their discussion boards will add frustrations to them and they end up feeling less supportive and less comfortable to participate in these online communities. Playing around their trust seem to be very inappropriate and causing a lot of stress to users who depend on the site for supports and information. After all, it is interesting to know that online community users still have to be careful no matter where they participate in and maintain a good balance between bonding and safety.