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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How can we best handle those "baiting" threads nym shifters are just pulling our leg?

How can we best handle those "baiting" threads where nym shifters are just pulling our leg?

With our E39s now no longer costing $30K to $50K, the level of the newcomers inevitably changes. That's not a bad thing - but - what is a bad thing are the baiting threads where nothing adds up as everyone tries to help.

Trying to help these baiters probably fuels their egos, which is fine, but, it also wastes our valuable time, taking it away from those who would better benefit from our efforts.

This set of threads recently from a single poster got me thinking that we should probably discuss various ways of handling the "baiters":

  • has anyone ever changed their oil
  • has anybody ever had a bad alternator before?
  • desperate for help! (but turns out to be "how can I get rid of paint scratches?")
  • etc.
Note: Normally I attribute threads to a link, but, in this case, the actual poster isn't important. What's important is that we discuss efficient ways to handle the baiters.
As a first pass, here's my response just now when someone asked if the poster above was pulling our leg in one of those threads above.
bluebee said:
Regarding whether the OP is pulling our leg ...
1. Our time, advice, and effort is valuable.
2. Some people just want to waste it, either because they're lazy, or they get some kind of kick out it.
3. I use iggy when I see such posts, in order save my energy for those who actually deserve it.

A funny thing seems to happen when I use Iggy.

Often, a pattern shows up where I notice a new thread by the person I already have on iggy, and then, often within minutes, a "me too" post by someone else whom I've put on iggy. Often, the thread is filled with people whom I've put on iggy, before an hour has gone by.

Most threads are NOT that way, but the ones that are, lead me to believe they are manipulating our good intentions.
Sometimes the "egg-on" post contains deliberate misinformation (often of the form "the dealer said to replace the flux capacitor and I did for $1000, but it didn't work").
Often, I find, the original bait and egg-on posters are oddly clumped together in other threads.

It's the pattern, and not the specifics, which lead me to assume some posters are just baiting us.
The question is "how to handle the baiters?"

When I see these fuzzy patterns, I sometimes iggy all the egg-on people, and then a funny thing happens.
Often, I come across a new thread, with, say, 5 respondents, 3 or 4 of which are already on iggy, with the rest being the regular (bona-fide) posters.

In addition, the baiters use various additional "tricks" such as sheer desperation (witness the OP's recent desperate plea for help thread where edjack wholly appropriately responded to his five desperate problems with:
1. Automotive glass shop.
2-5. Automotive body shop.
These don't appear to be desperate issues.
That OP has similar desperation threads, for example, in speaker selection.

Anyway, this post is a long-winded way of saying that my approach is simply to look at the poster's current thread, and the poster's other threads, and at who responded, and how ... and then to liberally use iggy when the associated posts are consistently just too fishy to be on the level.

BTW, another clue is the lack of attention paid to the nym (often with numbers added). If they're too lazy to search, they're often also too lazy to come up with a decent nym. Being a lazy nymshifter, they often don't even list "mein auto", and I often find them in multiple forums, asking the same dumb questions, but for a different model.

Of course, one obvious danger, which the nym shifters rely upon, is that we iggy an innocent noob; however, that noob, if they have the capability of learning from their mistakes, can come back and redeem themselves (which some have) either with a new properly behaving nym, or by being sensible when they post.
 

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Best way is to just ignore them and let them quietly sink to the bottom. But I really, really have to try hard not to reply with some smart azz remark.
 

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2000 M5
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810 Posts
I was a part of the "has anybody changed their oil" chat and yes I was heated about the fact that somebody has to ask that question on this or ANY car forum for that matter....

I know the reason is that there is little to no forum moderators on this forum. Most car forums I have been on in the past there are forum Nazi's that will shut people down right away for language, and dumb posts etc. I guess since we are on a BMW forum, they assume that most people here are older a mature people and can handle a forum with little moderation.

I have been on this forum for quite a while, and I truly believe just as I was shut down when I was a noob on this forum that the VERY FIRST response to noob questions should be without a doubt, "HAVE YOU SEARCHED FOR IT FIRST?" Cause we all know when we are working on a car and get stuck you want to problem solve it as quick as possible and you think that posting a new thread is faster than searching through a bunch of old posts. Sometimes it is and sometimes you search and find exactly what you need. Regardless if it is or not, WE as a forum need to have consistency in our response to train all the new people on the forum of how to problem solve.

The other thing I have as a huge concern is that if you are asking such questions, should you really be working on your own car. We are here to help each other out buy pooling our knowledge of E39's. MOST of the time people will be given the proper advice or recommendations and in such will go to the parts store and buy said part and install it. I think a BIG concern is if they have no clue about the problem to start with, how are we to know that if you suggest a part replacement, they are going to be able to replace the part properly and without damaging other things in the process. I have been wrenching on my own car since I was 16. I am 33 now and I still brake stuff when doing my own repair causing other problems. I think that again as a Forum we have to train all the new people that ask these questions that we are simply making RECOMMENDATIONS and not solving their problems for them. Mis diagnostics on car forums is the number one money and time waster. I work at small indy shop and every week I have walk in customers come in a say "can you change this part for me?" And my first question is always, "did you have a mechanic diagnose the problem?" And without fail they will always say, "No I was told by my car forum that this is the problem." Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong. I don't know how many times I have seen it on different car forums thread post "I just replaced my ____________ and it didn't solve my problem. HELP PLEASE!!!!" I am not saying that people's input doesn't solve problems, what I am saying is I think WE should be careful in the way we respond to peoples issues. Telling somebody straight up that this will solve their problem is pretty bold. Telling them that, "hey I had a similar problem and this is what I did to fix it. And maybe your should start looking there." I think is much better.

Anyways, just my 2 cents
 

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baiting is something specific
most of those simple question threads are just that, something simple, by someone trying to get help. not everyone is car-savvy, in fact very few are.
the best response is just to (very politely) tell them to use the search function for their issue
 

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Matching beemer & bimmer
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I'll take the bait.
What I would do is ignore them.
It helps, if they're repeat offenders, to put them on ignore because I forget who I have ignored already.

When you put them on ignore, they show up as ignored right away, so you can move down to the next thread without wasting any more time on them.
 

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Otto Zwei-Punkt-Null
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I never asked a question on this thread about baiting..
 
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