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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups
    #24757133 - 11/03/17 04:13 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

https://www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/katienotopoulos/mushroom-troll-wars

Nowhere on the net is safe. The long fingers of trolling touch everything online — even an online forum that should be a sacred place for people who would rather spend their time strolling through the woods than sitting in front of a computer.

The trolls have come for the mushroom community.

On Facebook, there is a large international collective of people who are interested in mycology — foraging for and identifying mushrooms. These groups are massive by Facebook group standards: The biggest one, “The Mushroom Identification Forum,” has 111,000 members.

Like with bird-watching, you don’t have to be a scientist or professional mycologist to become fairly capable at identification in the field. Hunting for mushrooms involves a pleasant stroll outside; it’s something for a nature lover to do on a weekend perambulation. And if you’re lucky, you get something delicious to bring home for dinner. It’s the vegetarian version of deer hunting.

Of course, the thing about mushrooms is, you definitely need to know exactly what species you’re eating, or else you could literally, well, die.

For this reason, these Facebook groups are essential to budding fungi lovers. They’re the easiest and fastest place to get advice on whether or not you’ll shit your pants out all night from eating something.

But whenever there is an online community, there’s drama.

According to a former moderator of the Mushroom Identification Forum group — who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation — if you turn over the harmless and happy surface of the group, you find a campaign of disinformation growing like, well, a fungus.

The drama started when a few of the forum’s members colluded to play tricks on rubes and n00bs by making up fake common names for mushrooms.

According to the former mod, who’s now involved with a splinter mycology group, the drama started when a few of the Forum’s 15 mods and some seasoned foragers in the group colluded to play tricks on rubes and n00bs by making up fake common names for mushrooms. Mycologists prefer to use the scientific names, since common names can vary regionally. If you really know your stuff, you’d say that a bright orange edible mushroom is Laetiporus sulphureus, not merely “chicken of the woods.”

The mods, along some of the experts of the group, would slyly switch words in common names when someone posted a photo asking for an ID — for example, by calling a harmless mushroom a "death angel." There is no such shroom with that name; rather, it’s a mix of two deadly mushrooms’ names: "death cap" (Amanita phalloides) and "destroying angel" (Amanita bisporigera). To serious shroomheads, this is, apparently, a ~very funny~ joke.

The fake common-name prank took an ugly turn when a few trusted IDers in the group pretended a fungi was named “faggot cap.” Tim Sage, the admin of the big main group, said that moderators didn’t ban the people who did this, but they did tell them to stop.

Other moderators admitted to BuzzFeed News that the common-name trolling took place, but they insist that it was never actually dangerous, and that they would never suggest a poisonous mushroom was safe to eat. In fact, trolls in the group did just the opposite: claiming that innocuous mushrooms were deadly or psychoactive.


One troll who used the name Lasse Asal (not his real name, he told me over Facebook DM) got kicked out of the group recently for doing just this. A woman posted a photo of some mushrooms she found, and Lasse immediately commented, “those are highly poisonous i would not recommend touching them barehand.” The fungus was never precisely identified, but the idea of poisoning through skin contact with a mushroom is purely a joke. “I wanted to scare her,” Lasse told me.

Mods kicked him out of the group for this post.


The ability to accurately identify mushrooms is hard earned. You have to spend time out in nature, you have to find the mushrooms, and you have study their scientific names. You also have to learn what mushrooms grow in which areas and what season. The impulse for these self-taught experts to laugh at rubes in mycology groups on Facebook is somewhat understandable. Mostly, they’re not making fun of an earnest person who wants to learn. What attracts their ire are people who violate the mores of the group by doing things like posting a blurry photo of a mushroom, seeming overly eager to eat an unknown mushroom, or being stubbornly wrong about IDs.

Trolling new members or outsiders is a well-trodden path in many internet communities. Making up fake mushroom names is motivated by the same impulse that drives people on 4chan to use “triforce” as a litmus test (newbies can’t figure out how to properly post three triangles onto the board). This kind of harmless trolling is how online communities establish who is in-group and solidify their sense of community. This is a kindler, gentler form of trolling than the kinds of actual abuse and harassment we associate with trolls these days.

The group “Clueless turds who know nothing about mushrooms!” is where the true mushroom experts of the main group go to make fun of the amateurs who post particularly uninformed questions or make bad IDs. This group is smaller (about 800 people) and comprises mostly screenshots of people’s bad posts from bigger mushroom groups. There’s also the occasional mushroom meme.

Jerry Dye, one of the members of Clueless Turds, explained that newbies can be irritating, and that’s why they get trolled. “The pranksterism seems to stem from many people posting pictures of the same species asking for IDs,” he said. “Take, for instance, the pheasant back mushroom. It gets posted about 10 times a day; all someone would have to do is scroll down a page or two and have their answer, yet they must ask for an ID on it anyway.”

In addition to those searching for edible mushrooms, some people are looking for psychedelic mushrooms. These magic hunters tend to be "clueless turds" who get trolled hard; they’re weekend warriors who don’t care about the noble art of mycology. Similarly, there’s a type of mushroom called chaga that is sought after for its supposed health properties. Newbies are often overly eager to find these, and it’s become a running joke for the pros that any mushroom is chaga.



“I think the most common troll thing to do is to say, ‘Please cut your mushrooms off at ground level when harvesting and don't just tear them out,’” said Dan Long, one of the moderators, who in real life is the former president of the San Francisco Mycological Society. “People get triggered and start pontificating why that is a wrong statement.” The debate in mushroom foraging over cutting versus pulling is complicated, but let’s just say if you’re an expert, you know exactly when it’s OK to cut and when you need to pull, so telling people to always cut, for example, is misleading.

But a lot of people in these groups are entirely new to identification, so trolling this way is potentially dangerous,” said Keiran Sunflower, one of the main group mods. “Members are great about reporting these things and getting admins in, and we all stress absolute certainty on IDs before handling or consumption.”

Apart from the misinformation campaigns, there’s another vein of more garden-variety crude humor running through these groups, which tend to skew male. The mod who wishes to remain anonymous said that once a conservative Christian woman was offended by how often sexual language was used to describe mushrooms in the big group. She apparently quit in disgust and started a new, sex-free group. Sage, the current admin, doesn’t recall this particular incident, but said it wouldn’t surprise him if it happened. “Mushrooms are the reproductive portion of the fungal organism, so sex jokes and phallic humor are not uncommon,” he said. Mushrooms do indeed have “vulva” (that’s a real part of a mushroom!).

The group “Edible Wild Plants/Mushrooms And The ID Of Plants, Trees And Mushrooms” has a long note at the top posted by the admin, explaining the rules. It warns: “Anyone making rude/crude jokes/comments about sexual organs will be removed from the group. Also anyone telling someone to eat something toxic/poisonous or [who] blatantly has no idea what the plant/mushroom is will be removed.”

I’ve enjoyed lurking in these mushroom groups. There’s something wholesome and sweet about seeing photos of mushrooms mixed into my regular feed of political groanings and baby photos. I like having a window into the lives of people who are much more outdoorsy than I am, and I’m touched by their love of nature. It’s this family-friendly aspect of mushroom identifying that made me surprised to learn that it’s just another internet hotbed of trolling.

The anonymous mod has a theory about why these groups turn to trolling. “It all goes stir crazy during the winter,” he explained. When the weather turns bad, foragers get cooped up inside and turn to Facebook. “The answer is winter. The off season.”

Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at katie@buzzfeed.com.


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InvisibleThayendanegeaS
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #24757204 - 11/03/17 04:57 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

My gf and I joined the Mushroom id forum on FB, although I don't participate that often.....She said the other day..."Look, your friend Alan Rockefeller is in the group." I lol'd and told her that the group has some creed if he's in it.

Hadn't noticed any trolling and most people seemed to be pretty helpful to noobs.


--------------------
Look Deep Into Nature,and Then You Will Understand Everything Better.

Albert Einstein


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OfflineCracked out
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Thayendanegea]
    #24757318 - 11/03/17 05:59 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Thats fd up. why are people so intolerant of noobs? bullshit


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OfflineKonyap

Registered: 06/30/07
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Cracked out]
    #24758126 - 11/04/17 01:21 AM (2 years, 6 months ago)

that's why I tell people to buy them from the store

some guy near me died from eating mushrooms on his lawn
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/dwayne-johnson-puppy-dies-eating-poisonous-mushroom-article-1.2379151


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Offlinerider420
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Konyap]
    #24758833 - 11/04/17 12:02 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Konyap said:
that's why I tell people to buy them from the store

some guy near me died from eating mushrooms on his lawn
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/dwayne-johnson-puppy-dies-eating-poisonous-mushroom-article-1.2379151




A guy dog? Really dude next time try reading the article. :rolleyes:


Magical or not its best to grow your own shrooms.


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InvisibleIbex-Trismegistus
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Registered: 03/25/16
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: rider420]
    #24758849 - 11/04/17 12:07 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

This is pretty funny, specially because of the original poster on this topic.

This site is a cesspool. It doesn't surprise me that some of the sewage would overflow into other places.


--------------------
I've noticed that when people are joking they're usually dead serious, and when they're serious, they're usually pretty funny.-Jim Morrison

'Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.-Confucius —

When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”― John Lennon

This account as been hacked! It is still being messed with by an intruder.


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OfflineMcGrimm
Professor of Peace


Registered: 04/24/17
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Ibex-Trismegistus]
    #24758971 - 11/04/17 12:51 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

This site is a cesspool?  Facebook is so bad there are not even words to describe what it is doing to our culture and you point fingers at the Shroomery?

:um:

I am surprised.


--------------------
In Peace or Pieces we shall move forward.

Grimm


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InvisibleCookieCrumbsM
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: McGrimm]
    #24759051 - 11/04/17 01:25 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

There is certainly a dickish culture in some areas of the shroomery but I don't think intentional misinformation is tolerated.


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          :dancingbear: Free time is the only time :dancingbear:                    :thatsinteresting:


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OfflineMcGrimm
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: CookieCrumbs]
    #24759233 - 11/04/17 02:56 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

:whathesaid:


--------------------
In Peace or Pieces we shall move forward.

Grimm


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Offlinedurian_2008
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: McGrimm]
    #24760242 - 11/04/17 11:17 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

I think, people should corroborate whatever they are told, with several sources.

And, I am not altogether against paywalls.

There is sometimes an anti-intellectual bias, when you can show references, and people think that is too uppity.

If you let them, they will keep you busy, all day, and run the place into the ground. I'm sorry. I just can't say that all people are entitled to an opinion, anymore.


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OfflineMommySharkS
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #26642432 - 05/02/20 01:45 AM (26 days, 18 hours ago)

I understand that mycologists often get frustrated when ignorant people don't read the rules of the group and post blurry unacceptable photos without the location and such. However, it seems that some mods, such as ones in The Shroomery Facebook page flame people for almost anything that goes against what they personally believe to be true. That sucks because it makes people such as myself (who is by no means as experienced as the mods but not a total noob) scared to ask any questions.

I feel like this defeats the purpose of the page which IMO should be there to help educate the mushroom loving community.

But this is just my two cents on the topic--


--------------------
It seems as though common sense isn't so common in the world today :facepalm3:


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: MommyShark]
    #26642589 - 05/02/20 03:35 AM (26 days, 16 hours ago)

There's a lot of different Facebook groups.  The Shroomery group is one of the best, but it's not very forgiving of.....lots of things.    I personally like it but not everyone does and that's fine.


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InvisiblebodhisattaM
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #26643184 - 05/02/20 10:40 AM (26 days, 9 hours ago)

This is why I avoid Facebook like the plague. It's 100% useless even for something as simple as a mushrooms club. Every corner of that place is filled with people who have militant attitudes about their opinions. It's like the fast food of the internet


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: bodhisatta] * 1
    #26647571 - 05/04/20 08:35 AM (24 days, 11 hours ago)

Quote:

bodhisatta said:
This is why I avoid Facebook like the plague. It's 100% useless even for something as simple as a mushrooms club. Every corner of that place is filled with people who have militant attitudes about their opinions. It's like the fast food of the internet





It's also one of the best sites on the internet for mushrooms.  There's a lot of specialized groups with extremely advanced users who share a whole lot of mushroom information.  It's also really good for finding out about mushroom events and mushroom enthusiasts in your area.

The quality of your Facebook feed is entirely dependent on who your Facebook friends are and which groups you join.  There are certain people on there who post only extremely high quality content, and if you only follow them, you'll not see anything boring or dumb.

Here's the stuff I post:  https://www.facebook.com/alan.rockefeller


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OfflineHolybullshit
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #26647820 - 05/04/20 11:09 AM (24 days, 8 hours ago)

WTF is wrong with people? One of the best things about, well, anything you have passion for, not just mushrooms...is sharing it with the uninitiated. I can't even imagine being annoyed by someone with a newly budding interest in mycology searching for advice/knowledge. Even if they are doing something like posting blurry pics all you have to do is say "get a clearer pic, can't ID too blurry" or if thats asking too much say nothing at all(what a novel idea).


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InvisiblesuiM
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Holybullshit]
    #26648229 - 05/04/20 02:18 PM (24 days, 5 hours ago)

Erin. Lol.


--------------------

"There is never a wrong note, bend it."
Jimi Hendrix


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Holybullshit]
    #26651276 - 05/05/20 07:14 PM (23 days, 41 minutes ago)

Quote:

Holybullshit said:
WTF is wrong with people? One of the best things about, well, anything you have passion for, not just mushrooms...is sharing it with the uninitiated. I can't even imagine being annoyed by someone with a newly budding interest in mycology searching for advice/knowledge. Even if they are doing something like posting blurry pics all you have to do is say "get a clearer pic, can't ID too blurry" or if thats asking too much say nothing at all(what a novel idea).




Most of the negativity comes in response to people that have been growing cubes for a few weeks and claim all sorts of crazy things.  H2O2 zealots, people who refuse to buy a pressure cooker and try all sorts of crap that wastes everyone's time, stuff like that.  These things don't bother me but they do bother others, who respond negatively sometimes.


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Offlineicetech
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Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #26657251 - 05/08/20 01:40 PM (20 days, 6 hours ago)

Quote:

Alan Rockefeller said:
Quote:

Holybullshit said:
WTF is wrong with people? One of the best things about, well, anything you have passion for, not just mushrooms...is sharing it with the uninitiated. I can't even imagine being annoyed by someone with a newly budding interest in mycology searching for advice/knowledge. Even if they are doing something like posting blurry pics all you have to do is say "get a clearer pic, can't ID too blurry" or if thats asking too much say nothing at all(what a novel idea).




Most of the negativity comes in response to people that have been growing cubes for a few weeks and claim all sorts of crazy things.  H2O2 zealots, people who refuse to buy a pressure cooker and try all sorts of crap that wastes everyone's time, stuff like that.  These things don't bother me but they do bother others, who respond negatively sometimes.




H2O2 in shroom growing? WTF is that about? i had never heard that one.


--------------------


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InvisibleSpeeker

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 753
Re: Inside The Troll Wars On Facebook Mushroom Groups [Re: icetech]
    #26657698 - 05/08/20 05:12 PM (20 days, 2 hours ago)

Quote:

icetech said:
Quote:

Alan Rockefeller said:
Quote:

Holybullshit said:
WTF is wrong with people? One of the best things about, well, anything you have passion for, not just mushrooms...is sharing it with the uninitiated. I can't even imagine being annoyed by someone with a newly budding interest in mycology searching for advice/knowledge. Even if they are doing something like posting blurry pics all you have to do is say "get a clearer pic, can't ID too blurry" or if thats asking too much say nothing at all(what a novel idea).




Most of the negativity comes in response to people that have been growing cubes for a few weeks and claim all sorts of crazy things.  H2O2 zealots, people who refuse to buy a pressure cooker and try all sorts of crap that wastes everyone's time, stuff like that.  These things don't bother me but they do bother others, who respond negatively sometimes.




H2O2 in shroom growing? WTF is that about? i had never heard that one.




It's something Alan forgot to use once with that C. militaris he sent to me... LOL
Had to do a lot of cleaning for it back then... Great guy BTW, this Alan... one of the best...


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mushroom links, videos, etc.  blog


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