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Tuesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele — last modified Mar 20, 2024 10:33 AM

The topics with the most engagement yesterday included violence among kindergarteners, Trump's inability to secure a bond, boys private school lacrosse, and a likely troll there about a reaction to a pregnancy announcement.

The most active thread yesterday was titled, "Violence in Kindergarten- Sligo Creek Elementary" and posted in the "Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)" forum. The original poster describes an unbelievable amount of violence occurring among kindergartners that has left children "knocked out cold", caused one teacher to leave, and sent a second teacher to the hospital. The original poster is frustrated because it does not appear to her that the school's principal is doing anything about it. When I say the violence is "unbelievable", I am not exaggerating as many posters don't believe it. Those who do believe it have a range of suggestions including contacting the media, switching to another school, or even contacting the police. Few think that the police can or should do anything about a 5 or 6 year old, but many see value in a police report that might motivate parents. Many posters complain about the lack of options available to the school, saying that it is nearly impossible to have a violent student removed from the classroom and the support required for the student is not easily obtained. While the original poster places blame with the principal, other posters say the problem lies further up the chain of command with the central office. The principal's hands are tied, they say, and the process for dealing with students with extreme needs takes too long and unnecessarily exposes the other students to trauma. While most posters were eager to publicize the violent incidents in hopes that might encourage a solution, many other posters seemed to be more interested in protecting the school's reputation or protecting the children responsible for the violence. Almost immediately after the thread was started it was reported to me with a request to delete the thread. I continued to receive reports throughout the day yesterday. Posts within the thread also suggest that it should be deleted and a number of posters accused the original poster of trolling and not being truthful. No students were named or even described in any detail whatsoever. Nobody who is not associated with the school would have any clue about the identity of the students involved. Anyone close enough to the situation to connect the dots likely already knows full well what is going on. So I don't have concerns about the chance of children being identified. I do have an interest, however, in posts being accurate. The original poster's claims seemed outlandish, but appear to be independently supported by multiple posters. I put quite a bit of effort into ensuring that the confirming reports were not sock puppeted and concluded that this would either have to be the best and most extensive trolling I've ever witnessed or the original post is largely accurate. Nevertheless, a number of posters throughout the thread make a tremendous efforts to deny or downplay whatever occurred.

Yesterday's next most active thread was posted in the "Political Discussion" forum. Titled, "Trump can’t pay", the original poster linked to an article in the New York Times describing former President Donald Trump's apparent difficulty in arranging a bond necessary to allow him to appeal the judgment in his New York state civil fraud case. Trump has recently been levied with large fines in two civil cases. In the first, the case brought by E. Jean Carroll, Trump was able to arrange a bond and is now appealing the judgement. But the fine in the fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Tish James is much larger and Trump has not been able to find anyone willing to put up the required bond. In order to appeal the judgements against him, Trump is required to provide a bonds that will be paid in the event that he is ultimately found liable in the cases. Personally, I disagree with this stipulation which puts a significant financial burden on those who might eventually be found not liable. But, the rules are the rules and there no reason to exempt Trump from them. Trump, of course, doesn't see things that way and has appealed the requirement that he post bond, hoping to at least have the amount reduced. If he is lucky, the courts will side with him and he will be able to appeal the findings in his fraud case. Otherwise, James can move to immediately begin seizing Trump's assets. Alternatively, Trump may declare bankruptcy. Frankly, this thread is not very informative. Many posters confuse the fraud case with the E. Jean Carroll case and spend more time talking about that case which is not relevant to this topic. Other posters gloat about Trump's difficulties, suggesting that his struggle to arrange a bond is evidence that he doesn't have the wealth about which he has constantly bragged. Some posters rush to Trump's defense, arguing that the fraud he perpetrated caused no harm and left no victims. Moreover, they claim that all real estate investors do the same thing. Other posters are salivating over the idea of James taking possession of some of Trump's most cherished properties. There is considerable discussion of Trump's wealth with a number of posters citing different analysis, most showing that Trump is considerably poorer than he has suggested. As a legal matter, Trump is trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, he says that claims about his wealth cited by James during court procedures indicate that she knows that he is capable of paying the fine if necessary. Therefore, Trump argues, there is no reason for him to secure a bond. On the other hand, Trump is arguing that he is unable to obtain a bond which raise questions about his financial strength. As a result, courts are being asked to either agree that Trump is so rich he doesn't need a bond or so poor that the bond amount is exorbitant.

Next was a thread titled, "2024 Boys Private School Results /Game Schedules/ Commentary", and posted in the "Lacrosse" forum. I confess that I will never understand the obsessiveness of the posters in the lacrosse or soccer forums. Not only are these posters capable of producing a prodigious amount of posts, but they frequently disagree so strongly with one another that they stop just short of calling each other out into the parking lot. In fact, I suspect that many enjoy the anonymous posting of DCUM primarily because it reduces the chances that they will be physically accosted. At any rate, this thread was started in June 2023, just three month shy of a year ago. The purpose was to discuss games that, if I understand correctly, only started this month. There were well over 100 pages of posts before the first whistle was blown (assuming that they use whistles in lacrosse, I have no idea). Since the games got underway, traffic has accelerated and the thread currently stands at 152 pages. Posters must be behaving themselves because I don't recall any posts in this thread being reported. I, of course, have not read all 152 pages. But, from what I have read, it looks like posters are engaging in normal sports commentary. They comment on the outcome of games, discuss the performance of players, and make excuses for losses. There are predictions for future achievements and acknowledgement of past predictions that didn't come to fruition. Many posts do nothing more than include the final score of games. In some cases, it looks like scores are being updated in real time. I admit to finding some joy in the thought of a lacrosse parent standing out on a wind blown field watching a game and busily posting away on DCUM. Despite my normal disdain for this forum (and the soccer forum), the pages I read in this thread provided no reason for criticism or complaint. Basically, a bunch of posters enjoying the sport. So, carry on.

The final thread that I will discuss today was posted in the "Relationship Discussion (non-explicit)" forum and titled, "Told my friends I was pregnant yesterday". The original poster says that she and her husband are both 40 years old and are having their first child. When they told friends, most reactions were positive and supportive. However, one friend asked, "How do you feel about that?" and the original poster wants to know if she is correct in thinking that this response was off. First I should say that likely nothing about this post is true. The original poster is all over the place in threads that she has started. She has been married, divorced, dating, unsure if time together was a date, and so on. Similarly, while she says this will be her first child, she has started other threads discussing her children and even started a thread about being pregnant with her fifth child. She has had both sons and daughters, though not always at the same time. It looks to me that the poster has a penchant towards drama. The surprising thing about this thread, however, is that the event, real or imagined, that provoked it was so minor. Her friend asked a question and, presumably, the original poster answered it. This is hardly worthy of a thread on DCUM. Surprisingly, the DCUM troll hunters who routinely describe even the most believable of posters as trolls, didn't make a single troll accusation in this entire thread. I'm not sure if that is good because I don't like threads being interrupted with troll accusations or bad because they missed this one. One poster did say that the thread was fake, however. So I guess not everyone was completely oblivious. Regardless, I am not going to spend any time reading this thread. If the original poster really wants to fake drama, she needs to disappear for three months and then release a Photoshopped family picture.

Anon says:
Mar 20, 2024 11:06 AM
I often change small details like that, and I'm not a troll (or at least I try not to be)
Anonymous says:
Mar 20, 2024 03:14 PM
If a person is so likely to be a troll like the poster who started the third thread, have you thought about banning their ip address? I personally don’t understand catfishing for drama, but I’ve seen the harm relentless trolls cause in other threads. It seems a known serial liar would be an easy call.
Jeff Steele says:
Mar 20, 2024 03:15 PM
They just change their IP address and keep going.
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