The importance of being genuine
Truthfulness and genuineness on The Mix have been something the staff team has been trying to grapple with for a while. We decided to dedicate a pinned post to it in Start Here so we can explore it fully.
Authenticity (being real or true to yourself; not being false) is important for a community like this that relies on mutual trust and support. When someone supports you, they're investing in you; they're giving their emotional and mental resource to you as well as their time. Supporting someone is also an act of vulnerability because to connect with someone and empathise, you need to open yourself up too and we all know how hard that can be.
If that effort and vulnerability isn't met with some genuineness about you and your story, it can make people feel 'cheated' and the community might be less comfortable opening up to support you in the future.
We genuinely believe telling a false story comes from a need for support and - crucially - that people who tell false stories about themselves deserve that support. This isn't a moral judgment; we're not saying this behaviour is right or wrong. Either way, it's a reality that genuineness is a non-negotiable part of joining a community like The Mix because of that emotional investment. If you feel compelled to present yourself in an untruthful light for whatever reason, we'd suggest using 1-2-1 services instead.
It's important to note that this doesn't apply to minor details. If you want to say you're a different age, or that you're at college instead of school to anonymise your story, you can and should do that. This only becomes a problem when emotionally weighted parts of someone's story turn out not to be truthful. For example, a trauma they experienced or a life-altering health condition they have.
Accounts that don't appear genuine are likely to be approached by staff, or banned outright in cases of obvious trolling or spam. We'll always make the best judgment we can as a team with what we know.
If you think someone is being untruthful in a harmful way, don't confront them or call them out; come to us with your concerns. This keeps you out of any drama and also means the community stays a warm, supportive place. Newcomers or lurkers who see someone being questioned about their truthfulness may be less likely to open up for fear of being accused of the same thing, particularly if they want to share a similar story. It's important we encourage people to seek support as much as possible.
It's also worth remembering here that we never know for sure what's true. Everyone deserves a presumption of truthfulness, even - and especially - if their story is an unusual one.
This discussion has been closed.