I've heard some hashtags have been having problems today with norty ladies and other uninvited guests, so it seems like a good idea to mention it in case we run into any difficulties tonight with Christmas in July, or at the weekend with #NCGYM. The whole reason why we started using individual hashtags for our weekend pawties instead of sticking to our usual #NipClub one was because over the weekend there were so many of them found us and started posting some very inappropriate messages that it was decided to use a one-off name in future for each weekend pawty. I wasn't here when NipClub started, but I've been told that it never occurred to those who founded it that nip could be taken to mean anything other than catnip, and I have to say that it would never have occurred to me, either. However, it has unfortunately occurred to a number of unwanted visitors since then, so we decided a long while back that we needed to be at least one step ahead of them.
We haven't usually had much difficulty with our Thursday pawties but we do have a procedure that we fall back on when it's necessary. Because it's been a while since it's been needed it's very likely that a lot of our newer members may be unaware of it, so it seems like a good moment to go through it. It's very simple - if you start seeing stuff on the #NipClub hashtag which shouldn't be there (typically norty ladies, but can also be people inviting you to buy Twitter followers, or assorted other stuff that doesn't belong at a #NipClub pawty) please use the Block and Report facility immediately.
Different apps and Twitter clients do this slightly differently, but it usually involves finding a Settings-type icon (probably looks a bit like a wheel) somewhere close to the Follow button. If you click the icon (NOT the Follow button :D) you will see a Menu which will include the facility to block or report. The best thing to do is click on Report, then when you're given a choice of reasons for reporting click the one that mentions s p a m. That's all there is to it!
If you want to alert others (you may be the first one to see the offending message(s) or you may want to encourage others to report, as well), it's best to say something like "Blocking intruders" - please DON'T us the word s p a m, unless with spaces between the letters, as believe it or not it's one of the triggers these folks use to find an active hashtag they can post on!
If enough of us use the block/report facility within a short time these folks are usually kicked out by Twitter fairly quickly, so that's often quite enough to get rid of them. Sometimes an attack can last around 10 minutes and it seems like hours, but then it usually ends as quickly as it started. There have been occasions, though, when pawties (fortunately not our Thursday ones so far!) have been disrupted so severely that the only thing to do has been to leave the hashtag altogether and move the pawty to another one.
If we need to, one of NipClub Management will give you another hashtag and ask you to move on to it. In that case to prevent these bots (they're only rarely human) from following it you'll notice that it won't be written with the # sign - the message will say something like "#NipClub pals. pls switch to XYZ". That would mean the pawty would continue using #XYZ, not #NipClub. If that happens, please do NOT use the new hashtag to say #XYZ and #NipClub in the same tweet. Hopefully the gatecrashers won't have a clue what's happened and will go on happily tweeting only to each other and themselves.
If absolutely necessary we can make that switch as many times as we need to, though hopefully it won't ever come to that :-)
Oh, and if you're wondering what happens if you get there after the pawty has moved on, don't worry - one of NipClub Management (whoever happens to be around at the time!) will be monitoring the #NipClub hashtag for any genuine pawty-goers and directing them to the right place.
Hopefully the norty ladies and the other gatecrashers will stay away, but even if they don't, at #NipClub we always do our best to pawty on!