WRONG on the Internet!

Tangency’s enjoying an interesting thread about flamewars. What pushes people’s buttons and ignites giant screaming matches seems so RANDOM. I completely understand the need to correct people who are wrong on the Internet but for the life of me I can’t imagine how some of this stuff leads to bitterness and recriminations. Here’s a sample.

Most memorable to me was on the (now defunct) metal-is boards where a debate on whether Penfold from the Danger Mouse cartoon was a hamster or a mole simply would not end until we finally got the Word of God by emailing the studio.

Any given Star Trek message board at any time will be having a flame war about whether or not the existence of Captain Robert April is canon. It will go on for pages and will get personal.

A vicious fight over wehther it was proper to use a dash “-“,colon “:” or semi-colon “;” in one prticular sentance in an article effectively destroyed the Marvel chat boards in 2001 and ended the existence of two popular fanzines done by regulars on the board, one of which had just gotten a mention in Wizard magazine.

On another message board discussion about wasps was forbidden, due to a previous flamewar.

he went off against everyone, eventually threatening people with RL gunplay, initially based on , as I recall, an argument about Miracle Whip versus Mayonnaise

from a WWII re-enactment forum: a pic showed up of a German uniform tunic with a wool collar (many thought they were first used in 1940), but a manufacturing ink stamp of 1939. The place went utterly ape-shit. It just exploded. Accusations of photoshopping flew, followed by counter-charges of counterfeiting the stamps, followed by all of the usual invectives – insults of people’s relatives, their authenticity standards, their knowledge of history, their personal lives, you name it.

The dumbest flamewars I’ve ever read have been on cuteoverload. People get really upset about things like bathing cats. And whenever they post a picture of a baby, or any kind of cute picture involving humans, people come out of the woodwork to argue that humans are never cute, and they come to the site to get a break from looking at humans all day.

I remember one tampons vs pads argument on feministing.com that made me dumber just reading it. Both sides wanted to portray the other as some kind of tool of the patriarchy based on their choice of hygiene products

And on Pyramid, back in the day when you had to be a subscriber, there was an incredible outpouring of vitriol over someone’s suggestion that Chow Yun Fat would, accent aside, be the perfect actor to portray Superman [I, litlfrog, remember this one very well]

Gundam Wing fanfic forum – ridiculous string of flamewars on whether one of the characters was an abuse survivor.

Outpost Gallifrey once shut down for an entire day because of the flame wars that erupted when Chris Eccleston announced he was leaving. [I enjoy “Dr. Who.” I enjoy webforums. Outpost Gallifrey residents were INSANE and I never hung out there.]

on Tabletop Open there was a massive flamewar about REIGN and in particular one bit of setting fluff: men don’t ride astride horses because of a deeply held cultural belief that it makes them impotent.  That led into a massive flamewar over horsemanship, saddle design, cultural beliefs, and what Greg Stolze’s opinion on the penis is. Truly a debate for the ages.

one beautiful word: Boxxy

was Jesus Jewish?

The “I Hate Ezri Dax” thread [I boldly defended Ezri in this one]

Harry-Hermione ‘shippers vs. Ron-Hermione ‘shippers on a LiveJournal fanfic community. [I forget which side compared themselves to brave Holocaust survivors]

First of all, yes there was a The Bible category at fanfiction.net (it may still be there for all I know) and yes, there were NC-17 fics. Now, granted the Bible is full of sex, so ok. But no, this one was about Jesus and Judas and the real reason why Judas betrayed him.

I recall hearing legends of the GURPS forums (starting back when they were alt.rpg.gurps or something like that) having a decade-spanning flame-war over the TL of ‘fluffy biscuits’.

I’ve seen and participated in several massive flamewars over whether or not Avril Lavigne was punk rock or just a poser on the Linkin Park fanclub message board [the lameness of that sentence hurts me]

bitter, insulting arguments about belief in the existence of Bigfoot

One time, on another forum, I suggested that use of the term “raghead” didn’t elevate the level of discourse in a conversation about US foreign policy. My life was threatened.


One thought on “WRONG on the Internet!

  1. Tyler says:

    I don’t get it. I just don’t. My buttons have never been pushed in such a way that I lash out at someone. I want to sometimes, usually because someone’s done something first, but those are the occasions when I just stop reading the thread for a while

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