Friday, December 2

Hate, Revenge, Vendettas (Flame Wars Out Of Hand)

A few weeks ago, I did a bit of research into cyberstalking and promised to post on flame wars next. Sorry it took so long, but here is what I found on the subject of flame wars.

What is a flame war? Well a flame war is basically an argument that is online. Someone voices an opinion that another disagrees with and the fight is on. Name calling, threatening from both sides.

How does it differ from harassment and stalking? Well the key factor is that a flame war is two sided. Both parties are involved in the flaming and arguing. Both respond to each others mails, posts etc. Flame wars are easy to get into and often difficult to get out of. You want to express your opinion, you want the person to understand your side. You "want" to win the argument. But as is the case in real life often "turning the other cheek" and walking away is absolutely the best path to take. You really don't "know" the person your arguing with and can not predict how seriously this person will take the argument. Do you want this person to trace you to your home in order to win your point of view? Of course not. So be the bigger person and walk away.

What happens when you want to walk away and the other person won't let you? This is when a flame war becomes harassment and perhaps stalking. They may post continuously about you in a defamatory manner. Create a Web site about you or your group or go as far as tracing you and calling you at home or work or even coming to see you offline

When anger fuels the harassment and someone can't let go of that anger you are dealing with a potentially dangerous situation and you need to take action. Stop posting on the site of the flame war. Don't respond to provoking posts or e-mails. Block the person from messaging you and from sending you e-mails. Disappear online by changing your identity and if necessary your Internet Provider. Your safety is more important than the inconvenience of having to change your online identity.

As previously posted, we also have regular visitations from harasser stalkers and trolls. Not sure if that's you...

Harasser stalker: some stalker types like to be the centre of attention and may have an attention-seeking personality disorder; they may not be stalkers in the strict sense of the word but repeatedly pester anyone (especially anyone who is kind, vulnerable or inexperienced) who might be persuaded to pay them attention. If they exhibit symptoms of Munchausen Syndrome they may select a victim who they stalk by fabricating claims of harassment by this person against themselves.

Troll: The Troll's purpose is to be given more credibility than (s)he deserves, and to suck people into useless, pointless, never-ending, emotionally-draining, ranting discussions full of verbal loops and "word labyrinths", playing people against each other, hurting their feelings, and wasting their time and emotional energy.

Not sure you're a troll? A troll is...

Isn't it time for all of this to stop now? Don't you all have a life? Maybe you need a new hobby. Have you ever tried reading a book?

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