Online Nastiness – The Result of

David Pogue has another post about online etiquette, or the lack of it, and a reader supplies a perfect term describing the underlying cause of quite a bit of online nastiness. As in,

“It’s called ‘’ Usage: ‘You sure have a lot of I bet you can’t come here and say it to my face.”

How many times have you wondered if the person making that rude remark would have said it had he been standing in front of you? How many times have you wondered if some people are rude online because that’s the only place they can get away with it?


  1. Hehe have you ever visited gaming forums? Some absolutely classic levels of flaming and abuse! ;) The irony is that although most of it seems child-like, it in fact comes from mid-30 year olds who spend 14 hours a day playing games / trolling boards.

    I once saw an example of a “teenage girl” on a gaming forum, who for TWO YEARS had the community believing “her” and a plethora of mad stories she would come up with (some really sick stuff – every few months there would be stuff like “her parents died in a car crash”).

    Someone eventually did a little detective work and found her MSN profile – “she” turned out to be a 30-something male cross dresser who was just messing around with the community “for a laugh”.

    I don’t know what worries me more – the abuse that some people come out with over the Internet, or the brief glimpses into the really sick psyches of some of these folks!


  2. DG

    I remmember back in the Prodigy chat and BBS days, that there always seemed to be someone that was committing suicide, the community would rally for support, the person would be ‘saved’, and then a few months later…

    And then there were the people that periodically announced that ‘they were leaving chat forever’. Followed by the community outpourings of how wonderful that person was, please don’t go, etc.

    Usenet flamefests were always interesting. My memory may be imperfect, but I recall some wit being involved. Now it seems it’s just nassty name-calling.

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