Remembering the 90s flame wars: a simpler time of cyberbullying
Stephanie Buck

This is quite possibly the worst researched article I’ve read since… well, probably at least a day or two. If you want a more accurate history of Usenet flame wars look up “Usenet” and “Meow Wars” on Encyclopedia Dramatica.

From ED’s article on Usenet…

“On Usenet it’s impossible to actually ban anyone… ever. As such verbally sparring on Usenet is often dumbed down to the point of simply trying to get the last post in and generally spamming the ever living shit out of everything not nailed down. At its best it tries to be condescendingly clever, with the person who has the most creatively cutting commentary being the perceived winner of the one who winds up “spanked”.

Since no one can ever be banned though, for anything, flaming on Usenet is often less about trolling or antagonizing people and more a way of life. Most Usenet regulars are completely desensitized to flaming, to the point where even the harshest of insults and invective attacks won’t penetrate their insanely thick skin. If your purpose in flaming on Usenet is ever to actually try and make someone feel bad… boy you sure fucked the wrong little red writing whore, cause yer gonna get self-inflicted dick blisters in the worst way imaginable.

Ultimately flaming on Usenet should be considered a form of performance art and a cultural eccentricity born of a ban-hammer free flavor of social media. Oldbie Usenet regulars often have a lot of trouble adjusting to other social media platforms, which have become rife with overly sensitive little snitty snowflakes who completely lose their shit at the drop of a single F-bomb.”

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