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Question

31 Jan 2008

Internet forums bringing out the worst?
Hi CS,

I have been reading and participating in several of the forums over a period of time now, and it's amazing how one comment can sometimes set off a deluge of posts that are rude, insulting, discriminating and often juvenile. Do you think people are more likely to react like this because they are anonymous, or would these people react the same way in "real life"? The sad thing is that it makes a forum that is usually funny, interesting, caring and supportive, unpleasant to read and post on.

The other interesting thing is how people treat a forum as if it's a physical place, e.g. someone might be told on forum A to "go back to forum B where you belong". Perhaps we just don't have a vocabulary to deal with virtual spaces? But it does seem to make the forums more "real" in people's minds than they should be.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

HMm. |Leave this virtual space --- and return to the virtual space from which thou hast virtually come !"
I'm sure anonymity has a lot to do with it. Somehow, I can't picture these few sad individuals ( it doesn't require many of them to foul up a forum for everyone ) talking like that in the line at the till in CHeckers. I suspect that dweebs like "sloppyjie" are feeble and pathetic in real life. ( that message has been deleted, deservedly )
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