Peeps were hatin' on it 'fore I left my comment"
There is something about the anonymous nature of the Internet that makes people behave
in ways that they wouldn't when they're face-to-face with other people. What starts as a minor disagreement like "how to ship
two minor characters," or "what constitutes canon
," escalates until the users are insulting each other, flinging expletives and profanities and shouting at the top of their virtual lungs. Inevitably, someone will be compared to Hitler
. Also inevitably, the Internet Tough Guy
will get involved, resulting in legal threats (anything from DMCA takedowns and people trying to drag the legal staff of people or businesses involved into the flame war to often hilariously misspelled
accusations of "defamation" and even possibly an actual Frivolous Lawsuit
), and sometimes even actual threats of violence or Real Life
After a time, the flames may abate, but usually more because of exhaustion than anyone actually getting a point across. Once everyone has recovered their stamina, all it takes is one innocent (or not-so-innocent
) person bringing the subject up to start things all over again
. In even worse cases, people insist on taking the Flame War
or their grievances from old flame wars to the people once involved elsewhere,
or seek to get uninvolved people involved and taking a side, which is why This Very Wiki
and some other sites have strict rules against importing or exporting drama.
In fandom related communities, a lot of the flame wars are the result of a Broken Base
, Fandom Rivalry
, Fandom Heresy
, or other Fan Dumb
behavior — which, in turn, is the result of people regarding the fandom as Serious Business
. In a way, it can be even more bothersome than dealing with trolls
who come onto the community to bash the entire fandom. Sometimes a fandom Flame War can reach such levels that it becomes a Holy War
, a massive, prolonged battle of insults. The Console Wars and PC vs. Mac debate are good examples of these prolonged, though rare, wars.
God help you if you actually start discussing politics or religion
See Misplaced Nationalism
for a specific form. See also Internet Backdraft
Particularly common causes:
Anyone got popcorn?