Talk:Flaming (Internet)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Internet culture (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Internet culture, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of internet culture on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Problem with the section named "Examples of flaming"[edit]

It fails to mention that vim is the best text editor, if you know what I mean ;)

09:52, 4 April 2012 (UTC)~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Totally Wrong from a 15 year internet user[edit]

More to the point, how is it that flamers are not considered trolls? I see no logical justification for the delineation that is made, and this article seems to be filled with nothing more than patent falsehoods and trolling itself.( (talk) 13:53, 21 April 2011 (UTC))

Wrong From the Gitgo[edit]

The term is not limited to the internet! It is common to hear "my boss was flaming about the screw-up" or "guy at the next table flaming at the waitress". And it doesn't even mean an argument per se, just being loud. "Limbaugh flaming about the Dems" or "guy on the corner flaming about Jesus" are equally plausible.

If anything, I would say I'd be more inclined to use "troll" for the internet-only sense. Flaming is very much a realworld term. (talk) 01:11, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Where's the "Holy Wars" section??[edit]

Seriously?! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

"Holy Wars" link[edit]

While mildly hilarious, I do not think that "perennial debates between users of competing operating systems" should be linked to Holy War; It is not only unprofessional, but it would also give the wrong idea to those unfamiliar with the intensity of actual "operating system wars". I would suggest linking this statement to a more relevant article, such as Operating system advocacy or Comparison of operating systems, or even removing the link altogether. (talk) 19:53, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

Article does not support the argument that cites it as evidence[edit]

The article in does not say anything about "deeper social or psychological weaknesses" or "lack of exposure to a broader spectrum of disciplines that result in self-control issues." And I don't know what "a broader spectrum of disciplines" would mean in this case. Instead, the article cites two factors: First, egocentrism, or the inability to see things from others' perspective, and, second, the way that the very nature of online interactions can be conducive to misunderstandings and provide the shelter of anonymity or at least distance which can allow people to be more aggressive than they might be in person. I move to delete the sentence, but keeping the reference and changing the wording of the sentence to better reflect the article's content. ( (talk) 18:37, 2 April 2009 (UTC)).


No sooner did I get this up than people start changing it. But thanks, my feeble attempts to define the verb "to flame" have fairly been dehahaleted.

Is it suspicious that this guy doesn't have a user name or a date tag or something with his comment? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:29, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Unique or Not?[edit]

"Electronic communications do not easily transmit facial expressions or voice intonations which may serve to moderate the tone of a message": people always say this sort of thing, but it is essentially iditoic. Printed, or, usually, handwritten (it would be very rare that the handwriting could give someone an idea as to the "tone") text (in books and magazines, in letters, and so forth) has the same characteristics. To pretend this is something unqiue to electronic media is ridiculous. I think this article should be edited accordingly. --Daniel C. Boyer 16:28, 27 Sep 2003 (UTC)

You can't have a conversation in a book. Martin 17:08, 27 Sep 2003 (UTC)
It doesn't matter; the one-way message is subject to the same misinterpretations about tone. And in real correspondence there is no difference (with possible, very subtle exceptions) in the possibility of misinterpretation as in e-mail. I stand by what I wrote. --Daniel C. Boyer 18:19, 27 Sep 2003 (UTC)
You could argue then that it's not a single misunderstanding that gives electronic media this problem. You could instead say that the main cause of the problem is the speed of reply and commentary. I mean, we are talking about dense amounts of information being exchanged at rates comparable with face-to-face conversations -- it's not something we've had experience in until (relatively) recently.--T-Boy 17:12, 9 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Exactly; the 'feedback loop' is what creates the heat and anger; that's where Daniel C. Boyer's book analogy falls down. Heenan73 13:56, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Also, most books and magazines are written by (somewhat) skilled writers and editors who carefully fine-tune what's written so that it expresses the message correctly. Most people who communicate electronically aren't usually the greatest writers, so messages are generally whipped up in a few minutes and not closely edited, thus making it easier to misunderstand tone. Mole 13:48, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Computer mediated text has the same characteristics as typed media (except handwritten notes, where the structure of the writing can give the reader some context). Consider the scenario of people passing type-written notes under a closed door. The same stuff happens; but the author of the original quote above wrote especially for CMC (computer mediated communication). This really does not mean that the same couldn't be said about hard-copy text; but the point is rather trivial. —Kanodin 00:15, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Trivial is right. The metaphor is not the issue at hand. The main point here was that written language is less personal than a face to face conversation and CMC can make it difficult to adequately express thoughts. Conchobhar II (talk) 21:39, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Is fag-flaming about fags or about flaming?[edit]

Removed POV addition to article. POV segment added below: Flynn aka Brent aka Dopeman is a total retard and the joke of flaming community.


Would it be a better idea to separate 'flaming' in its computer forum context and 'flaming' in reference to homosexuality?--T-Boy 04:45, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I agree; placing these two topics side-by-side is at best confusing. I've moved the homosexual flaming link to the disambiguity page - shouldn't this item be added to homosexuality or a related page, where I'm sure it will be absorbed appropriately?. This appears to me to be more a sub-set of 'handbags at dawn' than a spcial case of flaming, but I may have missed something ... Heenan73 13:45, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Favorite Flame subjects[edit]

Flynn aka Brent aka Dopeman uses this term as they are known fag flamers. The late Scott Schmidt aka Stray Cat of Maineville Ohio was probably the most famous fag lamer of all. He could be found at such prominent sites as, social and spamming and trolling for young boys. He was jailed in 2005 where he died of aids a year later


Can it be fairly said that the origins of the word are likely the result of a "flame" icon appearing next to active and long threads in message boards (to indicate the thread is "hot") ? Or someone know of a documented "first-use?". — Ben 23:19, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

this is an interesting post --Froth 01:01, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I can give a firsthand verification that Erik Fair, the Internet Admin at Apple Computer (probably not his formal title) referred to "flaming" and "flame wars" on USENET at a weekly informal lunch group at a South Indian restaurant in Sunnyvale in 1986. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:37, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

I am of that era, and can confirm that we were using it in the early 80s, both online and in the real world. The term meant either loud/argumentative -- as we're discussing here -- or flamboyant/gay. We went out of our way to separate the two meanings, but I actually think they were ultimately related. flamboyant -> loud/noisy/showy -> loud/argumentative.
And I think the realworld term actually came first. Any flame "icon" was surely grafted onto the concept after the fact.
I'd look for cites like "guy at my frat flaming about Zeppelin" before I'd spend much time looking for internet origins. And I'd start looking in the late 70s.
EDIT: Or I'd start looking in Froth's link up there!
LOL. Always late to the party! (talk) 01:27, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Tragedy of the Commons[edit]

"Flaming is one of a class of economic problems known as The Tragedy of the Commons, when a group holds a resource (in this case, communal attention), but each of the individual members has an incentive to overuse it." This should be sourced and attributed at the very least. Its hardly obvious or non-controversial - it looks like original research or commentary. The 'tragedy of the commons' theory is itself disputed.

That sounds pretty obvious to me. There's nothing wrong with a little expository commentary, and it's certainly not original research --Froth 00:58, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

The Cause of Many Flame Wars[edit]

This article from Slashdot (posted by CmdrTaco) may offer some explanation as to the origins of many Flame Wars.

The Secret Cause of Flame Wars

A possible cause of flaming could be to use it similar to old greek ostrakism (450 b.C.)as a means to fight too powerful and, or misbehaving citicens. With this instrument people could ban by election one person for 10 years. Of course in the times of the internet 10 years is too long, but perhaps 6 months? Das Internet eine globale Agora --- Sign your posts!

There is an entry that I moved from the introduction section down to the "causes" section:

  • It is noted that Internet users are more likely to flame online than insult others in the real world, as the latter can lead to embarrassment and physical altercations, which online "anonymity" can avoid. Others urge against flaming, citing that people on the other side "have feelings too."

This explanation is interesting and intuitive, but the information came with no citation. Unless someone knows a reliable source for this, I will delete it in a few days. Kanodin 08:56, 24 July 2007 (UTC)


The term "flamer", a common name for a flamethrower seems to redirect to this page. I think a redirect page should be created to streamline this.--Deepdesertfreman 19:28, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Lamerz -- No mention of adotf. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) . :) Dlohcierekim 19:11, 2 August 2006 (UTC) Bold text

Fixed some vandalism[edit]

Someone had changed a header to "Andrew Christie is a flamer". I fixed it.

--Sapphire Flame 17:05, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Is a personal attack always a flame?[edit]

"Similarly, a normal, non-flame message may have elements of a flame -- it may be hostile, for example -- but it is not a flame if it is seriously intended to advance the discussion."

My understanding is that a message is a flame if it contains a personal attack, even if other parts of the same message are seriously intended to advance the discussion. This sentence seems to say otherwise. I've looked elsewhere on the Web and, so far, haven't found any corroboration of the view quoted above, although there may be some I haven't found. Is my understanding different from the general understanding? If not, I suggest that this sentence be edited. Thanks for any help. James B. W. Bevis 17:27, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Flame Reviews[edit]

Flame reviews are different to the definition of a flame in a regular conversation. So I put in a sub-section about them. I've tried really hard not to be rude or opinionated so if you take it out, please tell me why... Also I moved 'Holy War'. Just a little bit. It feels like a subsection to a type of flame, not its own portion. 15:36, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Flaming is like the Special Olympics, even if you win, you're still retarded.[edit]

Is this vandalisim? I think that this is a little uncalled for, but is a good quote nonetheless :-). Should it be moved, or just erased altogether?

Colacadstink 15:44, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Let me take a look at this... Dacheatcode 00:26, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Since it refers to flamers, I think they deserve it. Harley Quinn hyenaholic 12:35, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Isn't this insulting to people in the special Olympics, many of whom are not retarded (and even if they are, most retarded people are probably nicer than most people you'll meet on the internet) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:24, 16 October 2014 (UTC)


I'm no good at editing Wikipedia pages, or what people really want to see form them, but I found this one random website whilst surfing the web that had this very long discussion, stemming from about 5 helpful comments and turning into a very intense flame war before the 10th comment. If you want to add it on as like an example or something, I enjoyed reading it because it escalated so quickly. However, I am not the owner of the page, nor associated with it in any way, shape, or form, so if you need permission, i'm not the one to go to. I just thought it'd be a good idea. The link is as follows: If you have any questions, or just want to flame me, you can e-mail me at 03:11, 16 March 2007 (UTC) Mitch

not capitalised?[edit]

Isn't "Internet" a proper noun? Why isn't it capitalised? Reginmund 21:36, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it should be capitalized. —Kanodin 23:56, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
And now it is. Only one of the many IP internetworks in the world is the singular, capital-I Internet, and that's the one that's relevant here. -- The Anome 00:05, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks The Anome. Maybe someday I will learn how to do that redirect trick. —Kanodin 00:17, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Daveman Rage-a-thon[edit]

Is this section really necessary? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Definition needs an overhaul[edit]

What a ludicrous definition for flames -> "Most often however, flames are angry or insulting messages transmitted by people who have strong feelings about a subject." The phrase "angry or" needs to go away. The key component to a flame is the ad hominem - and it doesn't matter if it's projected with anger, or if it comes from someone entirely unemotional who simply does not give a crap. I suggest a much simpler definition, like "flame is slang for a personal attack (ie. ad hominem)".


Flamewar is a disambiguation page with one other link on it: a transformers character. I think that the vast majority of people that search for flamewar will be looking for the Internet phenomenon. I propose moving this page to flamewar or redirecting that page here, and creating a {{Redirect|Flamewar (transformers)}} at the top of the page. Any objections or thoughts? Delldot on a public computer (talk) 06:45, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Important Definition Issue on the Article.[edit]


I think one important aspect of flaming that was not focused on, is the fact that in order to flame someone, or be the flamer, you must be the person that initiated the attack to begin with. Someone who responds to a 'flamer' in a controlled but aggressive manner, with facts and very clear information should not themselves be considered a flamer, simply for having some amount of self respect. It seems that in order to not be considered part of the flame issue that someone who is attacked must respond by acting weak and not sticking up for themselves. I think this is a dangerous practice and will lead the next generation of people into dangerous social behaviour. A measured amount of self respect is healthy and practical when asserting a strong point of view. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Neurological adaptations to stressors.[edit]

The quote from Jay points in the correct direction.

Groupies, group theory, within the context of ´something special´ and belonging within a specific hierarchy. Each group has it´s own detachment of flamers. Nethack flamers, big boys flamers, girl flamers, theological flamers, educational flamers, theoretical physics flamers, phd interdoctarate flamers within the context of higher education, meriat flavors of flames from quite a few detached sections.

In principle, flamers protect their vested interest in some personel arena´s. One in which they have made mighty expenditures of time and/or capitals in relation to their capacity to carry those expenditures. Usually they have been embarrashed and harashed at a young and tender age by those ´superior´ to themselves that alledge to ´know better´.

Some flaming is for fun, some for money, some for other sentiments. The average flamer is quite innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever except for their insatiable ability and apetite in protecting topics and entities for which they feel attachment and identification.

Flaming in social context is a standard tactic applied by those begruntled. The usual tactic is to create anonimous vocal utterings which seem to be undiscernable from the surrounding acoustics. The use of Kareoki techniques and the throwing of ones voice to harash or embarras. In public, used by criminal elements to prevent the disclosure of information, to discredit a witness, or to cause fear and irritation.

There are flames that appear not to be flames. Designed and structured in such a manner to cause irritation due an attack (from the targets perspective) on their personel worth and self-esteem. (Fractalhints (talk) 18:46, 5 January 2010 (UTC))

Flamers Are Trolls[edit]

Flamers are not "more subtle than their counterparts... known as trolls", they are trolls. Flaming is a subtle form of trolling. Sinse trolling as an art form has become mainstream, the more obvious trolls have become the object of attention rather than subtle ones who know what they are doing. Flamers are an example of trolls. Trolls being anyone who posts something on a forum, blog, YouTube video, Facebook page or any thing else with their main reason for posting to simply piss people off, ideally inciting a flame-war. The whole subject needs touching up, guys... just saying. Bumblefly1995 (talk) 01:24, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Flaming as a reaction to childhood bullying[edit]

One aspect of flame wars that I think should be noted is that often adults who experienced severe bullying as kids as the result of having been socially awkward for one reason or another, yet are very intelligent, often retreated into reading as a means of escape. Therefore, they have highly developed written language skills. The internet, therefore, becomes their utopian world as opposed to the dystopoian world of the playground of their youth. On the internet, by virtue of their formidable language skills, they can be “stars” as opposed to their disadvantage in personal encounters.

I am speaking here as the voice of experience and this is a consideration I have had to contend with myself. Although I have always prided myself on forums of never starting a flame war, I must confess that when some jerk has it was not without a measure of relish that I retaliated with a vengeance. I am not being arrogant in stating that few of the people I have encountered in such cyber situations have been able to cope with my written wrath. I have come to realize that such behavior on my part amounts to a form of bullying, even if it is not gratuitous. In such situations, retreat is always an option whereas with physical confrontations, that is not the case. Therefore, I have in recent times tried to show restraint and just let matters go rather than engaging in venomous retributions.HistoryBuff14 (talk) 13:43, 5 July 2012 (UTC)


Looking over the talk page offers proof that there is disagreement on the origin and even usage of the words in the article such as flaming and trolling. You can't write a whole article on Internet culture without first dealing with exactly what the terminology is that you are planning to use!

Should the intro explain that "flaming" is a slang term, or go into the word's origin, or explain that the origin is unclear?

Perhaps there's someone here who knows more about the best way to formally address the issue of these words and where they come from.

Conchobhar II (talk) 21:22, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

I completely agree this "Flaming (Internet)" article is merrily playing with semantics with legal terminology, likely providing a pathway for those using the slang terminology to forbid the use of Freedom of Speech or those honestly speaking-out. It's invented material also likely being utilized as an unofficial legal guide by persons or businesses, etc, promoting their own self interests. In other words, making-up their own law, instead of abiding by local, State and Federal laws. In other words, because the law won't lynch you, the person using this article as a reference now can lynch the person. (ie. In popular legal terminology, people can carry a very intense discussion or argument over the telephone and not be considered breaking the law, whereas a face to face discussion would be. Or, an honest person can bluntly state an honest statement without imminent fear of harm to themselves. Many factors to consider, as well as making common debating illegal.) Basically an article discussing where the line is between stating something informative and where something informative becomes provocative. The last paragraph stating the reason Flaming (Internet term) is not enforced by police (or considered proper legal terminology) based on lack of money, is also likely misguiding. The main likely reason there's no money for doing so, the article is too erratic for publishing into an US or US State law books, and likely going against the US First Amendment. Suggest the article be cited at the top as not conforming to standards of law, and should not be used as a legal reference. The current "Article contains original research (research without references)" is quite subtle in this regards. Albeit, it does give a reference of the slang terms commonly utilized within text forums, and not officially recognized by many legal books. I should note, I'm not a lawyer nor do I want to be. I just follow it. ;-) --roger (talk) 03:06, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
Performing some research on the references cited within this article, I find the quality of the references currently extremely questionable. Most local and States law books already provide more proper terminology, instead of describing an incident as flaming by slang terms. --roger (talk) 03:30, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

"Famous Flamers"[edit]

I'm being bold and deleting this section as it is unsourced. As an outside editor just walking through the article it reads like possible promotion, not a sourced statement. Anyone wants to revert, be my guest, but if you revert please do the kindness of sourcing the statement. LaughingVulcan 16:04, 14 August 2016 (UTC)