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WikiProject Internet culture (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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Articles for deletion This article was nominated for deletion recently. The result of the discussion was keep.

Jerry lavoie 20:08, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Christian Atkinson?[edit]

The article states: "For example Christian Atkinson (Jake from holloaks) is a Lurker." As far as I can tell, this is an incredibly esoteric reference, if not blatant vandalism. Is there any reason why it should stay in this article? 19:51, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Of course not. Yet, you expect anything to be truthful on here? Lol. Wikipedia has gone to sh1t. (talk) 05:08, 29 April 2008 (UTC)



  • "end of sentence." >>> "end of sentence". (It looks better. Is WP brittish or american? I think it should be the language of accessable, and I say as one that mostly communicates with americans even, that I find the american way harder to read, and as mentioned in the jargon file, that it's more logical - and even required, for logical writing)
  • added sections
  • "emphasized word" >>> emphasized word (because again, having a lot of quotes makes it harder to read, and bolding obviously emphasizes)
  • removed dual BBS link
  • added 3 buts to 1st sentence (Which sounds stupid, sorry. And this is my first major minor edit, so hey...)

-- 06:08, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Here is a proposal for some changes to this page. I would like to reorganize the layout of the page(page structure and information organization), add additional references/cite current information, and add additional information about lurkers from peer reviewed sources. Please let us know if you have any suggestions or things we should update. Below is the proposed page structure highlighting the new sections we would like to add.

New page structure (sections and subsections):

History section
Why people lurk section
Why do people lurk? subsection
Benefits of lurking subsection
Costs of lurking subsection
De-lurking and how lurkers are viewed section
Ethical implications section
Community factors section
See also section
References section
External links section

Jenno0101 (talk) 20:09, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Smart ass lurker?[edit]

The smart ass lurker section seems unencyclopedic to me. Thoughts? --lightspeedchick 02:12, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree, even though it's a fact worth stating. The phrase "smart ass" just seems out of place. Prgrmr@wrk 16:38, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, why not change it to Obnoxious Lurkers? -- 05:47, 18 April 2007 (UTC)


The recent deletion nomination (by me) resulted in several sources being named that may be of help for this article. User:Uncle G came up with ISBN 0735713332, which describes "Lurker mode" in Macromedia Flash UI components, where a user watches but does not interact; and ISBN 1852335327 which has an entire chapter, "Silent Participants: Getting to know lurkers better" on pages 110–132, on Usenet lurkers. (quoted from that user) After that I found two more sources that at least mention the term: ISBN 0634010123 and ISBN 0764544209. —Kncyu38 (talkcontribs) 02:22, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


Is this appropriately tagged a neologism? I have never heard of it, but I am not a lurker either. I have done a simple search according to my proposed rule for inclusion as a neologism, see search results, and the term falls between the rules to include or remove. Under the Computing definitions, especially this one, the term has been in use for a ten years.

Types of lukers[edit]

Some of the sections describing the different types of lurkers appear to be original research. Also, terms such as "Smart Ass Lurkers" and "Perverted Lurkers" sounds a bit unencyclopedic.

Yes, I added the Perverted Lurkers section. Now, I wonder if I should have put, "Sexually-Motivated Lurkers." That describes more the type of lurking as opposed to making a judgemental statement.

On Smart Ass Lurkers, maybe that should be changed to Obnoxious Lurkers or Trolling Lurkers. Or the section could be expanded a bit and retitled, Trolls As Lurkers.

The Starcraft Lurker is not relevant to the type of lurking described here. Maybe there needs to be a disambiguation page.-- 16:27, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Copyright violation[edit]

"The Lurkers Support Me in E-mail" belongs to Jo Walton, and should not be used without her permission. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 07:38, June 5, 2007

Thank you, Ms. TNH. Er... should be thanks ma'am? Contractions and all that? :-) --AnonEMouse (squeak) 19:58, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

In Pop Culture[edit]

I'm not sure if the contributors know this, but "lurker" as a word did not originate on the internet. "Lurk", as a verb meaning to "sneak", is first recorded circa 1300 AD. Therefor, not every instance of "lurker" is a reference to internet culture. In particular "lurker" as used by Lovecraft and other fantasy/occult source materials has nothing to do with the lurkers discussed on this page. The only two that might be a reference to forum lurkers is the babylon 5 one and "200 Lurkers". But I'd like to see a reference for the babylon 5 one because it seems way more likely that the homeless were called lurkers simply because they lurked around in the bottom of the station than that they in some metatphoric way resembled internet lurkers.-- (talk) 23:42, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually, there is proof. Joe Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5 actually posted to a message board that Babylon 5's "lurkers" are a direct reference to the internet forum/newsgroup "lurker." Reference: --Random Chaos, 16 April 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Greg is a fag?[edit]

What's that? vandalism there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:39, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

proposed image[edit]

Hello, I did this image and I want to donate it to wikipedia: it comes from the website. ceers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:28, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Query about Word-origin???[edit]

The Internet concept of "lurker" has obvious affinities with the characters of "lurkers" on the 1990s television series "Babylon 5" which started in 1993 (just as the Internet was getting off the ground) and which was the very very first TV series ever in human history to have an unofficial fan-driven web-site (or any kind of web-site fan or official for that matter). Now, it seems to me very likely that the Internet usage of the term "lurker" derives from the Babylon 5 television series, but I don't know of any documentation to prove it. I think any research on this would be a good idea. Can't put it in the article on just a hunch, WP:OR and all that stuff (and if I say "probably" than I think I'm violating WP:WEASEL). But itwould be a good idea to try to investigate this.--WickerGuy (talk) 19:22, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


" has the biggest percentage of lurkers of any forum on the web." WTF is this shit? First of all if it has such a high percentage of inactive users it probably means they're bot created accounts? Why else would anyone create an account? And then, how would we know they're the one with the biggest percentage? Looks like some shameless promotion to me. -- (talk) 02:34, 15 May 2009 (UTC)


Does anyone mind if I change the references in parentheses such as (Nonnecke & Preece 2000) to the more common <ref> style? (Qwertylurker (talk) 09:21, 17 May 2010 (UTC))

I will be updating the references to common wikipedia format by the end of November. Are there any objections to this change? Jenno0101 (talk) 19:57, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

IRC - Lurking; BBS - Leeching[edit]

The concept that this article discusses in the context of its history in internet culture, specifically with request to the pre-web days of BBS and usenet is not accurately characterized as "Lurking," but rather the related but distinct concept known as "Leeching." Whether that terminology was used at the time (in the mid-late 1980s and early 1990s) is irrelevant and a minutiae of internet cultural historical lexicon that would require so much investigation of obscure digital historical information that we will have to leave it to someone who writes a book about the subject. What we currently term "leeching" is a more accurate term to characterize the behavior of BBS users who did not actively contribute content.

In terms of a phenomenological origin, "Lurking" almost explicitly derives from the behavior of the silent, uninvolved, "voyeurs" of channels/servers on early chat protocols like IRC (which also predates the origin of the world wide web in the 1990s) as well as other later chat platforms. To "Lurk More" is to tell a new member of a channel to stay silent and wait for instructions or to learn through example. A synonym in the context of IRC is to "scroll up," which means to review the record of the channel for prior examples that might answer any questions or otherwise prevent a user from fumbling with commands or social faux pas. "Lurking on IRC" or "lurking in <specified channel/server>" are terms that have been used extensively since the early 1990s at the very least. From the standpoint of associating familiar or easily understandable behavior and terminology with the more abstract and esoteric concepts of computer/internet usage, "Lurking" is also most accurately associated with IRC. practically speaking, a user of IRC will join a server/channel.... and potentially do nothing but watch as other users communicate with one another. In many cases, this means joining a channel with potentially hundreds of other users, so that their presence is completely invisible and undetected. Such users are essentially literally "lurking in the shadows" as though they were someone standing in the periphery of a group of people talking, listening to everything they are talking about.19:19, 3 June 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)