Internet forums. You gotta love them. Somehow, no matter how nice the people, how much of a common interest they have, a forum will always end up in a flame war.
Its just the way it is.
People posting on there forget (or don’t care) that the recipients of their flaming, insults, anger and name calling are actual people too.
You wouldn’t have that kind of argument face to face. Well, you might, but after a smack in the teeth, you’d soon learn not to.
I think its the same thing that happens when driving. The level of detachment people get in their cars explains road rage and and the sometimes frankly disgraceful behaviour on the roads, and I think its this same detachment that allows perhaps normally nice people to hurl insults and act like petulant children on internet forums.
On Flickr, a photography forum/site thing, one of the groups I belong to, a group of people who are normally friends, there was an episode like this. It started innocently enough, some banter, some off-topic joking. All good fun. Then someone posted something fairly shitty. A caustic rebuke designed only to make people feel bad no matter what they tell themselves their reasons were. They do this a lot actually I’ve noticed, cutting one liners and then walk away, they never stay in the argument, just fuel on the fire and watch it unfold. And then it started, like a snowball down the hill. Name calling, escalated comments and some downright unnecessary behaviour. By long standing members of the group too, who really should know better.
So I’m over it. I didnt participate (who can be bothered) and am of a good mind not to ever again.