Have you ever had commenters to your blog who were rude, clueless, out to pick a fight, or socially inept in some other way? Well, I’ve got a website for you. It’s called Flame Warriors and was created by Mike Reed. Mike is an illustrator who took on the task of “caricaturing the chief antagonists” in a flame war a number of years ago. He could see that flamers (a.k.a. internet trolls) engaged in certain predictable tactics that allowed them to be categorized. He has illustrated dozens of these Flame Warriors and written descriptions of them on his website.
I came to Flame Warriors through the Dangerous Intersection blog. Erich Vieth, chief keeper of this blog, has been having difficulty with a particularly egregious flamer, one I’d put into Reed’s “Deacon” category. (I’m not going to name the guy, but you’ll be able to spot him in the comments section of this post and this post.) The tenor of the Deacon’s comments got so bad that Erich had to institute a “No Preaching” comment policy in order to bring order back to his blog.
On Flame Warriors, Mike has put out a call for people to identify other types of flamers that don’t already appear on his list. So far, he’s received hundreds of suggestions for new Flame Warriors. That’s a lot of flamers. The beauty of the site is that by parodying rotten commenters, it brings them down several notches and makes them less scary. As I read through the descriptions, I couldn’t help but wonder if I met any of the definitions, even just a little. Eagle Scout, Fanboy, Lurker, and Pinko resonated. When I read the definition for Kung-Fu Master, I knew I had found a description of my husband’s commenting tendencies. He has a habit of shutting up other flamers by writing responses that are succinct, well-thought, and undeniably logical, usually mixing them with humor. Oh, to have that ability at my disposal when I need it! [Sigh.]
What about you? Do you think that any of your commenting habits (on forums, blogs, etc.) put you into any of the existing Flame Warrior categories?