Flaming (online fighting) is Cyberbullying!

It occurs when someone posts about or directly sends insults, name-calling, displays verbal hostility and profanity to their target. Flaming is similar to trolling, but will usually be a more direct attack on a victim to draw them into online fights and is often as a result of a heated difference of opinions on a topic, and eventually becomes childish bickering. Adding fuel to fire.

It is particularly common when the discussion involves hot topics, like politics, lifestyle choices even religion but not limited to these. Flaming is also common on YouTube, where blatant bigotry and hate is spread throughout the comment thread on videos. People are happy to ridicule and verbally attack others on YouTube over minor things like differences in music tastes or an approval of a movie.

As we heard yesterday, where a repeat flamer who regularly attacks others as a habit, we refer to that type of behaviour as Trolling.

We CAN help keep flame wars under control – by being a good digital citizen: Don’t flame others, and if you are flamed, don’t respond. It’s like arguing with a drunk person at a soccer match – Your input will never be heard or agreed to.

If you feel you’ve been flamed in a forum, make your complaint public to the entire forum.

  • Make sure that you understand the situation completely – no guessing – be sure of your facts.
  • Respond politely & calmly to all comments.
  • Send your message to the flamer and be done with it. In other words, take swift action and leave the thread quickly, no matter what is said next.
  • Be careful about any responses you may get. Do not feel the need to explain the full background of position and your right to be a part of the community, and your entire life history. A flamer will ask you for all that and more. Don’t get sucked in. If he writes to you to seek more information, just refer him back to your original note and say that is all you have to say on the matter. What a flamer wants is not resolution of the issue, but rather, a fight.
  • Don’t entertain this kind of conversation. Don’t play that game. It’s not worth it.
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