Netiquette Banner Netiquette, by Virginia Shea, page 75

    sysadmin's time just because someone on his/her system was having a bad day.

  • 5. Send a chilly note to the miscreant. Kay Klier's version is "Your post to rec.pets.cats was inappropriate to this news group. Please do not post similar material here again." Kay often receives an apologetic reply to this note. Other times, the flamer simply disappears from the newsgroup. Occasionally, someone will reply abusively. If that happens, you can forward the reply to the writer's system administrator and ask to have the person gently reminded of proper network behavior.

Netiquette recommends solution 5 (above) for several reasons:

  • It always feels better to take action.
  • As world events demonstrate, ignoring those who are childishly screaming for attention doesn't always make them stop. Better to gently point out the error of their ways; at least you tried.

The varieties of flaming experience

Flames tend to proceed along predictable patterns. That is, the same flames are repeated over and over again in different forums and at different times. Below are some classic flames.

The Spelling Flame

It happens every day. Someone misspells a word in a public message. One or more people absolutely must publicly correct the error. Judging from the number of times this happens, there seem to be millions of high school English teacher wannabes in cyberspace. Ironically, spelling flames nearly always contain spelling errors.

Spelling flames are bad Netiquette. If you feel absolutely compelled to correct someone's spelling or grammar, do so via private email. Keep in mind that English is not the first language of many people on the Internet.

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