Idiots can be found everywhere in life and the Internet is no exception. The world wide web is rife with idiotic behaviour and for every lovely conversation with someone you’ve never met in Australia, you’ll have a stupid conversation with a jerk from parts unknown in your favourite chat rooms.
Flame wars are becoming more and more common and knowing the rules of engagement are the difference between a victorious success or a humiliating defeat. So, put the Rocky theme tune on, stick your Karate Kid bandana on your head, and start doing some push ups because we’re here to guide you on how you can fight the idiots in online chat rooms and win. Ding, Ding, round one.
Don’t throw the first punch
There’s a fine line between being the saviour of the chat room and becoming an aggressive bully. While getting into a “heated” conversation with someone you think is being mean or nasty is fine, throwing the first verbal punch makes you the aggressor and hence the idiot in this situation. Keep calm and wait for the right moment. It will come.
Be reasonable with your responses… until its time to not be
Just because somebody is being an idiot in an online chat room, doesn’t make it your responsibility to sort them out. You are not the chat room police, after all. Keep your responses to the point and reasonable in the first instance. Let the other chat room inhabitants see that you are the good guy in this situation, and that you are trying to use logic to sort out the problem. If the idiot sees the error of his or her ways, then great. If not, then the gloves can come off and you can unleash the fury.
Send them a private message
Humiliating someone with a public message for all to see is a sure-fire way to start a flame war. Assuming that we are still the good guys in this situation (we are, right?) getting into a fight is the our last resort. If you come across someone who you think needs to be “sorted out,” send them a private message detailing why you think they are being an idiot. Explain calmly what they need to stop doing and why. See how they respond. A private message is likely to attract a less aggressive and public response and may settle the situation without the need for Internet violence.
If they become too idiotic, report them
Sometimes a persons ideocracy is beyond bounds and dealing with them is just too much. All online chat rooms have a way to report users and their comments. Use it. Get them banned and make your chat room safe again for the world.
Ding, ding, final round…
At the end of the day, idiots are everywhere in life including Internet chat rooms. Dealing with them needs to be done in a measured way… at least initially. But remember once the gloves are off, anything goes.