I have been using the internet since it was a geek-only text-based bulletin board thing on Compuserve. Forums were intended to provide a source of real human information, where experts could interact with amateurs, perhaps. They are hardly that anymore.
I visit a lot of forums. Writing forums, DIY forums, handgun forums, hunting forums, consumer forums, investment, food and cooking, geek, gaming, a broad spectrum. Every one of them has a subset of assholes, trolls that frequent the forum, always ready with a snide comment or personal attack.
These shitheads never provide assistance or even consider the question. If they are not pissed off because the poster has not got 10,000 messages under their belt, they will pick some semantic or technical detail and slam the poster because of that.
These seem to be on all forums, and they usually number between 6 and 12; they seem to always be online. Their lives are filled with negativity. I call them Forum Anti-Response Trolls, FART’s.
I will provide an example. On a Handyman, Do-It-Yourself forum, a newbie posts a question: I am trying to build a deck. Should I use screws or nails? A troll answers almost immediately, a user with thousands of postingst: “You idiot. If you don’t know this basic element, what are you doing trying to build a deck? You need to go learn how to build a deck before you come here with your ignorance.”
This troll could have said something about ‘go to this site and you will see material lists and basic construction techniques’. But instead of even addressing the question, they attacked the questioner. I mean, this person is attempting to follow their precept, and build the thing himself instead of having it built. But that seems to be ignored by the FART. These people would not do this without anonymity.
I am concerned that between the FART’s and the crooks, the internet will be destroyed. It is already a dangerous and extremely irritating place. Maybe normal people should start offering to meet these people IRL and beat the shit out of them periodically. Just an idea.