Internet Bullies: The Ugly Truth About Online Forums And How Business Owners Can Stop The Verbal Abuse

Written by Milana Nastetskaya

"The Internet is an ideal environment forrepparttar bully andrepparttar 119064 self-righteous - you can attack personally without being personally in front ofrepparttar 119065 victim. The flame is an unavoidable result of one-to-one communication that isn't face-to-face..." Client Help Desk ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A woman posted a question asking for help. When she returned, her post was under a cruel attack by other forum users trying to destroy her reputation, her business and her ambition. Unusual? Not at all.

The truth is, personal attacks happen onrepparttar 119066 Internet forums every day. Thousands of forum users suffer from verbal abuse each time they are trying to ask for advice. Many times you don't care about such episodes. Until it happens to you. And now your name or business is under a threat.

Why do people attack on forums? Many times it is because they have a strong opinion about a subject, and want it to be heard. But it only takes one such post to have others jump in and turn an innocent question into an ugly war that is very difficult to stop.

There is a great diversity of views online - many times I am surprised how different people really are in tastes, opinions and reaction! The one reason for debates turning into flame wars is that many people enter a discussion ONLY when they disagree and want to express their opinion. Many people will find a forum boring if everyone agrees. Controversial forums are much more fun and attractive to inquisitive minds ofrepparttar 119067 online users.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Can anyone be attacked onrepparttar 119068 forum? Absolutely! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I did a search onrepparttar 119069 Internet looking for articles onrepparttar 119070 subject of "flame wars", I found hundreds of forum messages instead. People are trying to fight flame wars. They complain and ask others to stop. Yet, no solution has been found.

Flaming does not only occur on forums. Discussion groups have their own problem - "trolls", a common term for a newsgroup bully. Most newsgroups moderators recommend ignoring trolls who once in a while spoilrepparttar 119071 discussion with their irellevant and abusive messages.

Sadly, people want "blood". Someone even created a discussion group called alt.flame. It is a forum for every bully that you ever met in your school and if you decide to join, you are certainly not going to be called a "friend". Prepare to be crushed and humiliated. This group has been specifically created for flame wars and does not claim to be intellectual or informative.

Many forum users agree that a lot of good information and solid advice is missed due torepparttar 119072 misrepresentation. You start paying attention torepparttar 119073 WAY it is written instead of WHAT it actually says.

The Pew Research Center in their December 1998 survey showed that 45% of online users communicate with other people through online forums, discussion lists and chat groups. 5% of them post every day, and 17% post several times a week.

Online communication has turned our world around by allowing people of all cultures, abilities and means to feel equal and freely express their views. Yet it let out those who thrive on anonymity, abuse and pain. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Are There Solutions? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While there no fool-proof solutions have been found, there are ways to stop or avoid a flame war.

1.In my interview with Dave Brzegowski who is handling abuse reports for Epix Internet Services, I found out that you may report such an attack torepparttar 119074 ISP (Internet Service Provider) of repparttar 119075 attacker which you can identify by their e-mail address. Such incidents are thoroughly investigated before any action takes place.

2. One way to minimizerepparttar 119076 number of such attacks is to ask users to register. Every user will need his own ID and password to be able to post. Forum owners, however, are worried that traffic to their web site will drop because people don't like to go throughrepparttar 119077 registration process.

3. If forum owners are too busy to keep an eye on their forums, a good moderator is a solution. Of course, not too many people are willing to volunteer their time moderating forums, but it is a good chance for them to get their names out, and develop a relationship with their potential customers.

4. Do you know if you are a "forum bully?" There is a good chance that you don't realize that your posts might make others feel angry and upset. The fact is, you don't really feel that a message sounds harsh until it is directed toward you. So before you press "Send", read what you wrote. Use a lot of smiley faces (:-). Be careful how you phrase things and capitalize your words. Try to sound helpful rather than criticizing. State facts rather than emotions. 5. Moderators agree that they are too busy to catch every such attack. It is also hard to drawrepparttar 119078 line between an attack and a strongly opinionated message. Who should decide? Moderators. The fairness of moderators, though, is totally subjective. Some forum users expressed an opinion that moderators should be voted in and dismissed publicly. Ifrepparttar 119079 majority agrees that this moderator is not doing a good job of moderating and being objective while removing attacks on others, he or she should be replaced by someone who is known to be fair. Of course, all ofrepparttar 119080 above is completely up torepparttar 119081 forum owner.

Who Will Become Wealthy in the Information Age?

Written by Michael Southon

As you know, we're now well and truly inrepparttar Information Age. It began about 10 years ago. In fact, many economists say it began in 1989, withrepparttar 119063 Fall ofrepparttar 119064 Berlin Wall (andrepparttar 119065 start ofrepparttar 119066 World Wide Web).

To understand who will become wealthy inrepparttar 119067 Information Age, first we need to understand howrepparttar 119068 Information Age differs fromrepparttar 119069 Industrial Age (born about 1860, died about 1989).

In fact, let's get a complete overview and go back torepparttar 119070 Agrarian Age.

Inrepparttar 119071 Agrarian Age, society was basically divided into two classes:repparttar 119072 landowners andrepparttar 119073 people who worked onrepparttar 119074 land (the serfs). If you were a serf, there wasn't much you could do about it: land-ownership passed down through families and you were stuck withrepparttar 119075 status you were born into.

Whenrepparttar 119076 Industrial Age arrived, everything changed: it was no longer agriculture that generated most ofrepparttar 119077 wealth, but manufacturing. Suddenly, land was no longerrepparttar 119078 key to wealth. A factory occupied far less land than a sheep farm or a wheat farm.

Withrepparttar 119079 Industrial Age came a new kind of wealthy person:repparttar 119080 self-made businessman. Wealth no longer depended on land-ownership andrepparttar 119081 family you were born into. Business acumen and factories were creating a new class of wealthy person. But it still required enormous capital to build a factory and start a business.

Then camerepparttar 119082 World Wide Web (in about 1989) and globalization. Suddenly, everything changed again.

Factories (or real estate) were no longer necessary to run a business. Anyone with a website could start a business. The barriers to wealth that existed inrepparttar 119083 Agrarian Age andrepparttar 119084 Industrial Age were completely gone. People who could never have dreamed of owning their own business were making millions from their kitchen table.

Of course,repparttar 119085 Information Revolution didn't begin in 1989.

It began in 1444 when Gutenberg inventedrepparttar 119086 printing press in Mainz, Germany.

Butrepparttar 119087 printing press (newspapers, magazines, paperbacks) belonged torepparttar 119088 Industrial Age, notrepparttar 119089 Information Age.

The printing press is a 'one-to-many' technology. The Internet is a 'many-to-many' technology. And that was what changed in 1989.

The Industrial Age was about centralization and control. The Information Age is about de-centralization and no control. No government and no media magnate controlsrepparttar 119090 Internet. This isrepparttar 119091 crucial thing to understand aboutrepparttar 119092 Information Age.

As we moved fromrepparttar 119093 Agrarian Age throughrepparttar 119094 Industrial Age torepparttar 119095 Information Age, there's been a steady collapse ofrepparttar 119096 barriers that kept one section of society wealthy andrepparttar 119097 other section poor.

Inrepparttar 119098 Information Age, literally anyone can become wealthy.

So now that we have a clearer picture of howrepparttar 119099 Information Age differs fromrepparttar 119100 Industrial Age, let's ask that question again: 'Who will become wealthy inrepparttar 119101 Information Age?':

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