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Flaming (also known as bashing) is hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. Flaming usually occurs in the social context of a discussion board, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), Usenet, by e-mail or on Video-sharing websites. It is usually the result of the discussion of heated real-world issues like politics, sports, religion, and philosophy, or of issues that polarise subpopulations. For example, the perennial debate between users of Windows and competing operating systems such as Mac OS, users of Intel and AMD processors, and users of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 video game systems, often escalates into a "flame war" (back-and-forth flaming between sides in a debate). Internet trolls frequently set out to incite flame wars for the sole purpose of offending or irritating other posters.

Jay Forrester, in discussing participants' internal modeling of a discussion, says:

Mental models are fuzzy, incomplete, and imprecisely stated. Furthermore, within a single individual, mental models change with time, even during the flow of a single conversation. The human mind assembles a few relationships to fit the context of a discussion. As debate shifts, so do the mental models. Even when only a single topic is being discussed, each participant in a conversation employs a different mental model to interpret the subject. Fundamental assumptions differ but are never brought into the open. Goals are different but left unstated. It is little wonder that compromise takes so long. And even when consensus is reached, the underlying assumptions may be fallacies that lead to laws and programs that fail. The human mind is not adapted to understanding correctly the consequences implied by a mental model. A mental model may be correct in structure and assumptions but, even so, the human mind--either individually or as a group consensus--is apt to draw the wrong implications for the future.[1]

Flaming on the Internet started in the Usenet hierarchies (although it was known to occur in the WWIVnet and FidoNet computer networks as well).[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Jay W. Forrester (1971). "Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems". MIT System Dynamics in Education Project. p. 4. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 

Further reading

  • Kirschner, Paul A.; et al.. Visualizing Argumentation: Software Tools for Collaborative and Educational Sense-making. London: Springer. ISBN 1852336641. 

External links

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