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Trolling, rudeness, and a lack of manners

What is it about the internet that causes some people to act like it is suddenly okay to be rude, demeaning, or to speak/write/act in a way that would otherwise be obviously unacceptable in any human society?

I don’t actually expect an answer. I just needed to vent.


  1. Steve Pearce

    I witnessed such trolling just a few moments ago in #ubuntu-uk. It is totally unnecessary and in many cases it is an act of bullying.

    This behaviour is on the rise also. It is very noticeable on popular user-contribution based sites such as Digg and Youtube.

    Some people really need to grow up.

  2. I think it has to do with anonymity. For most people, that does nothing. But for a small handful of seemingly normal-in-real-life people, it brings out some kind of weird typing demon.

  3. Note to all: click A.Y. Siu’s name in his comment and read a wonderfully thought out blog post he made on the topic a while back. 🙂

  4. Tiago Faria

    It’s getting worst by the day, and I it’s getting harder to ignore this people by the second.

    Unfortunately I don’t see it getting any better, so I’m changing the way I use things like IRC, blogs and/or forums.

  5. jdong

    I think A.Y. Siu hit the nail on the head… It seems to be some aspect of anonymity that makes people feel that they are no longer held accountable for their actions, and as a result should behave like an uncivilized jerk.


    My screen name says it all.

  7. This site requests an email address from anyone posting a comment. Those who use real email addresses (usually that I recognize, even if I don’t know the person directly) almost always post in a kind, gentle, and reasonable manner.

    Those who don’t always use fake addresses.


  8. Joeb454

    OMG i cAn’T belive u n00b….

    I’m just kidding, it really gets on my nerves, because 99.9743% of the time, there’s absolutely no need for it.

  9. nnonix

    A glimpse into a hard truth. Too many people regulate their behavior based on how likely they are to be punched in the nose.

  10. Another hard truth: some people deserve to be punched in the nose, know it, and choose to hide behind anonymity.

  11. Sveinung

    There are a lot of factors not mentioned here. Many take stuff they read on the Internet in the worst possible meaning. (One reason for this can be that you don’t see and hear the person that speaks, so the hints of what is meant is gong) It’s easier to write in a way that people take in the worst possible meaning. (One reason is that you don’t see the face of your audience so you can’t tell how they react) Another is that people have different levels of tolerance for what they will say, how they will say it and when/where than you and your friends. If you don’t believe me go talk to Fred Phelps.

  12. CombatWombat

    Hiding behind anonymity is cowardice. If we are too afraid to let others know what we are about, then why would they care what we say?

    I like your blog Matthew. Keep up the good work B-D

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