The Internet: Part 4 (arguing)

argue_compyNothin’ to do today?

Head on over to your favorite Robocop 3 Fan Fiction Online Forum or the comments section on the Pictures of People Wearing Cat Sweaters blog and fire off a few controversial messages. Time for a good ol’ fashioned internet argument.

Try to pick topics that people are passionate about. Politics are always a no-brainer, but there’s no need to limit yourself. This isn’t debate club, it’s the internet. Try out some personal attacks. I suppose you could even pick a fight concerning the content of the actual post, if you need to.

Claim that any photograph has been photoshopped, unless of course the purpose of the original post was to claim the image was photoshopped poorly. Then, claim it wasn’t, and that it could easily happen in real life.

Check back frequently to see if anyone has challenged your assertions. Usually, I just stay on the site, and hit refresh once every 3 to 4 seconds.

Dump all of your resources into this fight. Make diagrams, cite your sources, research and link to others who can back you up. Or you can just write really long messages and lots of them. Just get concerned with winning and convince yourself it’s important. If you fail in this step, you’re not wasting time, you’re just a troll, which really takes no time whatsoever.

Try a point-by-point refutation. For those not familiar with this method, it’s infuriating and possibly the easiest way to escalate any argument rapidly out of control. All you need to do is copy the entire text of someone’s message and insert a comment after each sentence refuting the sentence. Then the replier has to refute your refutations, making the thread grow exponentially. It transforms any argument into multiple arguments, which each need to be addressed with the same effort as the first, basically pushing the time count towards infinity (or at least until both parties are typing obscenities in all caps).

Misunderstand, and overreact. This is the ultimate key to any good online tussle. Users can’t see each other, which both depersonalizes the opponent, and obscures attempts at sarcasm. It’s a very good combination for producing endless vitriolic chatter.

If all else fails, attack their grammar. If you can do this while using improper grammar yourself, you can be confident of an immediate reply.

Just remember, if you’re doing it right, no one will change their minds, and the only thing that’ll be accomplished is further arguing. And the best part is, even if you mess up and produce a convincing, poignant and thoughtful argument, it doesn’t matter, because nobody cares what some guy named BuffyLvr87 says in the thread about Tulsa’s biggest turnip.

The weekwasters of the world owe a lot to internet forums. Never has there been an environment that better promotes arguments while ensuring their pointlessness. You think otherwise? Prove it, jerk.

4 Responses to “The Internet: Part 4 (arguing)”

  1. I don’t think picking a fight about the content of a post online is appropiate.

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