Top 10 Internet Flame Wars


Hello, stupid! If you weren’t such an idiot, you’d understand why you’re wrong about everything. But apparently you’re so retarded that you can’t even spell right. And also you’re fat.

Internet flame wars! It doesn’t seem to matter what topic is being discussed; almost anywhere you look you can expect to find people trading hostilities and slamming each other with uproarious and (usually) unsubstantiated accusations. Here are 10 flame wars I found that are sure to make you smile. If they don’t, then you are probably gay.

10. Joe Rogan vs. Kevin

On March 1, 2006, comedian and Fear Factor host Joe Rogan received the following message from a MySpace friend named Kevin: Joe Rogan, I hate you… you’re not funny…

Not the greatest way to make friends, but at least he was being honest. Rogan decided to have some fun and responded in kind: I love the fact that you need attention so bad that you had to email me that. That makes me feel happy 🙂 Enjoy your depression. —–

From there, both parties continued to toss a barrage of indignities back and forth. Kevin accused Joe of being a lame, unfunny sellout, even venturing to claim that he could “easily come up with a better stand-up routine” than Joe. In his responses, Joe bragged about his massive wealth while insinuating that Kevin as a fat, insecure douche bag and overall failure.

After Rogan posted the whole exchange on his MySpace page on March 2, it circled around various websites and incited some controversy. A few days later, Rogan said that Kevin had sent an email apologizing for the exchange – for what it’s worth, though, it looks to me like both Joe and Kevin thoroughly enjoyed their little flame war.

Link: Joe vs. Kevin Flame War

9. MINIX vs. Linux

MINIX vs Linux

In 1992 Andy Tanenbaum, computer science professor at Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit and creator of MINIX, began a debate on the Usenet group comp.os.minix with a post explaining why “LINUX is obsolete.” This assertion came only a few months after the first version of Linux was released, and launched a long and now-famous argument about kernel architecture. While not nearly as brutal as some flame wars out there, it’s still a classic example of Internet adversity.

Linux developer Linus Torvalds took it upon himself to respond the next day: Time for some serious flamefesting!

Re 1: you doing minix as a hobby – look at who makes money off minix, and who gives linux out for free.

Re 2: your job is being a professor and researcher: That’s one hell of a good excuse for some of the brain-damages of minix. I can only hope (and assume) that Amoeba doesn’t suck like minix does.

Among other things, Tanenbaum’s rejoinder contained the following: I still maintain the point that designing a monolithic kernel in 1991 is a fundamental error. Be thankful you are not my student. You would not get a high grade for such a design 🙂

Torvalds posted an apology less than two hours later, saying he was done with the debate. Then he jumped right back in the very next day! For an even better Torvalds flame, check out this post he made calling GNOME developers “interface nazis.”

Link: MINIX vs. Linux Flame War

8. Kevin Smith vs. Karl Trale

Clerks II, the sequel to Kevin Smith’s 1994 comedy hit Clerks, received mixed reviews from film critics and became the subject of a wonderful flame war on the Rotten Tomatoes forum. Two days after Clerks II hit theaters, a user called boxofficemojo planted a thread entitled “CLERKS 2 flops! It’s official! 9 million OPENING weekend.”

When the user Movie God challenged the claim that the film had flopped, boxofficemojo came back and called him a “total gullible idiot” and a “liar,” and answered other users by simply re-posting his initial commentary.

Kevin Smith himself stepped in at comment #15 with an even-handed explanation of the movie’s mediocre reception and profit potential. Everything could have been cool right there. But no.

Enter the insolent Karl Trale. In a sneering and colossal tirade, he addressed the director with bellicose terms like “pathetic loser,” “pseudo-celebrity,” and “slanderous jerk.” Kevin, you sound like my of my sister’s little daughter. One day she came to her mommy and said, “Wah! My brother hit me back.” So, Kev, don’t hit people if you don’t want people to hit you back.” Karl also posed this question to Movie God: Shouldn’t you be off sucking Kevin Smith’s —- somewhere?

You can probably guess how the flame war progressed from here. It gets pretty interesting. Smith’s sardonic response to Trale, however, is worth noting in part: “Rage on, l’il Rager. ROOOOOOOAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRR!!!!”

Link: Kevin Smith vs. Karl Trale Flame War

7. Jim Henley’s “Blog” blog.

That title probably sounds confusing, so here’s what happened. On April 7, 2006, Henley made a one-word entry to his blog, Unqualified Offerings. The post was simple – all it said was “Blog.”

What followed was a torrent of comments satirizing flamers and trolls in general. No, it’s not a “serious” flame war, but it’s damn funny and pretty much sums up the way people act (and react) in comment threads all over the Internet.

For example, comment #3 says Oversharp disagreement based on unstated difference in paradigms. Number 5 reads Egregious mspelling. The seventh commenter came in with Nazi analogy employed; Godwin’s law invoked. Thread over, and #12 is a comment flaming other commenter for spelling error, which flame contains the requisite spelling error of its own.

It keeps going like that for over 1,000 comments!

Link: Jim Henley’s “Blog” blog

6. A Top 10 list

Arguments you can't win flame war

I don’t know if using another Top 10 article for my own list is considered cheating, but it really seemed like a good fit here – “Top 10 Arguments That Can’t Be Won” by William O’Dell. Since the content deals with touchy topics like the existence of God and the universe’s origin, it inspired a fiery invective in the comments thread.

“Complete moron” shows up after only a few entries. Other memorable incivilities include “religious fanatic,” “intellectually challenged,” “arrogant ass,” and the obligatory Hitler reference. Most of the debate can be outlined as follows: 1) God exists. No he doesn’t! Does. Doesn’t! 2) Evolution is totally fake. No, it’s proven fact! Fake. Fact!

As noted by a few of the commenters, it’s kind of ironic that a flame war would erupt on an article about arguments that can’t be won. But it’s fun anyways, right?

Link: Top 10 List Flame War

5. Charles Johnson – “Why I Parted Ways With The Right”

Why I Parted Ways With The Right

Web / software designer Charles Johnson runs the website Little Green Footballs and is perhaps best known for his role in casting doubt on the authenticity of the Killian documents back in 2004. As a former right-winger, he is also famous for criticizing the political right and eventually turning against it altogether.

Johnson’s provocative writing style has drawn a lot of criticism in the past. Comment threads on his blog are often heated. When he posted a list of ten short reasons why he had decided to move away from the political right, it attracted plenty of flames.

Most of the bickering in this thread is made up of right-wing vs. left-wing rhetoric. Fighting words like “f–king lazy,” “whiny little choad,” and “f–king chickens–t” abound. The argumentation was shut down a week later, but not until nearly 1,500 comments had added up.

Link: Charles Johnson – “Why I Parted Ways With The Right” Flame War

4. Guy Macon: EPIC flamer response

If you haven’t heard of Guy Macon’s Original Post before, you should check it out. If there was ever a monument to Internet flame wars both present and past, this is it.

Background – in October of 1997, a flamer called “Edgar Herbie Antonius van Tetering” posted this to the alt.os.linux.slackware newsgroup: What the f–k do you need so much RAM for? I believe it’s not even possible to have that much RAM, or maybe it is, but then you must have a huge simm module of about 8GB RAM. THIS IS CRAZY!!!! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE F–K YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. Fool!

Macon responded with his “Original Post,” which has since become a phenomenon in its own right. It’s way too long to quote in full, but it begins like this: You swine. You vulgar little maggot. You worthless bag of filth – and continues in that tone ad infinitum. According to Macon’s website, it’s a mish-mash of insults that he collected over the years and morphed into one enormous anti-flamer piece of total Internet ownage.

Believe me, it’s worth reading the entire thing.

Link: Guy Macon: Epic Flamer Response

Link: The Full Insult

3. Mac vs. PC

It doesn’t take much prodding for the Mac vs. PC debate to transform into a violently passionate flame war, and my list would be incomplete without an example to represent the battle. This one got its start from a simple picture of Wall-E and Eve:

User Stephen S. responded to the initial Mac is better / No, PC is better argument by clarifying that both robots in the image were technically Macs, and therefore the present controversy was moot. Then AlecDalek decided to pop in and open fire: BULLS–T!!! … macs and PCs are exactly the same now. The only difference is one has an obscure OS used by elitist faggots, and the other has a mainstream and popular OS called Windows… Sure, Windows won’t make you suck other men’s —-, but it will actually run all the popular software and games out there.

Stephen S. returned with a few thoughts of his own: Get back to me when you can come up with a more original insult than “elitist faggots”… Have fun with your bulls–t community and it’s bulls–t products.

The usual name-calling and head-bashing ensued at this point. It didn’t solve anything, but it sure makes for an entertaining read.

Link: Mac vs. PC Flame War

2. Mark Brazill vs. Judd Apatow

Judd vs Mark Flame War

In 2001, Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) and Mark Brazill (That ‘70s Show) traded virtual blows in a very unfriendly email exchange. Apatow started things off by asking his old buddy a question about That ‘70s Show actor Topher Grace. In response, he got a chain of angry emails from an obviously bitter Brazill, who accused him of stealing story ideas from him years before.

Apatow tried to vindicate himself, but Brazill wouldn’t have it and ended one email by telling him to Get cancer. Bemused, Apatow replied: I’ll wait till you get it and then steal it from you.

I told you my idea, Brazill responded. You did it two weeks later, VERBATIM. Spew revisionist s–t all you want. Everyone knows you’re a hack… die in a fiery accident and taste your own blood.

Taste your own blood? Wow, what an original put-down… except according to Apatow, that’s a Sam Kinison line, you stupid f–k!!!! Hypocrite!!!! J’accuse!!!!

Link: Mark Brazill vs. Judd Apatow

1. Cat advice?

Cat Advice

On August 24, 1993, an anonymous user calling himself “Moby” posted to the alt.tasteless Usenet group, asking for advice about his two cats. The female was unbearably annoying while in heat, and the male’s bowel movements filled Moby’s loft apartment with an evil, nauseating smell. The combined effect was severely undermining his ability to find a consistent date. What should I do? he asked the forum. I love my cats, so I don’t want to get rid of them, but I can’t go on like this any more. It’s my love life, or them. Please help!!!

It was a fair request, and to protect himself Moby even asked that responders refrain from flaming him for posting anonymously. Nevertheless, the first response was spiteful: “Get a sense of humor, and a life. In that order.”

Commenters went on to suggest various maniacal solutions for dealing with the romance-killing felines, including do-it-yourself spaying, execution by handgun, and incineration. One commenter even recommended forgetting about women completely and just having sex with the cats.

User Matt Reinker summed up how most readers felt about Moby’s request when he said, “I think Moby (Not his real f–kin’ name) is going about the deal all wrong. Who gives a f–k how he can stop his cats from ovulatin’ and sh—in’ on his dates.”

I wonder if Moby ever got his girl?

Link: Cat Advice

Link: Another funny example of not getting the help you asked for.

So, does anyone have a crazy flame war they’d like to mention? I’m sure there are plenty out there waiting to be discovered.

But whatever you do, don’t start another one here – thanks

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  1. Epic list (although most reflect the ancient days of web).

    That last link to the the poster asking for help with the image with his dad & him as a child was f’allarious!! I cried rotflmao!

    One of the surest places to find some quality flames is on the IMDb forums.

  2. Where is Derek Smart’s flaming and Paul Christoforo’s story?
    And where is the dislike button on this thing…?

  3. I know am out of topic but evolution is totally fake however tells otherwise he is serous in need medication, or wait those guys have nothing else to do in life than creating and spreading lies, I wish one day they will make for me a Giraffe will short neck, wont be stupid as how it is now with longer neck

  4. I find Rogan’s responses very despectful and offensive, even if it was the other guy beggining the whole thing. His answers fastly became a piss-kevin thing. All that stuff about fatness, “losers” and money is quite vomiting.

    But, i also rate the Tanembaum-Torvalds as the most epic flame war ever. These guys had a bit of class, i think. I indeed think that linux kernel architecture is quite “obsolete” in terms of eficiency and design. But who cares about the kernel nowadays…. you have pretty desktops and you even have steam these days running on linux 😉

  5. You call these flame wars? More like, tame wars. I’ve been in flame wars so brutal it would make you cry and piss your pants at the same time.

  6. Nice Top 10 list. I personally think the epic battle between Andy Tanenbaum and Linus Torvalds should have been #1 because it seems to be the most famous and even has it’s own page on Wikipedia, but that’s my opinion. It must have been some great combat! I learned a lot about the epic battles that have been waged across the Internet from this list, so I give you my thanks.
    If the entirety of the Internet got together and had a huge brawl with each other that lasted for years, it would be the greatest battle EVER!

  7. The minute you argue with someone else or an entire group of individuals over the internet about a random topic "which can be settled easily" but decide to "complicate matters", is the minute you bring yourself down to the level of a degenerate. Even if you're an intellectual person who can give claims (which are backed up with evidence) about something relevant to the topic, which will probably go irrelevant by the person(or group) you're arguing with.

    Or even you tell yourself to abstain from participating in the flame war, because you know that insatiable need in your mind to post something about the topic in the flame war and until you do, it will not be quenched.

    The keys words here are "Which can be settled easily" and "Complicate matters", and I know someone is going to post a reply here which will probably be either support/praise, or questionable claims, which might lead to an (Inevitable?) flame war.

    • See folks what Dave does not realise is that this attempt to be too clever by half is likely to backfire. In an attempt to ride the tiger, Dave questioned of an inevitabile flame war. To acknowledge what might be the outcome will only help what probably will be the inevitable, thus is completely (in all cases) best to not question the outcome even if inevitable because no one on this earth will know 100% the outcome until it actually happens. However, objectivity — which demanded that Dave’s self-flagellation would have been met with an equal indignation by a more common sense crowd about the terrible failings of individuals arguing over the internet — was not the order of the day as the alike will one joker after another jumped up to speak on how these individuals are “bringing themselves down to the level of a degenerate”, until of course I now point out Dave is ultimately right. Let me state the plain and simple truth. Dave is right but only because of his chosen words which this overall situation (not because of my words but rather my presence) have back fired on him.

      The conclusion is Dave is his own worst enemy. Why? I’m guessing it has something to do with his lack of common knowledge. Whatever the case may be I do pity the negative character trait(s) that allow this obvious glaring flaw that he presents to common sense people. I appreciate my commone sense very much as it appears one could only have this trait by a natural life process that I must (somehow) acquired around the age of puberty. Anyways…

      This post will only dillude the common sense part of Dave’s brain which weren’t my intentions but as I have common sense the reality is unavoidable just like the common sense humans interact with Dave’s daily life weren’t intentional either- this all of course is Dave’s fault by acknowledging the inevitable.

      Like I said I do pity the man….

      • It’s one thing to be thought of an idiot (which this guy obviously is), then to spout of a bunch of pretentious BS and remove all doubt……………. no flame war intent here but I’m gonna spend way too much time making up something to sound more intelligent then someone else, because I have no life……….oh wait someone already did that. Just one question for brandino Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you’d had enough oxygen at birth?

        P.S. Now that’s how a flame war starts, although I don’t expect a reply, because that would mean that he’s a degenerate also.

  8. Btw, got the link for the forum topic about the guy who wanted the picture picked, Gonna mess it up like the cool kids and then actually fix it.

    • hey, can i have the link please? i never laugh this much in my entire life!

  9. James is stupid. Look at him. Trying to start a flame war for no apparent reason. It ruins peoples lives James. Just leave it!

    • What are you doing on the Flame War page if you're not interested in the topic? Anybody whose life is ruined by a simple internet back and forth probably didn't have much of a life to begin with.

  10. People tend to have no lives, But I do enjoy reading flame wars. some of them are just downright hillarious!

  11. Hey! Let's start a flame war right here, just for the heck of it! How's that sound, you…jerks?

  12. This is the reason I rarely post in comment sections anywhere anymore. The flame wars make me lose just that much more faith in human intelligence and in humanity overall. If you really want to see the stupid amped up to ridiculous levels, read the comments on MSN or Fox News. Even the people you would agree with in principle tend to come off as such idiots that it will make your skin crawl to think that they could be anyone you run into on the street actually living a normal, functional life.

    That said, there are some comment sections and forums where this sort of thing doesn't happen, and you can get involved in an intelligent discussion. Those are few.

    @Mike, that WoW story is truly appalling and sad.

  13. One of strangest flame wars I ever saw was over the WoW "funeral raid". For anyone not familiar with it, about four yrs. ago an avid World of Warcraft player died and her "guild"/online friends decided to have a virtual funeral for her but another rival guild crashed the funeral. Vids on YouTube, Google for more info.

    There was nothing funny about the woman dying, and it was disrespectful to dishonor her memory, but….that's the 'net, full of jerks. Maybe it's just because I'm jaded, but I'd think the mourners should've known "something" would happen.

    Another surreal flame war was a recent post in a conservative political forum I frequent; the topic was the Rapture and whether if was going to be pre, mid or post Tribulation. What was funny was how heated it got and the name-calling that went on between the "Christians" arguing.