This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Monday, March 2, 2015

a short piece on wars, flame wars

A flame war is the internet term for a war of words exchanged in an online venue (usually a blog, forum, or wiki, although flame wars can happen anywhere people can post their comments) that defies most of the rules of civilized society. As more and more people "join" the internet, the amount of potential flame wars seems to erupt exponentially. Triggers for a flame war A flame war can be explained in much the same way as a fire can be explained. First, a fire needs a source to burn, in the case of the internet, a controversial issue such as politics, religion, or even a YouTube video. Once the fire has a source, it needs something to catalyze the reaction with, usually oxygen. The "oxygen" in a flame war consists of two (or more!) people taking sides on the issue. Finally, once the fuel and catalyst are in place, all that is needed is heat to start the reaction, in this case, is a willing user posting a comment found offensive by the "other" side.