Effective today Saturday, 09/01/2007 there will be a Zero Tolerance Policy on Flaming Fellow Community Members.

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Effective today Saturday, 09/01/2007 there will be a Zero Tolerance Policy on Flaming Fellow Community Members.

Effective today Saturday, 09/01/2007 there will be a Zero Tolerance policy on Flaming fellow Community Members.

Flaming is the hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. Flaming usually occurs in the social context of a discussion board, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or even through e-mail. An Internet user typically generates a flame response to other posts or users posting on a site, and is usually not constructive, does not clarify a discussion, and does not persuade others. Sometimes, flamers attempt to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority over other users. Other times, a flamer is simply an individual who believes he or she carries the only valid opinion. This leads him or her to personally attack those who disagree. Occasionally, flamers wish to upset and offend other members of the forum, in which case they are trolls. Most often however, flames are angry or insulting messages transmitted by people who have strong feelings about a subject.

Some equate flaming with simply letting off steam, though the receiving party may be less than pleased. Similarly, a normal, non-flame message may have elements of a flame -- it may be hostile, for example -- but it is not a flame if its author seriously intends to advance the discussion. The word flaming is also sometimes used for long, intensive and heated discussions, even though insults do not occur.

Although the trading of insults is as old as human speech, flaming on the Internet, like many other online 'actions,' started in the Usenet hierarchies (although it was known to occur in the WWIVnet and FidoNet computer networks as well).

The term "flaming" is believed to be a reference to the Marvel Comic superhero the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four. After the accident which gave Johnny Storm the ability to become a human torch, he was initially unable to control when he would burst into flames. He learned to control his powers by saying "Flame on" which would initiate the transformation into a human torch and he would return to his normal state by saying "Flame off." [1] Since early users of the asynchronous text communication wanted to distinguish their angry/insulting/sarcastic portions of their response from their serious statements, they would prefix their angry/insulting/sarcastic text with "Flame on" and indicate the end of such statements with "Flame off."

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