A cyber argument that gets out of hand. Often, cyberstalkers engage in flame wars to
get the attention ofÂ—and eventual control overÂ—their targets. Those who
routinely start flame wars online are reported to be rude, obnoxious people
having less-than-ideal social, emotional, and communication skills. Flame
warriorsÂ’ ideas of having a good time are to release online obscene or abusive
messages at another user just to upset that individual. These cyber harassers
are often loners who do not have a companion or a strong social network, and
their attempts to attract other targetsÂ’ attention are often socially immature
Care should always be taken when responding to or rejecting
these flame warriors because they are highly sensitive to rejection by others.
They perceive the rejection intensely, often becoming very angry or deeply
humiliated. They are apt to cause a vendetta against the target who rejected
them, threatening harm or becoming violent. It is important to note that
although flame warriors tend to be clumsy and crude, they are often quite
bright individuals who are very organized in their wars against their targets.
The best defense against flame warriors is to inform them
early in the flame war that no further contact with them online is desired, and
that if they persist in such obnoxious behaviors, the police will be contacted.
Cyber Etiquette; Cyberharassment; Cyberstalkers and Cyberstalking; Harm to
Grafx-Specs Design and Hosting. Cyberstalking: A Real Life Problem. [Online,
1997.] Grafx-Specs Design and Hosting Website. http://grafx-specs.com/News/
Cybstlk.html; Schell, B.H., and Lanteigne, N.M. Stalking,
Harassment, and Murder in the Workplace: Guidelines for Protection and
Prevention. Westport, CT: Quorum, 2000.