Internet Insult Management System

In my three years of doing this thing, I’ve seen quite a few standard disparaging comments that have nothing to do with the topic of the post. They range from the feeble (this post is pathetic) to the downright threatening (I’ll fuckin kill you).

Sometimes I respond to them and sometimes I don’t, depending on my mood, but I’ve always thought there must be a better way to deal with them, because they tend to be pretty standard. So I was thinking, why not draw up a numbering system for insults and replies, and we could save a lot of time.

It might look something like this:

Standard Disparaging Comment (SDC) No
You fucking knuckle-dragger 1
I know what you meant when you said … 2
You’re a racist 3
You’re a sexist 4
This is disgusti 5
This post is pathetic 6
I bet you have no life 7
I bet you have no girlfriend 8
You have too much time on your hands 9
You’re stupid 10
You think you’re smart 11
Get a job 12
You wouldn’t last five minutes in the media 13
You’re arrogant 14
FAIL!! 15

and so on and so on and so on.

And then I was thinking, what about some standard time-saving replies they might look thus:

Standard Time-saving Reply (STR) No
Can you read? 1
Where did you notice me saying that? 2
I’ll write more slowly for you in future 3
Fuck off 4
Are you twelve? 5
Come back when you’re sober 6
You must be reading a different post to me 7
You mustn’t have got the memo on that 8
I only let you comment here because of equality law 9
Dimwit! 10
No. You made that up. 11
You earn the right to free speech here. Get to work. 12
Read the comments policy and behave yourself 13
That’s irrelevant. 14
You said nothing in that comment. 15

Et cetera.

If I can build up a comprehensive list of stupid comments and suitable replies, it will save a lot of time.

Next time somebody says Fuck you and your stupid little blog, I’ll reply SDC:27 & 31. STR:4

I’ll make it available to all. We can standardise the abuse exchange system if we work together on this. Maybe we can set up a steering committee with equal representation from bloggers and stupid commenters. Of course, the problem there is that some bloggers also like to leave stupid comments on other people’s sites. Hmm. Research required.

If we can work out the details, it could be a real time-saver.

28 thoughts on “Internet Insult Management System

  1. You have a typo. See what I did there?

    Actually you do have a typo, and it might even matter – table one should have SDC instead of SPC for Standard Disparaging Comment – unless you meant Standard Paraging Comment – which in a way they might be if they happen to equalise things?

  2. you should submit this work to the W3C. That way you’ll have it supported by all browsers except IE (which will have it 5 years later) in a year or two. You can then make a tag such as <sdc type=”14″ />

  3. Kae — Maybe we could implement this as a Firefox plugin.

    Grandad — My notation system might be a bit clumsy. Perhaps it could be optimised by dropping the prefixes. That way we could just reply, for instance, ~6,8;4,13

  4. You’rewelcome.

    To get back to your comment, aren’t you assuming that I agree with your theory? That would be to beg the question.

  5. It was a question not a theory. Later I thought perhaps it should go on your verbotten topics list: Similarities in UK and Eire culture may raise some resistance as a concept.

  6. It wasn’t just a question.

    You asked what it is in UK and Irish culture that makes slagging the person (instead of focusing on the issues) so endemic in these blogs.

    That invites me to agree with your underlying assumption.

    If you had asked whether there was something in UK and Irish culture that makes slagging the person (instead of focusing on the issues) endemic in these blogs, that would have been a question.

  7. You’re right, I am making an assumption-that the tendency not only exists but is prominent in the UK/Eire. Seems that there is a double edged reality:there is a robustness of opinion on the upside but a silliness of personalizing in the rebuttal on the downside. I find blog sites in N.A. have an ridiculous oversensivity to political correctness, but they also focus less on insulting the writer. Since you found it necessary to write up your comment roster (well done) it seems to be endemic in your own site. Why this is so prevalent in what is supposed to be discussion by thoughtful subscribers is a psychological/cultural question I suppose. Maybe only of interest to me. Not needing labouring.

  8. I put this into my comments policy at the beginning to avoid ad hominem argument where possible. It wassn’t because I saw much of it going on here: I just wanted people to be clear that I wouldn’t stand for commenters attacking me or other contributors.

    Let me say that I have found far more such personal attacks coming from US commenters than from people here or in the UK. Over there, they seem unable to sustain a reasoned argument for long before calling people knuckle-draggers. I reckon it’s the Fox News dumbing-down factor.

  9. Right, I think I can use these tables to use dice rolls to generate responses.

    So, SDC:11 and STR:10.

    “You think you’re smart, dimwit!”

  10. TheChrisD
    I love it. You just got a “hit” from an old fart that does not know a Computer game from a hole in the ground. Well done. Would that others could see the nature of the contentious postings.

  11. TheChrisD — Maybe you’d get together with Primal and see if you can develop this into something useful to the blogging community.

  12. I like the idea, but I fear it would never catch on (taking the point seriously for a moment….(!)) because it seems to me that saddos who spend large chunks of their pointless existences slumped in front of comscreens spewing out garbage and vitriol, actually enjoy the feeling of their stubby, nicotined filthly fingers hammering out (unread) invective because it gives them the impression of actually doing something, a sensation they only distantly remember from before the last but one recession.

  13. str 4 to anyone who contradicts me. You might add str 15 “Go on, I’ll let you have the last word. It’ll be shit anyway.”

  14. I think that it is a great idea, because with the firefox / IE / Chrome plugin the insults would be translated to any language!

    I use autohotkey and probably I can make ‘hotstrings’ for all the STRs, so if I type STR13, then autohotkey will turn it into “Read the comments policy and behave yourself”… great fun, and probably more fun if you publish the STR table, and I do some random extract from it every time I type ‘STR’ :-) I could probably answer most email from internet typing str str str regards miguel

    str str str
    Regards ,


  15. At least we have the opportunity to call eachother knuckle dragging fuck wits. (of course before they are removed due to your good ethics Bock) Imagine if you lived in China Bock.. they’d put you away for life.. :)
    Came across this today.. and thought you might be interested :
    U.S., Google and China square off over Internet –

  16. Audrey – I’ll have to examine the comment policy guidelines again to see if I wrote it in an unknown language.

    It isn’t about ethics. It’s very simple. You do not insult other commenters and they don’t insult you. That’s all it is.

    If they make personal attacks on you and won’t stop, they get blocked. If you make personal attacks on them, you get blocked.

    Is that hard for you to understand?

    Everyone knows the policy and if they don’t like it they don’t have to comment. It isn’t up for discussion.

  17. Bock.. I was just wanting to give you the article as it may be of interest to you and might make for a good post possibly. At least we have freedom of speech in general is what I was getting at.. I can understand your language, can you understand mine? When I say imagine you lived in China.. I meant imagine one lived in China.. I’m not harping on about your comments policy..and I was being complimentary on your policy actually.. be it from ethics or whatever.

  18. Audrey — I understand that, but in fact freedom of speech is an illusion. There’s no such thing as absolute freedom of speech, although by comparison with China, or Syria, we do pretty well.

    However, there’s no right whatever for people to get their opinions published on a privately-funded website.

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