Encyclopedia > Flaming

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1. Flaming is the practice of posting messages that are deliberately hostile and insulting to a discussion board[?] (usually on the Internet). Such messages are called flames.

A flame may have elements of a normal message, but is distinguished by its intent. A flame is never intended to be constructive, to further clarify a discussion, or to persuade other people. The motive for flaming is never dialectic, but rather social or psychological. Flamers are attempting to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority. Occasionally, flamers merely wish to upset and offend other members of the forum, in which case they are trolls.

Similary, a normal, non-flame message may have elements of a flame - it may be hostile, for example - but it is not a flame if it is seriously intended to advance the discussion.

A sequence of flame messages is known as a Flame war.

2. "Flaming" is also an adjective used to refer to someone conspicuously and openly gay, usually conforming to various expected stereotypes.

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