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flame ~ n. insulting criticism or remark meant to incite anger

Flaming is one of the curses of the internet - and yet how many people who have ever joined in a discussion can say they have never flamed - or at least been tempted? First, you read something really stupid, then you think of a neat response ... before you can say "What have I done?" the message has been posted; you are in a Flame War (see Definitions).

Flame wars can take place in any news group, and even on mailing lists. Anywhere with an audience, really. The serious stuff occurs in alt.flame and other reserved sites; if the war hots up in your group, you can always cross roast to them (see Definitions). But that is for the experts: either lurk in the background for a while or prepare to be bruised.

This page is aimed at the amateur - people who want to join online discussion, but are continually frustrated by some of the terminal idiots who just will not go away. Flame Wars are easy to fall into, this page may help you through the pain that surely follows.

You will find Definitions and examples, but most of all, you will find the basic rules for survival.

One of the early influences in my life on the internet was The Twelve Commandments of Flaming, which appears all over the place. You may recognise some of the twelve on this page!