Daily Archives: December 11, 2009

Flames of Fire

These Fridays LBC gatherings are popping up at an amazingly fast pace.  It seems like I put one offering to bed when it is time to produce another.  As this is a busy time of year for most of our members I have chosen the topic for deliberation.   I urge to  check out contributions made by Conrad, Gaelikaa, Helen, Judy, Magpie 11, Maria, & Ramana
Ashok, & Marianna will rejoin us in a few weeks time.
The topic this week:     

Flame or Flamer

According to Auntie ‘wikid peedia’ – A flame (from Latin flamma), is the visible (light-emitting) gaseous part of a fire.

I like flames.  Whether they are forming dancing images among the coals of my fire or a single flame from a lighted candle, I find them soothing.  Over the years it has become my habit to light a candle for someone who is going through a difficult time.  On occasion I light it simply because I am thinking about the person and they may never know about it, yet for others,  they know or have requested me to light the candle.  This past week the candle was lighting for me as I struggled with a difficult decision.

Flames of passion or desire were not unknown to me; and fortunately they were accompanied by great love.


There are flames I do not like.

A building, car or forest set on fire maliciously, simply because somebody holds a grudge.  There is no thought given for the danger that others are in, or the possible injuries or deaths that might result from the original action.

Flames of hatred hidden behind religious or political groups.  We have seen lives destroyed by them over years of conflict here in Northern Ireland and now day and daily across the globe.

There are flames of pure badness and brutality where young thugs beat up little old ladies in their homes for little more than a few pounds of their pension – easy targets.

The world of the media does not escape.  How often have you watched the news on TV when someone refuses to engage in a conversation or are avoiding an answer to a question, unable to debate on points, they resort with flames of anger to personal attacks.

The flames of personal attack are to be found here, on the internet in the world of Social Media – on Discussion forums and in the blogging community.  They are called Flamers or Trolls.

The objective for a Flamer or troll is to be disruptive and take a rise out of people. Mostly they are not interested in the subject matter of the post. They just want to get a rise and annoy people, so if they can accomplish that, in their mind they have won.  They have an opinion and no-one will change that. They thrive on you biting back, and get even more annoyed if you don’t respond and probably get even more vicious at next stopping place. Trolls sometimes have valid opinions but don’t share well.

S. Elizabeth Turnquist  wrote an article at AC Associated Content headed: Avoiding Online Abuse : Dealing with Haters, Flamers, Trolls, Bullies, and Other Mean Posters, in it she said:

I’ve found some very effective steps for dealing with Internet bullies.

Rule #1 – DON’T ENGAGE!

For many people this is the hardest rule to follow. If someone puts up a post, a comment, or a reply that is inflammatory the best route is to not say anything. Mean posters want you to reply, so that is the last thing you should do. This doesn’t mean you’re without recourse, which takes us to our next rule.

Rule #2 – BLOCK USERS!

Most websites that allow users to comment on your posts also have a block user feature. The best reward for someone that is trying to start something with you is to block them. I have a no tolerance policy. I’m pretty clear on the difference between constructive criticism and someone that’s launching an attack. And I don’t believe in giving someone a chance to attack me twice.

Rule #3 – DELETE!

Most websites also allow you to delete comments. If someone posts an inflammatory comment, I block and then I delete their comment. Some people argue that this is a form of censorship. And you could also argue that in some way’s I’m engaging the person by removing what they said. In my mind it’s about teaching people how they’re allowed to treat me. I’m standing up for myself, without giving them what they want.


Be careful not to assume a person is a troll for disagreeing with your post, the trolls we should all avoid are those who aim for personal attacks.  Generally trolls are unhappy in their own lives, and since misery loves company, they choose to prey on others who they see as happy or popular.

If the troll’s comments are a personal attack on you, just walk away. There is no sense in remaining and giving them what they desire, which is to tear you down.

A blog is like your living room, would you like or allow somebody to behave like a Flamer or troll at your fireside?

I think not.