Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
Flaming is a hostile online interaction that involves insulting messages, or flames, between users. Flaming may occur in the context of Internet forums, chat rooms, Usenet groups, social networks and game lobbies, where there is a mix of people with differing ideologies from different cultures.
Flaming is also known as bashing.
Flaming is fueled by the Web's inherent lack of personal interaction and anonymity, which encourages hostility, and occurs during discussions about sensitive topics, such as religion, politics, philosophy, sexual orientation or anything that relates to subgroups and/or (seemingly) trivial differences.
There are many different theories about why flaming occurs, including deindividuation (mob mentality) and a general unawareness of the feelings of other people. Online conversations involve unique user motives and assumptions. Without social context, users are often unaware of the intentions of their counterparts.