It takes a village idiot: The jerks of online forums

Discussion forums are magnets for some of the jerkiest people on the 'Interwebs'. We profile a dozen of the most common and annoying forum jerks--from 'The Antagonist' to 'The Conspiracy Theorist'.

5. The Antagonizer

Comment forums are made for divergent viewpoints and intelligent, spirited debate. The Antagonizer, though, takes things to another, more primitive level, resorting to personal attacks and insults in what may be a nostalgic flashback to carefree bygone days as a third-grade bully.

"Do I even have to explain how stupid of a name Stefan is for a man?" one such person wrote on a popular tech blog's story about Apple's touchscreens. He went on to close his remarks with this jab: "I bet you shave your armpits." That's about as clever as the repartee gets in Antagonizer Land; more often the insights run along the lines of "You bleep!" "Bleep you!" "Bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep!" Proof positive that, online, it isn't difficult for a person to be both loud and boring.

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