AIM's warn button

ok, anyone who has ever used AIM (AOL Instant Messanger) knows that there is a “warn” button in the corner of all chat windows. If you press the warn button, it puts a percentage # next to the user’s name. What exactly is the purpose of this feature? I’ve noticed two psychological affects from it:

  • If I warn somebody for ANY reason, whether plain teasing or if they are acting like a jerk, I am all a sudden an asshole, and that person will hold a grudge against me forever (and almost certainly warn me back)

  • Once I have a warning % next to my name, I start receiving IM’s from people on my buddy list who haven’t talked to me in months, asking “who warned you?”

There’s gotta be some kind of certain purpose to this feature, other than just driving people crazy. What is it?

If your warning level gets to 100%, you can’t sign onto AIM for a certain period of time. I think also, as your warning level increases, the rate you can send messages decreases, but I’m not sure of that.

  1. I have experienced the magic draw of a warning level too, amazing.

  2. You cant sign in for some time? never have been warned to that level before (only ever been warned by buddies in an online arsekicking contest) but its a relief that I have close to a dozen different names regged and in use.

Yup. When you get up around 40%–whch is generally hard to do without being warned by more than one person–then you might start noticing the little red-yellow-green meter under the “Send” button actually does something. It tells you when you’re able to send another IM. So if you wanted to fire off an assload of IMs in a row, like “Hi” “jerk” “what” “are” “you” “up” “to”, then it would slow you down.

We once got a co-worker up to 100%, but it didn’t sign her off. She just couldn’t send IMs very frequently.

Yep. That one’s true. Experienced that first hand when my friend’s little brother decided to warn me, along with the friend of the guy I had hooked up with’s girlfriend (which I hadn’t known he had) getting mad at me.

My biggest complaint about the warn button is that people can just randomly use it for no reason. The warn button can only be used when you talk to the person who warns you. However, having the away message respond to them counts as you talking. If you block the person warning you, they can’t warn you any more.