You see a fight on the internet. The wrong side is winning. What do you do?

**You’re reading the internet, minding your own business, when you stumble on a thread where people are fighting. But the wrong side is winning!

You just know they’re wrong. You might even be able to prove it with a few chosen words. . . or not.

What do you do?**
1 - Do you jump in with both feet, letting people know how wrong they are, endlessly trying to outpost (pun intended) the wrong side to convince them of their wrongness?

2 - Do you roll your eyes and walk away, secure in the knowledge that no one wins the internet? Silly internet people.

3 - Do you ball up your fists and start shouting at your pets and loved ones but not join in the fight? Why get involved?

4 - Do you secretly root for the winning side to pick up but not jump in?

5 - Do you research the issue so thoroughly that the thread is over by the time you are done?

6 - Do you go do something productive to get your mind off the wrongness on the internet?

7 - Do you start a thread to point out the wrongness, away from the developing pile on?

8 - Do you go to another forum and post about the tards at the other board?

9 - Do you tell anyone who will listen, including random strangers, how stupid people are on the internet?

10 - Do you shrug your shoulders and move on? Life is too short.
These options will be in the included poll. Pick only one, the closest choice. Or post your custom choice.

Of course it depends on who is in the fight, whether the cat pooped the carpet, the alignment of the moon, the mood you’re in and the way the wind is blowing.

But this is a scientific poll, so choose carefully. It’s a public poll. People will be watching.

1# all the way. But only if it’s a fight in which there’s actually something valid or substantial. If it’s obvious trolling, or something like Trump/Hillary/Benghazi/emails, perhaps not.

I voted the last option, but don’t see the distinction versus the second option.

I don’t care about the internet enough to even read through that long list. shrug.

The last option is when you have so little invested that you just walk away without a thought. The second option is when you care enough to get in a dig at the participants.

Typical internet poster. Don’t care enough to read the OP but care enough to post in the thread.

Seconded. With maybe at least a question as towards what the OP feels the difference is between the two options. My brain is wondering just what his/her brain was thinking or where it was headed.

See the post above yours.

Public poll?

Moves on.

I picked “I roll my eyes and walk away, secure in the knowledge that no one wins the internet. Silly internet people” since that is the closest to “Mock the people who think they can “win” in an argument with Internet strangers”

I won’t vote because it depends on my mood, among other things.

I resist the hypothetical.


Tension freaks me out. If I feel I must participate I’ll toss in what I feel to be a borderline inappropriate comment/joke to ease tension and maybe show both sides their being dense, which inevitably results in both sides reading it in the least generous terms possible, uniting them in the ensuing pile on against me.

It depends heavily on the importance of the issue being discussed relative to the controversy, as well as my mood for dealing with stuff and how easily I can opt out if it gets too heated. The specific domain of the subject is relevant, as well as whether or not I’m going to see these people in real life. There’s no fixed response.

It is somewhat U shaped, though. The most trivial stuff is easy to just drop in a comment, as long as no one is flying off the handle upset. And then the stuff that’s really important, like racism and Trump propaganda, I will dive in, but the stuff in the middle, I’m more circumspect.

The level of heat is more straightforward. If I’m having a bad day and just wanting to be happy, I won’t get into more heated stuff.

And I’m much less likely to jump in if I know a person. I’m still debating how I need to deal with this one sweet old lady I knew in college who has turned into a raging Trumphead: should I just unfriend her or tell her why? If I didn’t know her, the answer would be obvious–number 2: explain how they are wrong and then block them so they can’t reply back.

I’m also on this board because I’m interested in fighting ignorance, so pure knowledge-based stuff is my jam. I’m going to offer to explain things. Thing is, I can usually do so in a way that doesn’t attack the people who are wrong. This is much harder with the bigger issues.

I’ve actually done that last part on purpose before, if I think people are piling on this one person too much. I figure that it gives them a reason to agree. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t lie or anything. I just have kinda learned how I can talk in a way that irritates both sides.

I’ve also tried to be the voice of reason, and only accidentally got both sides to hate me.

If it’s an issue I feel deeply about, I might respond with factual rebuttals to nonsense, then walk away after a post or two.

These days i view getting involved in extended knock-down drag-outs as a waste of time and energy.

Sometimes it’s fun to help overload an Internet poll so that the Good Guys win. A cheap thrill but so what.

All depends.

I think the general case would is where ‘wrong’ would be the ‘wrong’ opinion or a matter where all available ‘facts’ are shaded enough by opinion to make it basically about opinions or world views. And anyway in internet debate the ‘sides’ usually both contain people inspired mainly by opinion, belief, ‘what’s right’, even if some core of people on each side are actually debating facts up for debate. In those cases I might get involved if I’m in the mood but with no illusion that you can change minds on the internet, and try not to persist with back and forth with any one person. A lot of times I don’t even look back to see responses past the first, sometimes not even that. I say my piece, and that’s it. And often or usually I’m not in the mood.

But in a few areas (narrow areas of military history and related topics), false modesty aside, I’m an expert. In those cases I’ll correct people on obscure points and even do new research on questions that interest me. If it’s a wrong answer anyone reasonably familiar with the topic can identify from standard English books and Google-fu, I’ll generally leave it alone.


I dive in headfirst, kick everybody’s ass and drop the mic. Everybody cheers and carries me on their shoulders as magic confetti falls from the sky and “We Are the Champions” blares from invisible speakers. This has happened so many times, I’m kind of tired of it.

(1) or (10) depending on my mood. Sometimes I’m feelin’ up for fightin’, sometimes it just isn’t holding my interest


Thats what I get for visiting the Dope at 3am.