Dear Suzie,

I have this friend, though I am not really sure. One minute he is all good with me, the next he’s against me and engages an argument. It all started about this friend swearing on msn. he was joking and saying lets give him a round of applause. So I put *applause* and *anchoree* (I meant encore.) Few seconds later he starts to make an argument and tells me “go look in a dictionary you ****head and don’t come back!” or ” you’re so dumb that you cant write your own display name.” My display name was a line from a song in a different language and it was for a friend. When I mentioned to him that it was for a friend and that I wouldn’t expect him to understand what it meant he satrted saying “for an imaginary friend.” From that point I blocked him for I didn’t want to waste my breath on him, but its too big to ignore and it practically happens everyday. What am I to do?


This is called ‘flaming’ – being rude and nasty to other users generally or one or two in particular. Since it is bullying, on all chat sites it’s expressly banned. A bit of friendly banter is fine but being unpleasant and insulting is a no-no.

Don’t waste your breath on him, but do report him, and at once so he gets his knuckles rapped. Look at the site and you’ll find a way of doing so – all chat sites ask for your help in making chat rooms a safe place to be. All conversations are saved so if you can give a rough idea of what was said and when, they’ll check it.

The usual form is for them to warm someone about their behaviour. If he does it again, you report him again and then he gets dumped. Some will ban him at once if when they review the flaming they felt it was unacceptable.

Don’t let him get away with this – such meanness shouldn’t go unchallenged.

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