Chat Room Rules
politucs In chat rooms, politics without fisticuffs Internet chat rooms and message boards, long a haven for the disenfranchised, have become verbal battlefields since the Sept. Some nights, it is American vs.
Arab, Muslim vs. Christian and Western vs.
Other times, it's American vs. European, Jew vs.
Christian or Afghan vs. Let's see. And experts in the Internet culture say these cyber free-for-alls serve a purpose in a free society.
Part theological discussion, part flame session, the conversations range from the rhetorical to the chay. Internet chat rooms and messages are distinctly separate mediums, and each has its own culture, Schertel said. The message board is a direct descendant of the early days of the Internet, when surfers commented almost exclusively through USENET, a collection of themed electronic bulletin boards covering topics as diverse as pop culture, science, computing, pornography and sports.
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Messages are posted and left for others to comment on, sometimes hours or days later. Messages left there lack immediate response; therefore, they tend to be more inflammatory and can fester for a long time before they are noticed or, in some cases, removed by moderators.
Chat rooms are real time, text and voice discussions in which participants respond instantaneously to one another. That immediacy, Schertel said, means writers are more considerate and that fellow writers help police the chat room.
Said Schertel: "Online chat gives people a chance to vent, then walk away with all of their body parts intact.