How to cause drama on the internet

Step 1: Say something judgmental that gets people riled up.  Bonus points if it’s about motherhood.
Step 2:  Say you don’t want any more drama in a dramatic separate post.
Step 3: Point vague fingers at anonymous people who are accused of causing drama!  Leave just enough clues that some people will know what you’re talking about and others will be tantalized, but not enough that everyone knows what you’re talking about.
Step 4:  Profit

This works very well on forums.  If you’re really good the admin won’t wait a full day to shut you down.  However, it may take a little while for folks to do the appropriate detective work to make it really juicy.  Be patient.  Give more hints in the comments section if necessary.

It also works on blogs, of course.  Though it’s probably a little harder given the control that folks have over where the arguments are going.  On the plus side, blogs with advertising do get some of the profit rather than just the forum owners.

How do you cause drama on the internet?  Er, we mean, how do you see other people causing drama on the internet because we know, dear readers, that you would never do such a thing.

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32 Responses to “How to cause drama on the internet”

  1. Thomas Says:

    People are so easy to get riled up. Like you stated talk about motherhood, kids, pets etc and you will get a lot of movement if what you state is against the gain. Heck if you do a separate post on your own blog you will get attention and shares. Heck you might even get some good links. If you really want to push buttons just say that the person is lying about something or ask them to prove it.

  2. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    Accusing people of link-whoring and/or blogge-whoring also works well. We used to do this to one dude back in the day at ScienceBlogges, and he would go complete wackaloon shittenuttes.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We always get lots of hits when someone accuses us of link-whoring (usually on GRS, when they have yet another “Should you prepay your mortgage?” post and we just link to our “The Should you Prepay your Mortgage” post, or something similar). It’s pretty lame.

  3. femmefrugality Says:

    I guess I should get more dramatic on my blog if I want to build some traffic up. :p Can’t bring myself to do it, though. I feel like it may get people looking and talking today, but will keep them from coming back tomorrow.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Possibly! I know I’ve been checking cnn a lot less since the ratio of meat to scandal has dropped. Pushes me more towards NPR and the Daily Show(!)

      I think our initial dogs vs. cats post moved us from 3 readers to 30. :)

  4. oilandgarlic Says:

    As you know, step #3 happened to me on my blog, in a comment section. I had no idea about the original “argument” between the two bloggers until you pointed it out. Then I visited one of the bloggers and saw the vague post about internet drama plus my blog deleted from her blog roll, even though I was totally an innocent party to that drama!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We’re still working on step #4. (In that we have no way of profiting, other than via our own amusement.)

      I suppose I should make sure we have a meta tag on this post. I see we already have an irony tag. :)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      (And yes, I blush to admit that this particular post was written almost exactly 2 months ago. Tantalizing hint designed to drive readers to your blog. You’re welcome! Though to be honest, we thought enough time would have passed that the initial idea for the post would have been long buried… probably should have waited longer! And it really is a universal thing, not just limited to that one instance.)

      (SIGH– I should add a “feeling dirty” tag!)

  5. chacha1 Says:

    I don’t think I have ever intentionally caused drama, though it’s happened unintentionally a few times. Most notably with an anonymous guest post (about how much it cost to get out of a relationship with a moocher) that I had on someone else’s blog. I got hammered in the comments by marriage zealots.

    There have been many, many times when I’ve been tempted to flame back at something inflammatory that someone else has written. But I no longer find that stuff entertaining.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That sounds like a really interesting anonymous guest post… I guess if you linked to it it wouldn’t be anonymous anymore though.

      As we noted in a post last month, we do tend to leave snarky comments on blogs when they hit one of a limited set of buttons. Other than that we’re never sure if it’s better to comment in order to politely try to change culture or to just leave be because it’s irritating and not our job.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      hm… looking at your blog though, latest article on global warming, an article on how pf people are silly for thinking everyone should hate their dayjobs, an article on why we should let TX secede from the union…no, no intentional controversy there!

      • chacha1 Says:

        LOL I decided to put something more substantive up once in a while. I have like 14 pageviews a day, so controversy is not the goal. The blog is just my place to write stuff that I don’t care about copyrighting and that’s too long for Facebook.

        btw did the job post really come across as implying people are silly for thinking everyone should hate their dayjobs? I didn’t think I went there at all.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Just trying to drum up more page-views for ya! (Is it working?)

        “The Internet seems to be full of people who really hate what they do for a living.” I dunno… them sounds like they might be fighting words on some parts of the internets (or at least some parts of the ERE blogosphere). But no, no specific pointing fingers or anything, just a statement that you like your job. So kind of weak toast (compared to say, Ferule and Fescue today that actually does make the general statement about people who judge cities… and for real drama you’d have to actually point to a specific blog directly or obliquely).

  6. D. A. Wolf (Big Little Wolf) Says:

    You got a chuckle out of me with this post… and there’s so much truth to it.

    Motherhood, divorce, and personal tiffs… Not a good mix, in my experience.

  7. Ana Says:

    I try to stay well away from all that…makes me uncomfortable even to read, especially when I happen to “know” people on both sides of the playing field. I’m lucky very very few people read my blog so the drama is unlikely to unfold there…

  8. Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

    I stay far away from the topic of parenting on the internet. I don’t feel like an untraditional parent…but people always snap at me for making comments about the way I parent. Like when I say that I send my kids to daycare all day to work from home, except sometimes I finish work early and go to the grocery store without picking up my kids. It strikes a nerve!

    Anyways, I think that internet drama is funny.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yes, if only it didn’t contribute to the culture of mother-blaming, maternal guilt, the patriarchy etc.

      Lately I’ve been seeing lots of blog comments from organized men’s rights activists. They’re scary dudes. But really, when state legislatures are taking away my rights to control my own body… how different are they from what’s already out there and in control? It’s almost enough to start making comments calling those folks the American Taliban.

      • rented life Says:

        Oh the MRA’s are terrifying. They keep finding me and “adding” me on google plus. I want to tell them I’m not their audience but not engaging is a smarter choice. I just block instead. They’ve gotten louder and louder over the last couple years on a few gender sites where my colleagues write.

        @Holly–this is why I ended my blog once we announced I was pregnant. I know it’d be too tempting to write about parenting but I don’t want to deal with the BS comments that people make. It’s exhausting enough in real life. I work from home as well and people are like “oh how perfect, you won’t need to pay for child care.” Um, what? Because I can care for a kid and put in 40 hours?

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        We get that a lot with my husband too. “Oh, so he’s doing a lot more childcare now”…well, no. He was doing a little over 50% before and he’s doing a little over 50% now. But I think they assume he was doing next to nothing before.

      • chacha1 Says:

        They ARE the American Taliban.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yes, yes they are.

    • Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

      Yep, I can totally relate. I have a four year old and two year old. I definitely could not get any work done if they were here. I cannot tell you how many people have told me that they are proud of me for choosing to stay home with my kids or something like that.
      And sure, sometimes I finish work early and don’t pick them up. Like today, for instance. And yesterday. Ummmm……and the day before. I usually work 8-3 or so and spent 3-5 doing things like grocery shopping, showering, laundry, etc. I actually think this makes for more quality time with them, not less. When they’re home, I focus on them.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Nobody tells DH they’re proud he’s staying home with the kids…

        If you’re paying for the daycare, why not use it? Especially since generally they enjoy it! And at ours, the later hours are generally them out running around on the playground, which is great exercise for them.

  9. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    #1: not as many comments as I thought we’d get
    #2: our readers must be more mature than the average forum-goer
    #1: At least the ones we haven’t driven off yet!
    #2: hahahaha
    or haven’t taken their coffee break yet
    #1: also possible!
    it is the dog days of summer or something (whatever that means)
    #2: people left on vacation?
    it means only mad dogs go out in the sun
    #1: wikipedia, of course, knows: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_Days
    #2: of course it does
    or at least pretends to
    #1: good point
    …[time passes]…
    #2: “Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time “the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.””
    Actually I think that’s true
    #1: heh
    I’ve never spelled frenzy with a ph or an s
    #2: that’s because you’re not OLD SKOOL enough
    #1: too true

  10. Mutant Supermodel Says:

    I recently heard that there are now forums dedicated to bashing blogs. I thought that was amazeballs.

  11. Miss Says:

    I used to get worked up… but now I realize it is so pointless. The internet is not always correct, and I waste too much time on it.


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