Peterson Field Guide to Internet Commenters

Internet Commenters are a loud and opinionated species. While far fewer in number than the Lurker, their boisterousness leads many amateurs to mistakenly conclude that they are the most populous of the online fauna. Often irrationally angry and aggressive even at the best of times, many breeds of Internet Commenter are especially hostile towards the Content Creator. Caution is advised when observing. Food: soft drinks, Cheetos and pizza pockets. Range: Worldwide.

Common Youtube Troll

Even the least dedicated hobbyist will spot the Youtube Troll on a daily basis. While they are mostly solitary creatures that will lash out at their fellows as often as other species, Trolls will occasionally band together to attack a particularly dangerous or enticing target. Among the most combative of all Internet Commenters, Trolls will bombard their foes with capitalised messages questioning their sexuality or encouraging them to commit suicide. Interaction with Trolls has been known to cause feeling of depression and despair regarding the state of modern discourse. Otherwise known as flamers or dickwads. Voice: Loud, guttural and primitive, the one commonality of their wide-ranging calls is their grammatical inferiority. Examples of common cries include FAAAAAGG!!!!11, go die in a fire u tard and, when mating, nice tits bitch. Habitat: Found across Youtube, but particularly prevalent in videos of a religious or political nature, videos on the topic of feminism, and Justin Bieber music videos.

Angry Old Republican

The Angry Old Republican, while often compared to the Whining Sanctimonious Liberal, has several unique characteristics. Sometimes mistaken for Youtube Trolls due to their tendency to communicate in capital letters and eschew the basics of grammar, their poor communication skills can in part be attributed to their unfamiliarity with their environment. Their advanced age makes them ill-suited for life on the Internet, but the Angry Old Republican nevertheless insists on maintaining its habitat. While more social than the Internet Troll, they can be quick to turn on what they perceive as “RINOs,” or Angry Old Republicans who are insufficiently zealous. The Angry Old Republican spends its days trying to convince other breeds of Internet Commenters that the Obama administration is planning to turn America over to radical Islamists and put everyone in concentration camps. This has made them a popular source of amusement for observers. Voice: The Angry Old Republican’s cry changes based on the news of the day. Today’s OBAMACARE IS MURDER will become tomorrow’s Investigate Benghazi!!!. During slower news cycles, the Angry Old Republican will revert to timeless calls such as Impeach Obummer!1! and KEEP YOUR COMMIE HANDS OF MY GUNS OBOZO. Habitat: While most Angry Old Republicans spend their days at FOX News or CNN, others will travel as far as MSNBC or Salon to spread their cries before returning to Free Republic to roost.

Meme Mockingbird

The Meme Mockingbird earns its name from its ceaseless repetition of the passing fads of the day. Hobbyists fiercely debate the Mockingbird’s intelligence—some argue that its parroting of popular images and phrases suggests a unique form of language, while others believe it is merely an automatic response indicative of a lack of higher brain functions. Either way the Meme Mockingbird is a rapid adapter, as those that fall behind the curve and communicate with outdated memes are insulted or shunned by their peers. Unlike most Internet Commenters, the Mockingbird is not inherently hostile; rather, their emotional state is dictated by the fad they are currently echoing. This emotional instability, along with the general incoherentness of their communication, makes the Meme Mockingbird one of the most enigmatic—and at times frustrating—Internet Commenters. Voice: To amateurs, the cries of the Meme Mockingbird are seemingly random. With study and experience one can learn why the Mockingbird uses non-sequiturs like YOLO SWAG!! and images of cats, though even veteran observers can be flummoxed by this erratic creature. Habitat: While native to 4chan, the ubiquitous Meme Mockingbirds can be found everywhere from social networks to pornographic websites. Some sites view the Mockingbird as a pest and have attempted to exterminate it, but these efforts have had minimal effect.

Greater Facebook Sharer

Unlike the harmless Lesser Facebook Sharer, which is content to share pictures of itself at the beach and recipes for the latest vegan dishes they’re trying, the Greater Facebook Sharer will spread conspiracy theories, false news reports and general disinformation. While their intentions vary from well meaning ignorance to aggressive proselytisation of fringe views, their shared content is equally infuriating to other Internet denizens. This parasitic species spreads its content by tricking other breeds into following their example, either by convincing them of the validity of their false claims or by guilting them into sharing emotionally manipulative content. In an unusual reproductive process, creatures that are particularly vulnerable to the parasite’s attacks will eventually turn into a Greater Facebook Sharer themselves. Voice: while the overall message of Greater Facebook Sharers can vary wildly, their cries share common beginnings. Have you guys heard about this?? Something to think about!; WAKE UP SHEEPLE and I can’t believe how dangerous this is! BE CAREFUL EVERYONE! and variants thereof are among the most prevalent examples. In full, a cry might sound like Did you guys see this new study that proves fluoride is toxic?! I’m drinking bottled water from now on and I hope you do too!!!. Habitat: Despite the name, the Greater Facebook Sharer can be found not only on Facebook, but also Twitter, G+, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and even MySpace. The type of content they share varies by region, though some topics, such as sensational but inaccurate news reports, are universal.

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