Cyberbullies, net skinheads, net-hooligans and other infestations

Cyberbullies, net skinheads, net-hooligans and other infestations

Don McMahon

While recently surfing various Arsenal websites and blogs, I came across an increasing number of posts, many from the same person, and many written or should I say scripted from the same monologue. These so-called supporters were uniformly anti-Wenger, anti-Arsenal and specifically persistently vulgar, offensive, mocking and sometimes even threatening if their target was perceived as being ¨vulnerable¨  or somehow, inferior.

These denizens of the net underworld remind me very much of the actual Hooligans and Bullies that, in the 70’s and 80’s were the bain of Football worldwide. Too many of them seem to have migrated into cyberspace and are excreting their verbally violent, illiterate excrement on some very good Arsenal websites, where they feel they can get away with this rampant degenerate behaviour. Why have they started to become more visible and why are they able to do what they do?

At first glance they seem to be here because of the anonymity the web offers. They can post 25 vitriolic posts on 10 different websites under 5 different aliases or web IDs without much fear of retribution or even identification. Many of them are the same person, usually an adolescent thrill-seeker who thrives on web invisibility to ventilate their angst, regardless of the consequences. The remainder are fans of opposing teams who enjoy baiting the more gullible Arsenal supporters, who, rising to the challenge, respond in kind.

Upon further reflection, they thrive because many AFC blogs show a great degree of tolerance for varied and diverse opinion. This subspecies of the cybernaut community profit from what they see as a chink in the net armour and regally flush their fetid commentaries over sites that espouse open posting and often are not monitored very well. Having spent a few wasted minutes flaming one creature (a Chav) on an open AFC blog, here are some of the comments this socially handicapped blogger felt worthy of the light of day:

¨ash cole…..Its clearly evident that with genes u carry your name or AFC is the least of the challenges that u deal with in ur everyday life! In fact you should be commended for surviving life as long as u did! I sincerely apologize I now see that incredibly feeble and moronic state of mind is not of your doing its simply called genetics gone horribly wrong, its obvious to me now that some retards should not be allowed to breed. U are living proof of that!¨

¨Radamel Falcao ….a moron is a moron but morons like yourself should be limited to one reply per commentary, our democracy quite frankly is at threats cause idiots like yourself are entitled to have say equal to that of say Mr XXX or myself and that is just plain scary no wonder the world is at the state that it is!¨

These are the mildest of posts that I can legitimately present on a family website.  When invited to try his shenanigans on UA or Arsenal-Arsenal, where skilled, fluent and well-informed posters await him like lions await a jackal, he suddenly disappeared. Understandable, since bullies try and take on those who they perceive as weak and vulnerable….like cockroaches, they seek the dark and filth of the sewers…they are Cyber-scavangers and thrive on anything controversial and sadistic but IF they become the target of superior bloggers, they melt like excrement in the rain.

Ultimately, to battle demons, one must behave like an angel, therefore, by ignoring these pathetic and patronizing parasites, we starve them of their necessary and essential element, attention.  While ignoring them, we can demand that the blog’s owners prevent such creatures from spreading their diseased putrescence anyway near their blog. It is a requirement that too many blog owners take too lightly.

The degree of irresponsible, immature and often extremely abusive posts appearing on some Arsenal sites should be a concern for all. Open and intelligent debate strengthened by honesty and respect for others opinions should be a cornerstone of ethical and intelligent bloggers anywhere and anytime. It is the monitors responsibility to ensure that salient and appropriate opinions are expressed and anything else is flushed down the drain where all effluent goes. We can succeed in limiting the cyberpunks’ influence and reach just like English Football succeeded in mostly eliminating the savagery and brutality of the Hooligans from Britain.


The books…

The sites…

36 Replies to “Cyberbullies, net skinheads, net-hooligans and other infestations”

  1. if see no evil,hear no evil, then you are evil
    you are happy when
    -we sell our best players to our rivals
    -we get best sponsorship deals only for players to take wage cuts
    -we sell players for over £20 m but when it comes to replacing them we claim no player is worth over £15m
    this is not our arsenal

  2. Hotspring, what do you mean by ‘we want our Arsenal back’. The phrase means something different to each person who uses it. Be specific please. What do you want back. Make a coherent argument and put it up for discussion.

  3. When they sold.vieira and.gilberto, i didnt say a thing. When they sold henry and let pires go, i didnt say a thing. But when cesc left, and nasri, and van persie and song, and they ALL say the same thing, you have to speak out.

    Or would you stay quiet until all our good players have left?

  4. come on hottspring,make it clear what YOU want rather than regurgitating a boring phrase spouted by the universally brainless. What specifically do you mean when you say “WE WANT OUR ARSENAL BACK”, what does it mean to you exactly?

  5. hottspring: Am I missing something here or is your rant totally off topic and rather senseless to boot…..yes that is it….you wanted to go to the LeGrove website but got hijacked like Arsenal and have now gone missing any relevance! Our Arsenal is still here, but YOUR fantasy Football Arsenal where everything you say and do is superb and legendary has long gone, like the Titanic.

    1)I believe they wanted to and insisted on going but we did not sell our Best players, we sold our slipperiest and least committed ones… point in trying to keep them….the grass was greener apparently. Nasri loves MC splinters from sitting on the bench, Cesc is making noises about his lack of game time with the Barcaloonies and so on.
    2)I bet you cannot even give me ONE actual wage a Gunner earns, never-mind repeating BS you heard off the net from the make-believe media! Shame on you for being so gullible.
    3)Who is the we who say players are not worth more than 15M my FFM friend……could it be a rational voice amid the frenetic overspending and over-hyped managers with too much money and not enough common sense….or maybe its someone at a Club who believe sustainability and moderation are virtues NOT failings, unlike you.

    I hear the Arsenal you are looking for is down the 7 sisters Road playing in a tiny stadium called Whitehart Lane and pretending to be our equals….why not you ask them where AFC went to…..

  6. When terry Neil was the manager we were boring and hard to watch 0-0 every week maybe that’s the arsenal of mid table hot springs wants back my arsenal has never left my heart has been with me 24/7 for 45 years win or lose before wenger after wenger arsenal will always be with me In arsene we trust rust bust or lust A true fan will support what’s best for the club

  7. Ok, co-ordinated defence, long balls, and a “they don’t like it up them” attitude? I think you find Fat Sam’s your man. Or is it really Arsene’s Arsenal pre the looney cash spending bender that most of the world has gone on? Guess what? The world has changed and if you lived in it you’d know.

  8. I admire UA for regularly updating us on the performances of the officials and how one team especially,get a very easy ride when it comes to match changing decisions.Your ability to stay rational when many other people,who should know better are calling for actions that are either going to bankrupt the club or damage our long term stability,is also very worthy.However your failure to address the issue that we appear to be owned by someone who isn’t prepared to give leadership and direction,which has led to a situation where The Arsenal are not challenging for trophies at the highest level,despite bringing in a very healthy revenue stream from some very loyal supporters,is to confusing.The anti Arsene brigade infuriate me but it is very hard to back a guy who gives Denilson,Bendtner,Squilacci etc etc etc such huge salaries and long term contracts that we are now hamstrung by his decisions,financially.

  9. Agreed,Font,without Arsene we wouldn’t have had the confidence to build the ground that is now making us Millions of £’s.Arsene Wenger is the reason the club is so highly regarded around the World.However no man can act alone and mistakes are made when the responsibilty of taking on other peoples’ roles,falls on his head.He is an Arsenal
    man through and through and is possibly the most influential figures in the club’s history.However I believe that his desire for success isn’t being met by our owner who is not an Arsenal man…he owns many other Sports franchises and it now shows,on the pitch.If it wasn’t for Arsene we could well regularly finish 6th or 7th.Why don’t UA discuss our owner?

  10. “We have moved from a society of full support, to a media society and an opinion society. When I arrived here a defeat was not as dramatic as it is today. Why? Because we have moved from a rational society to a much more emotional society.

    “When you finish a game it is analysed in a minute and the opinions go through the whole of society in 10 minutes. The emotional side of any reaction today is massive.

    “Our society has changed much deeper than we think it has. Sometimes for good because people are better informed, but as well sometimes for bad because people who really take action, people who have responsibilities are not respected as much as before. When you have an opinion you’re tempted to think you are right, because you do not have to prove you’re right. It’s just an opinion. Today everyone has an opinion and people who have real responsibilities are less respected.”

    Arsene Wenger

  11. A very valid point from Arsene.However in 1979,when I started going,entry into the Stadium didn’t cost an arm and a leg so it is not surprising that the fans that are now treated as customers and pay a huge amount for their tickets, start complaining about the “product”.A ridiculous notion to some but this is how our club appear to want to market the club.There are swathes of “supporters” who are more interested in the catering than the kick off time,who now have an opinion,via the Internet etc

  12. @Eddy

    I only started going as a junior gunner in 1991. It was already pretty expensive then to be fair, even in the family enclosure – about 250 quid for the season I think.

    It is expensive, and we are constantly told we are being fleeced, but I disagree. Life has become considerably more expensive. For example, it costs 4 quid for a single on the tube!! Go to a nice restaurant and 50 quid a head is the minimum you can expect. If people want to complain about life and the country this has become, then I won’t disagree. But focusing all the anger on Arsenal is rather short-sighted perhaps.

    And anyway, I’m not sure I like that argument really, the ‘I pay my money’ argument you hear regularly to legitimize all sorts of spoilt brat behaviour from football supporters.

    Yes, we live in a consumer society and are encouraged to think we matter and we are important. Technology like the internet has boosted this ego driven society. But, unfortunately, there are so many people that we don’t matter at all.

    The way the club is marketed is the way all businesses are marketed. Our CEO isn’t a football man, he’s a corporate suit who worked for nike! It’s sad ofcourse, but it’s perfectly normal in the world we live. The problem for alot of people I suspect is the world, not the club.

  13. Very well put mate and I agree with the dislike of the argument re paying money gives you the right to constantly complain.Enjoy the game tomorrow and I hope we win.

  14. Whether you want Arsene to go or stay is irrelevant to this – perfectly logical cases can be made for both sides of that row. The problem is extremist fans. The AKB and the AAA are made up of blinkered fundamentalists.
    They are the problem. Because of their un-shakable views, they are not interested in proper discussion. Cyber bullying and petty insults is all they have really.

  15. @Eddy

    You too! 4-0 Arsenal 😉


    That’s what the boss is saying there I think. This extremism is symptomatic of modern society – emotion over rational thought. And it’s certainly not restricted to football debate. Just look at the reactions to things in the news.

    I don’t genuinely believe these people are extreme, or fundamentalists! Maybe their personae on the internet are, as the OP is saying, but I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone like that in real life. It’s a game. People are bored/frustrated/attention seeking and the internet or phone-ins are there in front of them. These aren’t serious, thought-out opinions worthy of discussion. They should rightly be totally ignored. But I suppose because they are loud, or especially stupid or offensive, they get heard and people react.

    I really don’t mind internet banter exchanges if I’m honest, even the downright offensive ones haha. As in all banter, the winner is always the funniest. It doesn’t take alot of effort to ignore unfunny or argumentative banter, so I don’t give it another thought and just get on with my life. Confusing it for football opinion/debate/analysis is simply a mistake.

  16. I was not suggesting these people were fundamentalists in every way? Just football…
    The problem is, people who actually go to a blog to read and post comments are cheated every time one of these cretins posts his poison.
    Not to mention the anount of small children who read these blogs – ok, we all heard swearing as kids, and insults etc. but nothing close to what these kids must read nowadays.
    Nothing but a nuisance in my opinion.

  17. Eddy:

    Perhaps the reason UA don’t question Kroenke is because they support his policy and to do so would be ‘Anti Arsenal’, which of course they’re not !

  18. What exactly are Stan’s policies! Is my question.When we fell behind the pecking order previously,every effort was made to restore us to the top of the pile whereas the situation now is one of asking the fans to accept that we can’t compete,which is not the case.The fact is we have made ourselves uncompentitive which is unacceptable.

  19. Anyone who thinks Stan doesn’t want to win (if only strictly from the business incentive) has no real insight in investments.

    I love this blog because of articles like this.

  20. @Limpar’s Wand, £50 a head for a decent meal! You can get a great meal for half that, where are you going? (Of course you might be a Michelin chef with high standards but even so you’re throwing your money away).

    Very good piece Don but you claim these bullies are illiterate and then in the previous sentence spell bane incorrectly. 🙂

  21. To all those who “want our Arsenal back”, take a look at this and tell me exactly what Arsenal you want back…

    The truth is Arsene Wenger has brought unpresidented success and stability to the club in a period of football which has seen the goal posts moved dramatically. We are now at a stage where the team can play away from home in shocking conditions and get a draw (on the same day all the other games were dire) and still get abuse. People need to grow up, get realistic about what can be achieved in the current climate and SUPPORT THE TEAM!

    All you who are marching today, you should be ashamed of yourselves. You are the last people I would want on my side in the trenches. You’re a disgrace.

  22. @Stevie E

    Well said.

    I wonder if the discredited double talking Doublegooner will be marching with the Black Scarf Morons.

  23. what does “we want our arsenal back” means? can someone explain this vague statement. what kind of arsenal do they want back? which era? Has someone stolen or borrowed their arsenal previously that they want it back now?
    the internet is a veil. I think besides the hooligans of yesteryears using internet to vent their illogical rant, the internet has also created a completely new set of cyber-hacks.age doesn’t seem to be a factor here. a 16 year old can be as dickish enough as a 40 year old. lots of flatform -blogs, forums, vlogs,twitter. its basically a jungle and all we can do is either avoid completely or face through.

  24. @ the soldiers of black.

    When/ After/ Whenever….you find/get your ARSENAL back, please do verify If you all got the same ARSENAL or each one of you got a different ARSENAL.

  25. Some information for those who want to know why the Ems costs so much to visit.
    Per seat the stadium cost £7,292
    So your season ticket price will take a bit of time to pay for the stadium + players wages + staff wages + player acquisition + agents fees + any bloody thing else you can think of.
    Compare the cost per seat to Wembley £10,137 your sitting pretty.

  26. A good piece about respecting people and then you get Arsenal fans calling other Arsenal fans morons because they are suspicious about the intentions of those running the club. Oh the irony.

  27. And what is it that Ramsey is doing at arsenal is he better that Tarabat at QPR or Ruiz at Fulham

  28. Ooo the irony! Ooo someone has contradicted the author! Ooo I get to make yet another smug, self satisfied comment and prove how clever I am!

    What a boring man/woman you are.

  29. @vince where do you see ramsey being discussed? you must be from the BlameRamsey bandwagon.

  30. A good article Don. I agree that the cyber bullies and parasites of today have similarities to the thugs of the past, but I would suggest today’s cyber scum are largely a new generation.

    While UA has suffered direct cyber attack on occasions, resulting in the server going down, that has been repaired and the site thankfully has continued. One can only speculate who might be behind the attacker(s).

    I am very glad that UA largely screens out the really nasty posters who tend to use the filthiest of language to illustrate their invalid points when posting elsewhere.

    But we do seem to have a series of persistent anti Wenger posters choosing to contribute to this site, usually well off subject, their intention is designed to either deflect the debate from the established subject or it is simply to fire in throw away anti Wenger one liners. Surely it is time these more persistent trolls are red carded.

  31. @rupert cook…thanks for the spelling advisory but I was brought up with bain and bane being interchangeable…having now verified the correct usage, I am duly chastened….:( It must be my hangover form the US elections, ie: Bain Capital – Romney – have become the bane of my existence!

  32. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that generally the actual literacy or even ability to communicate effectively is devoid in most of these scumbags. Which leaves one thinking that generally as a rule these people are probably either total imposters or merely idiots.

    I have to admit that recently in places such as a Cultured Left Foot and Arseblog to name a few, some very intelligent and emotionally honest debate has taken place. People do have a right to have a less than rosy perception of Arsenal and all things Arsenal at present. I have no issue with this form of discussion, you have to understand both sides of a point of view to truly have a perspective on either.

    In all honesty however, it isn’t the vile abuse, the name calling and the taunts that upset, it is the absolutely disgraceful use of the English language whilst doing so.

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