The Chat Room Essay Research Paper Michael

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The Chat Room Essay, Research Paper Michael Yost Dr. Mary Henderson 2/18/2001 English 1101 The Chat Room As Dr. Barry Mowell of Broward Community College once put it, “One of the most effective vehicles for wasting your time and interacting with pre-pubescent or otherwise immature, rude people who frequently engage in gross self aggrandizement and ill- mannered behavior would be the internet chatroom.” When I read that six months ago, I ventured into a chat room for the first time. I found that a chat room can be quite addicting. I have since chatted on the internet every day with little exception. Since I am a computer science major, I looked for chat about that subject. On America Online, hereafter referred to as AOL, I found that in the category “Special Interests”

tech chat fit my requirements. When I first went to it, I didn’t know any of the abbreviations. In a chatroom, in addition to talking about tech subjects, there is a compelling desire to laugh. They express that as LOL, short for laugh out loud. There also is ROFL, meaning rolling on the floor laughing. There are other abbreviations, some utilizing profanity. Essentially, over the last six months, I have begun to notice that the people in the room can be classified into some simple categories. These may be generalizations but are wholly accurate and appear to encompass the entire spectrum of people who chat. There are helpers, non-helpers, SNERTS, script kiddies, hackers, and relationship seekers. First of all, there are those who help people with their computer questions. They

seem to go to extraordinary lengths to do so, freely assisting people with their computer questions very patiently. Then there are those who help no one. Either they dont know how to or simply refuse to help. Some of them may be termed smart alecks because, when someone asks for help or a tech question, they give rude and sometimes obnoxious answers. When someone comes in the room and gets an answer like that, they frequently leave. Then there are what we term SNERTS (short for snot nosed egotistical rude twerps). The name speaks for itself. The SNERT is usually some small person who thinks they can hide behind the computer screen and get away with being rude and annoying. The next category is the script kiddie. The script kiddie desires to be a hacker. They know certain codes or

scripts that will disrupt the room. They can be quite annoying. For example, they can send scripts into the room that will erase the entire rooms text. Or they can send many lines of text into the room. That is called scrolling. They can even exploit weaknesses in someone’s computer or program and boot or punt them offline. Another category is true hackers. Hackers are quite knowledgable. Some use their power for good, and others to destroy. Hacking can be illegal and hackers can be prosecuted if they break the law and are caught. A real hacker however, will never get caught. Then there are those who seek companionship. They can be seeking true love or just a good time. Some represent themselves honestly, while others are deceptive about their true selves. AOL has taken steps

to eliminate some of the people that act in an inapropriate manner. The first line of defense is a box that when checked, removes the person’s text from your screen. That is called “Ignore.” The next step is the “Notify AOL” button. One copies what the person has typed and sends it to AOL. Once sent, the community action team reviews it for possible violation of TOS. TOS is AOL’s terms of service. If there is a violation of the terms, you can lose your account or get a TOS warning. Three warnings in six months terminates your AOL account. The last line of defense against people who are out of line is the chat room host or guide. Frequently a host or guide comes in the room. If someone gets out of hand, the host has the power to gag the person for 15, 20, or 30