The 20 Worst People, Places, and Things on the Internet.
20) Internet Novels: Although I probably spend a lot more time on the net than most people, there are just some things that don’t work well on the net. Internet novels fall into this category. Who wants to spend hours sitting in chair, straining their eyes, and hitting next over and over and over again to read an internet novel? Compare that to laying back and getting comfortable on a couch and reading thru a book. I’ll grant you that internet novels aren’t even close to the worst things on the net, but it just isn’t the same.
19) Sharing Chat Clients:: This is like my ultimate pet peeve on the internet. I have had 3, count ’em 3, fights with people over them sharing their chat clients with their significant other. I’ve had to deal with everything from insults, to mistaken identity, to people telling me things they shouldn’t know all while I’m trying to talk to someone else. Let’s face it, is there any real reason to share a chat client with someone else? Why would you ever share a chat client anyway? Don’t people trust their partner enough to let them talk without looking over there shoulder? Are they just plain old jealous that their partner has other friends? Are they so nosy they have to look at everything their partner is doing? The whole thing is annoying.
18 Everything and Nothing Sites:: E/N sites are growing more and more popular. Popular with people making sites that is, not with readers. Basically most E/N sites are updated with exciting newsflashes that cover what the webmaster ate for breakfast or what CD they bought at the mall. Occasionally a video ripped from another site is tossed in for varieties sake. In a world wide web filled with crap E/N sites are particularly annoying.
17) Dot Com Mania:: I am piling on a bit here but I have never really understood the stock markets incredible fascination with “dot com companies”. I mean how do you get people to invest millions of dollars and sink whole fortunes into the stocks of companies with miniscule revenue streams that have never made any money and really don’t have any prospects of making cash for years at best?
16) Game Hackers: Every time a great multiplayer game comes out on the net you can be sure that there’ll be a group of people who immediately start looking for a way to hack it. The next thing you know they make the hacks available to the public and more and more people start to use them. The next thing you know the game is ruined. Take Diablo for example. As more and more people started hacking the game they got bored playing against the computer. After all, they were pretty much invincible. So then for they started killing other players who had no chance against them because of their hacked stats and gear. Soon at least 1 out of every 3 games ended with hacked characters wrecking the game for honest players. It pretty much destroyed Diablo online. This is a pattern that has been repeated again and again in online games and it’s too bad.
15) Porn, Porn, Everywhere:: I am by no means a prude but the overwhelming amount of porn on the net irritates even me. I mean do I have to get ICQ porn spam? Is that really necessary? Is it necessary for people to put blind links in forums to porn sites without letting people know? Is it necessary for me to get dozens of porn spam mails every week? I don’t have any problems with porn on the net in general but it would be nice if some of these sites weren’t quite as shameless about their quasi-spam promotional tactics.
14) IRC:: There is nothing wrong with the technology of IRC. In fact if you have a group of friends and want to get together to chat IRC is a good place to set it up. But the culture of IRC is a complete mess. You could literally go through dozens and dozens of chat rooms without ever finding a place to meet people online. Big rooms are so full of people coming in and out, requests for cyber sex, people being kicked, etc that it’s almost impossible to start a conversation. Smaller rooms are usually so dead it’s almost impossible to find other people to talk to. It’s too bad but IRC is being ruined a sullen, mopey, culture despite the solid technology behind it.
13) Microsoft Haters:: Yes Windows ME is probably not as good as Windows 98. But what are the other options? Macs? Yeah right. Linux? 90% of the people on the web probably couldn’t figure Linux out and the rest of us who don’t know it would resent the time it took to learn it. Then there’s Internet Explorer. Sure it’s not perfect but what are the other options? Opera? Hahahahaha. Netscape 6? Netscape is slower, less user friendly to install, and much more crash prone than IE. The thing that really bugs me is when people go on and on and on about Microsoft “Winblow$” and how terrible it is when they’re using Outlook Express and Internet Explorer. Give it a rest guys.
12) Domain Name Disputes:: For the most part domain name disputes these days consist of big companies using their lawyers to intimidate people out of domain names that they have questionable claims on. The standard operating procedure nowadays seems to be 1) doing a search for any domain name that has a companies trademark in it and then 2) sending a legal nastygram threatening the owner of the domain to sign it over or face going to court. Even though legally these companies may not have a leg to stand on, a lot of website owners cave in. After all the domain cost them what, $70 for 2 years tops? What is that amount of money vs. a court fight against high powered corporate lawyers? This sort of blatant intimidation is becoming more and more common on the net.
11) People Who Want to Make the Net “Kid Safe”:: The net is and always has been by default an adult medium. Unlike TV and radio, web pages are always “on”. There is no way to set them to only come on at a certain times. Furthermore, web pages are hosted from all over the world from nations of widely different ethical, cultural, and moral viewpoints. The idea that some guy in Norway should take his porn site off the air because some person in Iowa is too lazy to pay attention to what their kids are doing on the internet is beyond obnoxious. The internet is not a baby sitter and if parents allow their children unsupervised access to the internet they are making a mistake. I emphasize..they are making a mistake, not the websites.
10) Net Ignorance:: One thing I’ve definitely realized after doing internet tech support is that the overwhelming majority of the people on the net have no clue what they are doing. Terms like browser, AOL, the internet, URL, ISP, etc mean nothing to them. To them the internet is going to AOL or Yahoo’s homepage (because that’s what comes up when they open their browser) and clicking on links. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll do a search for something as well. But to them, that is the internet. Many of the web’s best pages will never be seen by the majority of the people on the internet simply because they have no idea how to even type in an address in their location/address bar. That’s a real shame.
9) Shady Ad Companies:: One of the reason a lot of talented people don’t spend time working on the web is because of the shady ad companies out there that cheat them out of money. Game Fan folded and legally wormed their way out of paying a lot of their hosted sites for ads they ran. The Blah-Blah network has had numerous complaints lodged against them including a claim by the Stile Project that Blah-Blah owes them more than $100k. The ad company I had and dropped for Brass Knuckles Webzine under counted my traffic by 70%, rarely responded to emails, and never paid me. The honest ad companies on the net usually pay such a small amount of money out of what they earn for selling the ads that it’s not worth even using them. This is a major impediment to seeing a better quality of pages on the net.
8) Pedophiles:: The internet provides a way for people with similar interests to get together. In general, this is a good thing, but in the case of pedophiles it allows them to get together and trade tapes and pics. In many places online pedophiles are tolerated. IRC, newsgroups, and until just recently even Yahoo chat rooms were frequented openly by pedophiles and no one seemed to care. However as more and more stories about pedophiles arranging meetings with young kids come out, a greater number of companies seem willing to take action. Yahoo is making an effort to get rid of it’s pedophile chat rooms after a 13 year old girl was raped after a meeting was set up online. Hopefully more companies will follow Yahoo’s example.
7) Forum Spammers:: These lamers go to public forums and post new topics over and over and over until they drive all other topics off of the board. Of course this deletes every other topic and post on the board. Unfortunately the maladjusted losers who spam these boards don’t seem to care. I’ve actually seen people spend hours and create dozens of accounts for no other purpose than trying to keep other people from being able to post on a forum. Anyone who engages in this activity at best probably needs to see a psychologist and at worst needs a short stint in a correctional facility.
6) AOL:: These guys are the masters of marketing. You can hardly move across the web without seeing one of their ads and their famous “500 hours of free time” CDs are everywhere. But their service is just as bad as their marketing is good. Their AOL 5.0 software actually puts AOL networking components into the network section of your operating system. This can interfere with your internet connection if you ever switch from AOL to another ISP. Furthermore their AOL 6.0 software actually makes AOL your homepage and completely blocks any and all methods to change the homepage. Their AOL Instant Messenger is about the worst chat client I’ve ever seen despite it’s huge popularity that’s driven again by AOL’s marketing. Then consider all the complaints about trouble getting connected, slowness of connection, excessive pop up ads, etc. Avoid AOL and get signed up with almost any other internet provider and you’ll be glad you did.
5) Dial Up Service:: Although more and more people in the US are switching over to high speed internet service by the day most people are stuck using 56k modems that are agonizingly slow. Web pages that crawl, mp3s that that take 20 minutes to download, browsers that take hours, game demos that may take all night to download are all the rule with dial up connections. Hopefully within the next few years, cable, satellite, and DSL will become so cheap and wide spread that they’ll almost totally replace dial up connections. But in the interim people will have to be content to wait.
4) Pop-Up Ads:: Pop up ads are plain old annoying. Unlike a banner which you can actually just sort of skip over and ignore, pop up ads are in your face and force you to waste time closing them. Don’t even get me started on multiple pop-ups that open up more windows as you close them. No respectable web site should have pop up adds on it.
3) Flaming:: There are a certain group of people on the net with a very minimal set of social skills who enjoy “flaming” other people. In email, forums, chats, etc these people go out of their way to be as rude as humanly possible to everyone. Many of them are considered “trolls”, (basically losers who get off on annoying other people). These people typically don’t care who they offend and often act as loser magnets drawing other flamers into the forums they inhabit and turning driving typically polite people crazy until they start flaming as well. There’s nothing wrong with these people a good old fashioned @ss whomping wouldn’t cure, but unfortunately the anonymity of the net provides them protection.
2) Virus Makers:: People making and spreading viruses are simply malicious losers. There is no legit reason to make and release these viruses “into the wild.” In fact, most of these losers don’t even know who is getting and passing on their viruses. There’s no point to it other than a sick desire to damage other people’s computers for no good reason.
1) Spam:: To call spam annoying is the understatement of the decade. Just to minimize spam I have to have a second email account I use to sign up for anything on the net. Despite that, I still get spam and it’s often misleading. A lot of the times it’s designed to look like personal email with subjects like “Hi” or “Here’s the address you asked for”. Many of them don’t even have a way to get taken off of the mailing list you are on. Even if they do, many spammers simply use emails sent to that list as a way to verify that your email address is correct. So ironically by replying to these emails asking to be removed, you are simply setting yourself up for more inbox clogging spam. This is industry built on annoying 9999 people in hopes of getting 1 person to buy your junk. How the cretins in this industry can sleep at night is beyond me.
In order to recognize the excellent work some of our fellow bloggers have been doing, RWN has put together the
Honorable Mentions: Joy Behar, Barbara Boxer, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Anderson Cooper, Chris Dodd, Maureen Dowd, Dick Durbin,