back to article The internet is for violent jerks, study finds

Does the internet change folks into assholes? Or do assholes just naturally gravitate to using the internet? While the question may never truly be answered by modern science, new research suggests the asshole-to-user ratio isn't just in your imagination. In a study of 9,405 Taiwanese teenagers, a team of researchers at …


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  1. Jack
    Thumb Down

    No one ever blames television anymore.

    "China's ministry of health defines a 'net addict as someone who spends at least six hours a day on the web and suffers sleeplessness, lack of concentration, and yearnings to get back online."

    Because no one ever spends that much time watching *television*, or misses it in any way if you cut them off from the tube.

    Really, to my mind this "Internet Addiction" stuff is just another version of the usual, "'s *new*!" panic we've seen over pretty much any new popular thing that comes along.

  2. Emrys Capati

    reminds me

    The people over at Penny-Arcade already have a theory about this. I think that it more than sums it up. hehehe

  3. Jach

    Another conclusion?

    Taiwanese teenagers, who are "net addicts", are jerks.

  4. Seán

    Taiwan land of low prices home of the sleepy

    Only 37% of Taiwanese teenagers have shoved someone over the course of an entire year. What kind of nebbish clowns are these people. Surely that percentage should be much closer to 100%. Perhaps violent video games and internet interaction will wake these subdued and subnormal types up.

  5. Allan Dyer Silver badge

    or it could show...

    that net addicts are more honest?

    got some browsing to do...

  6. Lars


    The idiots that came up with this study is a bunch of fools and should get a sound beating

  7. jake Silver badge

    The pen is mightier than the sward.

    Folks tend to get bent out of shape faster if they can re-read something they perceive as "insulting" several times over a couple of minutes ... Written language is a powerful tool, especially when used (in)correctly.

    "The Internet" (whatever that is) is a tool that any tool can use, for whatever reason, whenever. Unfortunately, many tools have learned how to use "The Internet" tool as a tool for their toolish behavior.

    The trick is to learn which tools are useful, and which tools to ignore.

  8. Jason Togneri

    Madness from all sides

    "A number of reports have recently linked online networking and computer games to a host of health risks." -

    Craziness! I agree that a lot of people ought to get out more, but the internet seems to be the next video nasties/3D consoles/paedophiles - oh wait, it combines all of the above already! Idiots.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    no, no, no...

    When will they ever learn?

    The Internet is for porn!

  10. Mark

    Well, yes!

    In other news, study proves sky blue, grass green.

  11. Pete Silver badge

    survey based on what people SAY they do?

    So, you ask someone a question, write down thier answer, crunch some numbers and come up with ... what? Random noise or a profound understanding of the human psyche? Whatever happened to designing experiments that measure what actually takes place. Or should we scrap CERN and merely ask the world's nuclear scientists whether they think it's "right" for the Higgs boson to exist?

    Personally, until someone else is able to repeat the survey and get the same results (a property that proper scientists call "reproducibility"), then I reckon they've got nothing of any value.

    Just as most psychological research (and therefore virtually the whole subject) in the '50s, '60s and 70s was based on studies of american undergraduates - as these were the people who responded to the "test subject wanted for psychology study - pays $10 advertisements, to extrapolate the behaviour of the whole internet and all it's 1billion users from a group of Tiawanese children, is somewhere between laughably naive and cluelessly lazy.

    However, since psych. experiments are hardly ever re-run and never come up with the same results again (which is why they're hardly ever duplicated), I'm sure this result will stick in the minds of our law-makers and regulators as "evidence" when they want to further reduce our freedoms and liberty - that's progress.

  12. Juillen

    Sounds like

    The 'net is where the Friday/Saturday night revellers end up for the rest of the week then.

  13. Dave Bell

    The internet is different

    If you are arguing with somebody face-to-face, you're getting feedback signals that you don't get on the internet..

    What starts to be interesting is that they're looking at both internet behaviour and what people do in the normal physical world. But are we seeing selection or training. Is the internet finding assholes,ormaking them?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Still back ass wards

    Violent jerks are shunned by society and have no where left to turn but the webosphere.

  15. Luis Ogando
    Thumb Down

    Utter Codswallop!

    This survey is total rubbish! Ask any person, let alone an internet-loving student, if they've displayed any form of (slightly) aggressive behaviour recently and the answer will be 'yes'. Add to this the fact that they're dealing with teenagers in an environment where the urge to be the testosterone-filled Alpha Male is very high and the slightly obtuse microcosm of university life (with its associated social structure) upsetting the balance and you have results that bear no relation whatsoever to real life. What an ingenious waste of effort this research was!

    And that's before we mention the average internet-loving student's penchant for enhancing their status through tale elaboration. </rant>

    I'm off to frag some large-breasted, bikini-wearing, bespectacled secretary cyber-vixens now..

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Imma flying to Taiwan

    to kick some researcher ass

  17. Eponymous Cowherd

    The Internet is actually for erudite and cultured people.

    And anyone who says otherwise is going to get their f'ing head kicked in.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    And the "Atilla the Hun award for Misdirection" goes to...

    Given the choice between thumping or shooting a few pixels in a videogame and doing the same thing to the Yoof around here, I know which I prefer (not that some of them couldn't do with a clip 'round the ear, mind).

    How exactly is some mouse potato supposed to be a threat in the Real World when every day the Government is telling us we're a nation of obese lardbutts with the physical prowess of the average housebrick?

    It fracks me off when some moron with nothing better to do starts bleating to all and sundry that anyone who plays violent videogames (i.e. me!) is a very real Menace To Society and should be locked away for the Good Of Humanity. So a new study shows an increase in the number of people who spend a lot of time on the Internet who have gotten irritated by someone in the real world. Whoop-de-do. What about the increase in the number of crimes commited by young people who spend most of their time hanging out on the streets getting pi**ed on cheap booze? Or the decrease in the number of policemen and women on the streets to catch them at it?

    I could be arrested for carrying an open bottle of low alcohol lager on the local beach (happen I should be dumass enough to do it) but come nightfall - with the arrival of the boy racers with their groupies and hangers-on - and suddenly the council's zero tolerance zone seems to disappear. Hmm, single overweight adult walking on the shingle or 17-year-old driving a tricked-out Hot Hatch bankrolled by the British benefits system - remind me, which is the bigger threat to other people?

    But of course the Powers That Be will take this survey and add it to all their other statistics that show we cannot be trusted to surf the 'Net without Big Brother watching our every move. Then they will remove all the violent games and outlaw possession of them - I mean, EVERYBODY knows that, if the government makes something illegal, it solves the problem overnight. Just look at the effect the post-Dunblane gun laws have had on gun crime, or the way the new Extreme Porn laws have stopped rapes and assaults, or the "crackdown" on uninsured and unlicenced drivers has cut the number of illegal drivers on the roads...

    One final thought - has the author(s) of this report ever spent time in a British supermarket? It's not the 'Net users who worry me - it's the teenage mom (or owrse still, the mid-life crisis Mom who dresses like a teenager but without the benefits of youth) with her kids (one pushing the cart full of groceries, the others IN the cart) or the OAPs wandering aimlessly from aisle to aisle, looking one way while pushing their huge cart 'full' of a couple of apples, a bit of meat and a dozen tomatos somewhere completely different. Hell, even the staff pushing those great big cages of restock are safer than most of the general public in those places!

  19. Anonymous Coward


    The world is full of idiots jerks and arseholes' - look at el reg.

    Full of people constantly getting the wrong end of the stick and having a go.

    Why would the interwibble be any diffrent?

    *\. Ok Im getting my coat and leaving... no need to push there arsehole!

  20. Bo Pedersen

    They have it the wrong way round

    the internet (and games) is/are a place to relax and unwind in the ever more irritating world of red-tape, stupid laws and other various annoyances, that drive us to insanity.

    Yes you could put some slow jazz on headphones and relax and unwind

    or you could go on Team Fortress 2 while playing The Prodigy and blow things up

    end result, aaaaaahhhhh :)

    oh and anyone who disagrees with me and many other posters here gets a good kickin!

  21. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Exactly! "da net" is for porn and the last thing you can do after a little "relaxation" is get up and start hitting people! I've gone too far, I'll get me....

  22. Chika


    This sounds amazingly like the idea they used to peddle about television encouraging people to emulate violent behaviour.

    OK, where's the "violent kicking" icon?!?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm a web developer - does this mean I can get a badge that says "I make assholes!" now :)

  24. Eddy Ito

    Teenagers?? ROFLMAO

    Oh my, dateless, socially awkward, young kiddies with something to prove are slightly more likely to be found "addicted" to the net than their more confident peers. Shocking, how can this be true? Simple, the real intarweb geeks lied about how much time they waste playing games online because they either don't know or are embarrassed by it.

  25. Chika

    @The Fuzzy Wotnot

    > "da net" is for porn

    Live on Avenue Q, do you? ;)

  26. Cameron Colley

    Where are the Japanese?

    To tell us this study is about as valid as tarot cards?

  27. Anonymous Coward



  28. Andy Bright
    Thumb Up

    You stole my fucking cloudsong..

    Just goes to show what happens when you play too much WoW eh?

    (Yes I know this is actually happened in a game called Dark Age of Camelot.. but any WoW player will tell you this is scarily familiar to events they've witnessed many times).

  29. Ishkandar

    Where do these guys come from ??

    "China's ministry of health defines a 'net addict as someone who spends at least six hours a day on the web and suffers sleeplessness, lack of concentration, and yearnings to get back online."

    If they can't even get their facts straight, how can they expect to be believed ?? Saying that a study of a minority in Taiwan represents the world at large and that the "Chinese ministry" has that definition when any real Chinese ministries are about 1200 miles further north, shows you what kind of a spin this is !!

    If they expect to be taken with any seriousness, they should get, at least, most of their facts right !! Otherwise, it would be just like saying that all of America is a lawless, violent land because some guys can just walk up to a school and shoot a number of the people there !! Or that Americans are all crooks because Bernie Madoff set up a massive Ponzi scheme !!

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