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The Dickwad Theory or John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory states that:
“”Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad
Face it, this explains everything.
Examples and applications
It seems to happen slower in more lefty circles, mostly because one of the values being clung to is 'try not to be a dick.' But given enough time, cliques find a way.
When your group considers being an asshole a virtue, well, the process accelerates.
- 8chan – for the subgroup who found 4chan to be insufficiently nasty
- Encyclopædia Dramatica
- The Slymepit
- Yahoo! Answers (Also in the comments of every Yahoo! News article)
Yahtzee Croshaw of Zero Punctuation fame has postulated that the theory is actually too complex, and proposes removing the "Anonymity" and "Audience" sections to leave the formula as "Normal Person = Total Fuckwad", on the basis that *all* people are fuckwads and that it's not so much the presence of anonymity or an audience that causes issues, but more the lack of consequence for being outwardly the complete dick someone necessarily is on the inside.
- http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/ – they also produced a version euphemised to "dickwad"
- Extra Punctuation, "On Multiplayer", 1 December 2009