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Sarcasticity as a function of profile disclosure level

February 15, 2007

Okay…I have a hypothesis. I’m never gonna test this because compiling the data would be a ridiculous waste of my time.

I’ve noticed a general pattern out there on blogs or forums (places where commenting is allowed) such that the level of snarkiness, rudeness, derisiveness, scorn, disdain, etc. increases as the level of knowledge about the one making the comment decreases. The plot below shows sarcasticity on the y-axis vs. profile disclosure level on the x-axis.


Profile disclosure level of the commenter is discussed here in three basic levels: (1) when the real name and full contact information is either readily available through a link, or not too hard to find, (2) when an alias or nickname is used but enough clues are given that one could likely find out the identity of that person if they really tried, and (3) completely anonymous and without a link to any other site; usually using the name ‘anonymous’ or some other nondescript handle probably never used again.

However, this qualitative relationship has some important caveats:

a) if the commenter and poster know each other reasonably well sarcasticity is more-or-less independent of disclosure level (this is very common)

b) if the commenter is well-known for making rash comments (that’s their bag baby) then they will be more likely to do it regardless

The plot above would require a huge amount of data (hundreds of points) and would likely be a pretty rough trendline. A small sample set, especially taken within one kind of blogging community, would probably not produce this result.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Thermochronic permalink
    February 16, 2007 8:38 am

    I wonder if it is causitive in the other direction. Snarky people tend to remain completely anonymous, really bright intelligent people with amazing research and stunning personalities use aliases…I say this because the most sarcastic comment I have received on my blog is from an anonymous who I know to be in general sarcastic anyways.

  2. Lab Lemming permalink
    February 18, 2007 8:18 pm

    Someone’s been snarkier than me?

  3. Lab Lemming permalink
    March 15, 2007 6:19 am

    BTW, this also applies to peer review.

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