Chapter three: Resources
All events of import have witnesses, autonomous senses that record and recite the events for others, but as time marches on, complex structures arise for recording the vital information that must be passed on. There are those that exist for passing critical information of rising conflicts. In an environment where practically all details may be razed in the battles, someone takes on the burden of collecting every datum.
This is often done for giggles. Let's face it, catfights are funny, and there are many of us that receive pleasure from the drama of those that take e-living too seriously. Sadly, the information is often quickly deleted in a either a fit of tantrums, or an earnest attempt of one participant to forget the altercation. In these events, only self-important overly-serious e-detectives can reconstruct the records of e-conflicts.
The tools are few. The amazing search engines, such as Google, often cache the pages. In these cases, the detectives have made lucky breaks, but it also takes quick-thinking informants. If some quick eyes on the scene can manage to get screen captures of the web pages in which the catfights are taking place, and can save the pages (the option exists in your browser), the laughs (shortened to "lolz") can be saved for future e-warfare historians to pore or pour over, whichever is grammatically correct (consult a grammar nazi for the true answer). With any luck, the one scene historian will have saved any pictures separately, for better presentation of the lolz.
With these basic on-scene measures taken, the whole story can be quickly rebuilt for countless members to laugh over or perform social studies over, but there's always the chance of collecting more data. These things have the likelihood of spreading into email, instant messaging, and private messaging channels as well, and many bystanders may have carried out conversations in chat rooms and Yahoo groups. This is where the sleuthing really begins.
If the sleuth has the pages available, he should be capable of tracing which members had carried on conversations with the combatants. Since all internet catfights are social in nature, finding on site conversation threads will be no trouble, and if one participant in the catfight is a major drama queen- in all likelihood a she- this lady would have likely contacted all of those more passive participants privately, to address her grievance, ask for validation, or just whine and moan. Therefore, all these people are valuable sources of information.
Find their email addresses. If they've hidden them for privacy, look for cached pages. It is likely they displayed them before their happy world became a battlefield. When you have your list of witnesses, you must ask for archived emails and instant messenger chats. If you're fresh on the trail, they probably exist. Also, seek out the ones with correct spelling of polysyllabic words. Chances are, they used word processors, and may have saved their documents. Once these measures are finished, interview them all. Many people that have had direct communications with people will have collected hints about their personalities unseen in archives. The experience of hearing the recollections of the participants will allow your e-psychiatrists to compile a profile of your drama queen, so that you can then do the worst possible thing to this raging nonconformist; categorize her. This is a dehumanizing process much like Internet prison, except you'll have no need for the authorization to incarcerate her.
Instead, there's only one place to go, to some shrine for these little catfights. Alas, freedom offers too many choices! For Livejournal users, there are two such record centers, the more exclusive LJ Drama Dot Org, or the elaborate wiki full of laughter and shock value, Encyclopedia Dramatica. The later, truly a wiki, has many users, and an accounting process much like Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that's never wrong- it has facts! ED, as it is called in the site's nomenclature, is peer-reviewed, and each article must account for a high comedic standard. The metric set is one funny joke for every five hundred words, and a failure will be marked as unfunny. Pages must also be free of ambiguity, and crap, for articles buried in crap will be designated as such, marking a writer with a lower credibility standard.
With hope, the stupidity of today can be flawlessly imitated by the social deviants and pranksters of the future. There is one gift we can give them, and that is the proper historical record they'll need as a guide. Let's keep the records straight, for our future's sake.
LJ Drama Dot Org
Disambiguation: one pours over records.