Who is keyboard warrior?

Who is “keyboard warrior”?

On Wikipedia, keyboard warrior was defined as someone who expresses and exhibits aggression against others on the internet.

But I personally believe that this explanation is not sufficient and comprehensive.

First of all, “keyboard warrior” is not necessarily a timid group of people in real life, I have to say, it is easy to become a “keyboard warrior”.

“Keyboard warrior” is around each of us, and it is easy for us to actively or passively become a “keyboard warrior.”

Secondly, “keyboard warrior” is keen to shine on the internet, on hot news, on celebrity anecdotes, on social events.

When they are commenting, they occupy not only the moral high ground but also the commanding heights. They “deliver justice” in the form of comments, which they name “freedom of speech, and are driving the progress of society”.

Today, we will talk about this cluster “justice”, “brave”, “good”, “wisdom” and other excellent quality of a “keyboard warrior”.

Why does “keyboard warrior” exist widely on the internet, and how did they launch a cyber-violence?

keyboard warrior


Reason 1: “Anonymity” of network environment

The threshold for becoming a “keyboard warrior” is very low, with the most basic requirements of having a mobile phone or computer with Internet access and an account that can comment.

There is a classic quote from “The New Yorker”, which is: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

Why do we speak more carefully in real life, but in the online world, it is easy to vent our emotions, say whatever we want, and even profanity?

Because, in real life, the interpersonal relationships we make are face-to-face, they know who you are, and the words you make are bound by the outside world.

Your inappropriate remarks may directly hurt your interests, and it is clear to you in your heart that you have to be responsible for your own remarks.

However, the Internet relative to real life is more like a virtual world, although the current network environment is mostly the implementation of the “front desk voluntary, backstage real name” principle.

However, at the front end of the internet, people’s identity in real life will still be relatively hidden in the back of a network account.

This concealment will lead to a reduction in binding force so that netizens have a “do not have to be responsible for arbitrary speech” illusion.

This illusion is also the excuse for “keyboard warrior”, and the courage to “emancipate their nature”.

In the famous Milgram experiment, the researchers tried to test the subjects’ obedience when they received orders from the authority, especially orders that are against their own moral and conscience commands, which led to the degree of sobriety and resistance that human nature could exert at this time.

In the experiment, the researchers told the subjects that they would play the role of “teachers” and that there were “students” in the next room, with the aim of having the subjects play teachers to conduct a mock exam on the “students”.

If the student answers incorrectly, the subjects have to press a button in front of them to impose an electric shock on the “student” next door, which will have a high voltage up to 300 volts.

This might sound like a cruel experiment. Even 100 volts is enough to kill a person.

In fact, the “student” in the room next door was pretended by the researchers, and the so-called electroshock punishment was also fake, except when the subject pressed the electric shock button, a pre-recorded shout would be heard next door to allow the subjects to believe that the electric shock was true.

Although we knew it was fake, the subjects who were asked to play the “teacher” on a temporary basis did not know. They were well aware that the experiment was cruel and that they were bound to be unwilling in their hearts.

The results of the initial experiment did validate this, and most of the subjects said they were reluctant to conduct the experiment.

However, when the researchers showed that they did not have to take any responsibility for the punishment, the situation changed, and most of the subjects did not object again, even if they felt that the voltage of the electric shock was up to 300 volts.

Why would there be such a surprising result?

I believed there are two key factors:

One is the subject and the person being “electrocuted” is not in the same space.

The other is the assurance from the researchers made to the subjects that they did not have to bear any responsibility.


Reason 2: To judge from the perspective of God

“Keyboard Warrior” are all experts, can be among the people, but they are only “be wise after the event.”

A Korean drama that I enjoyed watching when I was in secondary school, “Time Between Dog and Wolf”,

I found that the comments on the internet were commenting on the heroine. The general point of view is that the heroine is very stupid, often holding the protagonist’s back, and causing the protagonist got injured or missing and so on.

I believe such a scene is quite familiar to most of us, when we watch a movie/tv series, we will often have such an idea, think the protagonist is so stupid, clearly, there is a better solution to the problem, but they just can’t understand.

Similarly, whenever sexual harassment, sexual assault, fraud, trafficking, and other cases occurred, the “keyboard warrior” will make such comments:

“Wearing so little, of course will get sexually harassed.”

“The Boss harassed you, why didn’t you call the police?”

“Got cheated into the MLM, must be because of greedy!”

“Got scammed by a phone call? You must have done something wrong, or else you won’t get scammed.”

Whether it’s the stupid audience that commenting on the protagonist, or the keyboard warrior who is “smart and full of brainpower,” they’re actually looking at and evaluating from God’s perspective.

Take the “keyboard warrior” as an example, they are looking at the problem from a third person perspective.

At this point, they are aware of the whole process of events, they know the inner thoughts of each character in the event, can always view the overall situation from the perspective of God to look at the problem. From the results, looking back at the problem, of course, is extremely easy.

But what about the protagonist of the event?

They do not know each other’s psychological activities, nor have control over all the accurate information about their environment, let alone the ability to know the future.

They are an ordinary person, with advantages and disadvantages.

In the event of an emergency, they will be dazed, they will be helpless, they will be afraid, they are in a “The player sees less clearly than the bystander” situation.

But the “keyboard warrior” does not understand this, but they will try to “show off their IQ”, ridicule and even attack the victims’ shortcomings and weaknesses to show their superiority. Their subconscious is: “If it is me, I will certainly not do so.”

There is an old saying: Pride comes from shallow, arrogance comes from ignorance.

Justin Kruger and David Dunning, who won the Ig Nobel Prize in psychology, discovered a cognitive bias and became a gram effect.

Their research found that the more ignorant a person is, the less experienced he/she is in a particular field, the more he/she will fall into blind confidence.

Such people are typical “ignorant” people who do not know that they do not actually know, but it is this ignorance that gives them incomparable confidence, the courage to clamor, and the contempt for others.

Headshot of a young female boss shouting with anger on the cell phone while sitting at the desk in her office. Portrait of an angry businesswoman screaming on the mobile phone. Negative human emotions facial expressions


Reason 3: Venting emotions and being manipulated by emotions

The previous reference to the Internet “anonymity” so that people will have a “others do not know who I am, I do not have to take responsibility” illusion, this illusion provide courage for the “keyboard warrior”, so that they dare to vent their emotions.

Emotional management is the need for willpower. If a person to choose rational thinking, then, he needs to use willpower, so that he doesn’t manipulate by emotion.

But that’s exactly what “Keyboard warrior” hard to do, or what they don’t want to do.

Perhaps, in their view, surfing the internet is just trying to relax.

As the Chinese saying goes, “the shot hits the bird that pokes its head out (枪打出头鸟).” Most people are afraid to be the first, and the first means that there are a risk and a responsibility.

But what if a lot of people do the same thing?

Once an individual becomes a member of a group, he/she will no longer take responsibility for what he/she does, at which point, everyone will reveal the side of being unfettered.

As a content creator, no matter what kind of content you produced, there will always be someone who use comments to express their grievances or questions.

Creators will welcome the comments, but many of the comments are indeed in the swapped concept, pick holes, and even personal attacks.

It is because these people are “rhythmic” in the comment area that it is easy for those who comment next to express their approval and replicate the behavior directly.

In this way, they are unconsciously infected by this negative emotion.

If someone’s point of view is different from theirs, they will soon be attacked.


Reason 4: Customary moral kidnapping

We are tolerant of ourselves, but it is easy to ask others with higher standards.

This point is showing the most in the “keyboard warrior”. With the name of morality, they will ask others with a higher standard and even coerce and attack others, this is moral kidnapping.

“You are so rich, why did you donate so little when the earthquake struck?”

“You have been acting for so many years, why are you still so bad at acting?”

When they’re criticizing and blaming others, it is as if they can do the same and do it better.

Everyone is an independent individual, they have the freedom and the right to choose, this is what the “keyboard warrior” has no right to interfere.

“All conscious behavior is nothing more than the product of the covert psychological activity of the unconscious abyss under genetic control … People differ greatly in intelligence, but they have very similar instincts and emotions.”

This instinct can easily become a trigger for emotions to ignite.

The internet is the stage for the keyboard warrior to do justice and point the world, but they don’t realize how many people they hurt in order to achieve a good sense of themselves.

The harm of “keyboard warrior” is that it is easy to produce and spread negative emotions and create cyber violence.

It is because of their “come together”, it is easy to let a person “condemned by the public”, and no one understands the situation.

The damage to the mind may not be visible or felt, but the pain and distress caused to the victim are likely to be enormous.

There are quite a lot of cases of low self-esteem, depression or even lightness due to online violence.

So, as a netizen, what should we do in order not to become a “keyboard warrior”?

This is going way too long than I expected, will continue in another post.