The October 2008 Facebook riots, which left an estimated no users dead, anything up to two with incurable computer viruses and many thousands seriously spammed, stunned and outraged the social networking community. How could a hitherto peaceful site erupt into a seething mass of reckless flaming? Experts were baffled. One long-term Facebook user, who has since donated his face to Help the Ugly and sold his book to ABC for an undisclosed quantity of cherries, summed up the situation perfectly. “I was a tad miffed at the time,” he said, “but what can you do?” What indeed.
The riots were sparked when Mubes, a prominent Googlian, called Bunygurl, a little-known Yahoovite, a ‘profe**or of Engli*h lit*******’. Bunygurl riposted that Mubes ‘probberly knowed the cappertal of Frans’. The battle rapidly escalated, dividing the community along portalist lines. The Googlians claimed that the Yahoovites were ‘middel clars’ while the Yahoovites accused the Googlians of ‘knowing fings’. The few Askites took sides with whoever was winning at the time while the site’s one Lycosian went downstairs to watch TV with her mum.
The riots were mirrored in parliament, where Todd Sinkslasher, Minister for Yoof Affairs, was like, “I blame the opposition.” The shadow minister, Garfield Trout, took up the gauntlet, demanding of the minister, “what are you like?” The minister repeated his statement. The Hon. Trout replied scornfully the although ‘to be like’ was ‘to say’, the query ‘what are you like?’ did not mean ‘I beg your pardon?’ He went on to assert that the minister wouldn’t know a Pikey Chav if he was driven to work in one. The debate divided the House along party lines, with the Conservatives calling the Labourites ‘middle class’ and the Labourites maintaining that the Conservatives had ‘funny faces’. The Monster Raving Democrats took sides with whoever was winning at the time and the Speaker went home to visit his mum. A long-term back-bencher, who has since approached Help the Ugly for a new face and purchased an autobiography from ABC for a reputedly vast payment of cherries, summed up the situation perfectly. “Jaw-jaw, war-war, what-what are we fighting for?” he chanted. What what indeed.
It has been suggested that the answer lies in multi-portal schools. If Yahoovites and Googlians were co-educated it would engender respect for each other’s browsing cultures. “These days we regard all portals as routes to the same Web,” a Google leader maintained, “although, of course, ours is clearly the best.” But at the end of the day, when all’s said and done, when push comes to shove and much water has flowed under the bridge, who really cares? It’s all swings and roundabouts in the final analysis, while the slides take sides with whoever is winning at the time and the see-saw goes home to visit its factory. The situation was summed up perfectly by a deaf brigadier. “What?” he said, “what? What?” What what what indeed.