This article is from the Internet Personals: Advice for Gay Men FAQ, by Fred Young email@example.com and Dean Esmay firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
There is a certain type of being that's all too common in the
online world. I call them "Energy Creatures," a term I first heard
from Dean Esmay. Energy Creatures are a bizarre lifeform which
grow and feed off of the negative energy generated by others.
Energy Creatures' favorite feeding tactic is to try to hurt
people's feelings or get them angry. Then they can feed off the
pain and anger they've generated. Their second favorite tactic is
to hurt one person or group's feelings while gathering the
sympathy of others. That way, when the injured party lashes back,
others will jump to the Energy Creature's defense. Then the Energy
Creature need do nothing except feed off the attention and the
negative energy generated by the people fighting.
We'll never be completely rid of these noxious beings, but we can
do a lot to keep the herds under control by remembering this
simple formula: DNFTEC. This stands for Do Not Feed The Energy
Creature. If you encounter such a beast, your best bet is usually
to say absolutely nothing. No matter how hard it is, sitting on
your fingers and posting nothing in response is usually the best
Remember, if you fight them, they just get stronger. If you ignore
them, eventually they weaken, wither, and go away. This may be
hard to remember, but in the long run, that's exactly what you
need to do. The temptation to fight back is incredible, but
remember, fighting them only makes them stronger. Believe it.
Always keep in mind that your goal here is to meet other people,
not to feed energy creatures.