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The Banhammer refers to the figurative banning tool used by web administrators and forum moderators to prohibit undesirable members from accessing the site, which is typically done by blocking individual IP addresses.
The banhammer originates from MSN Chat (originally called Microsoft Chat), which was created in 1996.MSN Chat was a Microsoft Network version of the Internet Relay Chat (IRC). In these chatrooms, non-staff users could be given special functions in the channels to allow for certain types of moderation. The two positions that could be handed out were “owner” and “host”, which were respectively marked by a golden hammer (shown below, left) or brown hammer (shown below, right) icon next to the user’s name. Although the functions coming with the type of hammers may differ based on the client used, the functions given to the users with hammer icons commonly involved kicking and banning. For this reason the hammer icons were often given the nickname “banhammer”.
In 2003, Microsoft closed its unregulated chat rooms due to problems with spam and a constant danger of predators. On October 16th, 2006, MSN Chat shut down their servers, as MSN no longer deemed it profitable to run. The hammer icons can still be found back in other clients such as Sparkpea Chat, but most servers currently use symbols to show a person’s status in a IRC chat room.
The earliest definition of the banhammer on Urban Dictionary originates from May 2003.. The definition marks the term as used by moderators on the SomethingAwful forums.
December 2007 marked the launch of Banhammer.com, which at one point provided a link titled “Revenge,” which is now 404’d.
In the popular first-person shooter game Halo 3, there is a glitch that will enable a party host to pick up a gravity hammer that can kill several players at once from a distance.
In December 2009, the Banhammer.org forums were created, as a place where people could rage and troll without fear of banning.
The More You Know, the More You’ll MMO PSA (March 2010) 74,000+ views.
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