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Lurk Moar is a phrase used by image board and forums posters alike to inform other users they need to post less and study the community before posting again. The phrase can generally be used as a euphemism in a derogatory sense so as to inform users they are not wanted/welcomed, but may also be intended as legitimate advice for new users. The acronym RTFM was the previous form of the phrase and was used to convey the same message.
The History of Lurking
The word “Lurker” is used to describe someone who reads a message board or newsgroup but rarely posts or contributes in any way, is believed to have originated in the mid 1980’s on BBS systems of the time. According to a 2006 study by Catherine Ridings (Lehigh University), David Gefen (Drexel University), and Bay Arinze (Drexel University) entitled Psychological Barriers: Lurker and Poster Motivation and Behavior in Online Communities people may “lurk” due to a lack of trust for members of the community; however, in many social communities such as Anonymous boards like 4Chan, the idea of trust is hardly a common value. To help users cope with controversial content such as trolling, 4chan advises for users to “lurk” before posting. When one fails to meet this requirement, they will often find their remarks and opinions met with the command, “Lurk Moar, newfag.”
By engaging in observation before posting, one can begin to assess the culture, etiquette, and values of the community.
Origin of “Lurk Moar”
“Moar” is lolspeak for “more” and is a portmanteau of the words “More” and “Roar.” A heightened level of enthusiasm or stressed importance can be inferred from usage of “Moar” as opposed to “more.” An increase in “Moar” Google queries is congruent with the peak of Caturday’s popularity in the Spring of 2007. This may explain why searches for “lurk moar” appeared with frequency at the end of 2006, which is congruent with the start of Caturday and thus hosted the frequent posting of lolcats and lolspeak.
Rules of The Internet Adaption
“Rule 33. Lurk moar -- it’s never enough.”
- The “Rules” of the Internet
The Rules of The Internet were written to include “Rule 33” from the very first drafts in 2006. The phrase “it’s never enough” has been tacked on to discourage posters that when they think they have done enough lurking, they still need to continue lurking. This condescending tone is prevalent throughout the entire list of rules.
Communications of the Association for Information Systems – Psychological Barriers: Lurker and Poster Motivation and Behavior in Online Communities
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