Flaming is a term applied to hostile and insulting interaction between users on the Internet and social media. It can happen to anyone: From companies and politicians to celebrities and private individuals. It usually results from a discussion of controversial real-world issues but can also be provoked by seemingly trivial differences.
Recent months have seen a number of major companies flamed, including McDonalds, German Rail and o2. Some of them have called in experts to help them tackle hate campaigns. Observers believe that flame wars are symptomatic of miscommunication caused by the lack of social cues available in face-to-face communication but others believe they can have a positive effect, forcing companies to listen to their critics and take due action.