With the honourable exception of the PC Advisor Forums, online discussion forums are magnets for some of the jerkiest people on the web. We profile a dozen of the most common and annoying forum pests.

There's no doubt that online forums give the general public a voice on the web. However, they also create ample opportunity for behaviour of such extreme jerkitude.

You know what I'm talking about: the know-it-alls, fight-starters, and doctrinaire zealots who seem to frequent every message board on the entire web, using any and every topic as a springboard for their sociopathic gratification.

We've sifted through pages of forum messages to find the most absolutely asinine tactics. So get ready to cringe: on the pages that follow you'll meet our nominees for the 12 biggest pests of the web's online forums.

1. The FIRST! Guy

Maybe we should have saved this character for last, but our first offender is the FIRST! Guy - the mental marsupial whose contribution to the great discussions of our online times is to post the first response to any given topic, consisting of the comment 'FIRST!'.

Clever? No. Original? No. Ironically self-mocking in a postmodern deconstructionist kind of way? Uh, no. Puerile? Now you're getting close.

And yet there seem to be multiple FIRST! Guy clones lurking around every forum, ready to share a very important message. Here's hoping that all of these net nuisances find another source of personal pride by their 15th birthday.

2. The self-promoter

The self-promoter is a message board classic: this bore meanders across the web, leaving thinly disguised comments designed to pimp his own project.

Sometimes, he'll take a stab at making the promotion look incidental: 'Man, that new iPhone software does look fab! You should check out my blog about Windows Mobile here!' But just as often, he'll ditch the preamble and launch straight into the link without even trying to tie it to the subject at hand.

Shameless self-promotion really is the worst. The only thing that irks me more is behavioural ad targeting.

NEXT PAGE: The Sermonator and Mr Credentials

  1. The most commonly found types of forum members
  2. The Sermonator and Mr Credentials
  3. The Antagoniser and The Moderator
  4. Peacekeeper and Smarty Pants
  5. Fanboy and The Conspiracy Theorist
  6. The Signature Dork and Johnny One-Word