Flame Wars on Worldnet: Early Constructions of the International User

  • Christopher LeslieEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 491)


Some of the earliest users of the Internet described their activities as predicting a widespread communication medium that would cross national boundaries even before the technical capability was possible. An analysis of conversations on Human-Nets, an early ARPANet mailing list, shows how users were concerned about providing a forum for open discussion and hoped that the network would spread to provide communication throughout the world. Moving forward to CSNET, one can also see a strong insistence that the network provide connectivity beyond the United States. Contrary to those who might tell the history of the Internet as a story of a technology that was first perfected by the military, adapted by U.S. academics and then brought to the rest of the world in the 1990s, these users reveal a strong ideology of international communication.


ARPANet Internet Human-Nets CSNET e-mail 



Grateful acknowledgement is made to Aye Muang who, as an undergraduate research student, conducted the evaluation of Human-Nets. He and the author are indebted to the New York University Tandon School of Engineering Undergraduate Summer Research Program and its founder, Associate Dean Iraj M. Kalkhoran, which provided Aye a stipend that supported this research.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York University Tandon School of EngineeringBrooklynUSA

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