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Meow Wars

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The Meow Wars. Everything that ever mattered on Usenet occurred here

The Meow Wars were epic Usenet battles where everything, every single newsgroup, was at stake. Its tendrils probed even the darkest, most obscure fucked up corners of Usenet, affecting everyone drawn to it by its magnitude, its enigmatic nature, and its sheer pointless stupidity.


The beginning

It started as a crosspost-provoked bitchfest between and, when a.f.k-m.n were planning a small scale invasion of and some utter fuckwit, for some reason, posted details TO THE NEWSGROUP THEY WERE GOING TO INVADE. What in the fucking blue hell is that? Anyway, as it turned out, the a.f.k-m.n Harvard snobs got fucked in the ass many times over by the thugs, and were left to die in the internets' wasteland.

Meowers are conceived

As the Harvard fucks left the newsgroups, the Beavis and Butthead fans trickled in. They became known as the Meowers, a rather poorly organised group of trolls that had little contact with each other, let alone other human beings. They got the name "Meowers" when one of the Harvard posters, Chuck Truesdell, placed “meow meow” (a reference to Henrietta Pussycat of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood fame) in many of his posts as a sort of calling card, as his initials spell “C.A.T.”.

The escalation of their influence

The Meowers, though not being well organised, managed to methodically pour into many newsgroups without any real rhyme or reason, spamming groups with ASCII cats and "MEOW". Newsgroup readers would place "Meow" in their killfile, but to no avail. The sly catfuckers subtly changed subject headings from "Meow" to "Mew", and other similar words and phrases. Fucking GENIUS. These ingenious tactics thwarted the attempts to shut the Meowers out of their lives, and destroyed groups by the dozens. People tried to UDP (usenet death penalty) the Meowers, but it was deemed to be a violation of free speech.

The Meowers did not restrict their activities to Usenet. Oh no. They also spammed the shit out of email accounts, rendered servers useless, and just all around fucked the internets.


Limerick Cascade

A new form of Usenet spam attack was formed as a result of the meow wars, called a "cascade" attack. It usually involves taking over an existing thread with two or more people replying back and forth to each other continually for dozens and sometimes even hundreds of posts. Sometimes these attacks are very simple, such as stating, "Meow?" back and forth, other forms seek to be more creative, sometimes involving rhyming patterns, limericks, story constructs and other forms. Another popular form is the "SNUH cascade" in which the originator starts off by saying, "Snuh?" and then those who reply do variations on the word like, "Buh?", "Cnuh?", "Vnuh?", always leaving the "uh?" part in. In some ways cascading was one of the first true memes of the Internet.

The Aftermath

Dozens of newsgroups perma-fucked into smoking, smoldering craters. People burnt at the stake. Epic lulz. What else can you ask for?


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Meow Wars
is part of a series on Web 1.0


Old Memes  • Celebs, h4x0rz, and Phreaks  • Communications and Technologies  • Events  • Death of Web1.0
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