Worst Problem on the Internet is Stupid Users, Survey Says

{Ed. note: This is a repost – this article originally appeared in 2005, but it’s just as apt today.}

According to a survey conducted by the Internet Patrol, the worst problem on the Internet is stupid users.

The survey, which ran from August 18th through September 16th, surveyed more than 600 visitors to the Internet Patrol, who were asked what they considered to be the worst problem on the Internet.
Choices for “worst problem on the Internet” included spam, spyware, adware, phishing, identity theft, hacking, viruses and worms, stupid users, dumb spam laws, the Patriot Act, email getting lost, and “other”.

Surprisingly, given the choices, the overwhelming “winner” of Worst Problem on the Internet was “stupid users”, garnering a full 38%, or 235, of responses.

The distant second, with 92 responses (14.9%), was spyware, and third place went to spam, with 10.4% (64 responses).

Only 5.7 and 6.5 percent of respondents thought that phishing and identity theft were the worst problem, respectively, and only 2 people out of the full 618 thought that email getting lost was the worst problem.

The chart with the full results can be seen here.

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10 Replies to “Worst Problem on the Internet is Stupid Users, Survey Says”

  1. Having been in I.T. for the last 20 years I have met all different levels of computer competency. I have met some very highly educated folks who have a mental block on learning how to use their pc. Most people are not stupid but rather are ignorant. Ignorance can be helped however those who chose to be uninformed and do not want to learn are the most difficult to be patient with.

  2. Sad to agree, but 24+ years living behind a keyboard, and luser error is the rule of my day when helping others. Come on world, RTFM some day!

    There is no such thing as a right to use a computer fluently, just because you can afford one!

  3. 25+ years and I STILL am amazed at times. Just worked on a clients machine. 127 Trojans, and other nasties. Older machine, 2001 and NEVER had a V-Scan program on it EVER!! So much for on line banking etc.. V-Scan software does NO good to buy it. You have to INSTALL it too.. DOH

  4. It pays to be nice to tech help. However, I don’t appreciate being made to feel like an idiot just because I don’t eat, drink and sleep computers in my spare time. If I’m respectful and considerate to YOU (tech helper), PLEASE treat me the same. One day you will be 85 yrs old, praying for a kind word from those who will rule your worldl.

  5. Having worked 30 years as a tech, the best problem reolution comment on our service reports was “Problem found to be between the keyboard and the chair.”

  6. Aye, I’d have to agree with the PC tech – being one myself :), however, without those “semi-intelligent” users, I’d be out of job, and might even have to learn usefull skills to survive! Imagine that…

  7. I’m a “PC Tech” by profession. When your PC or something that plugs into breaks, I fix it. The majority of time I’m fixing the user rather than fixing the equipment. I don’t know that I would go so far as to call them “stupid” but the main idea does unfortunately happen to be true.

  8. It’s those dreaded etards again!

    If it weren’t for etards, computer viruses, worms and trojans would be almost nonexistent.
    Almost all of the problems listed in the survey would disappear if there weren’t so many practicing etards.

    Also, many folks just don’t think before they act, not considering fully how their actions may impact themselves or others.
    This is a problem that affects every strata and fiber of our society and is not limited to improper internet usage.

    Education is the answer, but how do you educate someone who doesn’t realize or won’t acknowlege their part in a problem?

  9. Hardly a valid survey, given the demographics of the site. I wonder if the elitists who voted overwhelmingly that their fellow netsters were “stupid” remember the days when they were learning. Or did the Web Gods birth them fully-informed?
    Keep up the good work,
    Bill

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