In response to Little old data geek me just had to find out. So I looked at 20 (I know it's not a huge sample) threads in the Study where somebody resorted to a personal attack. I gave a "point" to the first person to do so in any given thread. Personal attacks included outright name-calling, accusing another forum member of lying and what I'd term "weaselling" -- making a statement to the board as a whole meant very clearly as a slap in the face to one particular member. Turns out it's pretty even. Liberals came in at 11, Conservatives 9. It's also worth noting that, of the 20, 16 were from the same three people. On the qualitative side, Libs seemed to be more about calling names, while Cons seemed to trend toward attacking a person's morals or intelligence. Seems like a pretty good microcosm of US politics as a whole. A few strident people get worked up and make it feel hostile for a lot. As side thing I found was that, while the Libs were a little ahead on the first personal attack front, the Cons were overwhelmingly more likely to start a thread attacking Liberals in general (which isn't a personal attack, exactly). Of the 20 threads, 11 opened with a "dig" at the other side, and 7 of those were started by a self-professed conservative. But you know what? In 2006, when Bush was in power, the exact opposite was true. It's the privilege -- and the responsibility -- of the minority position to keep the majority power honest. Anyway, I found it interesting.