Flaming is verbal hostility over the Internet, malicious or occasionally unintentional. Examples of flames include personal insults, hateful remarks (e.g. racial slurs), and any other use of language designed to provoke the target rather than help them.
Flamers are people who are known for flaming others. Flamers may be part of a tight-knit group that reacts hostilely to newbies as a form of hazing or purposeful intimidation to get them to leave, or disliked outcasts that occasionally troll and snipe other users.
In fandom, flamers tend to be fans who feel so strongly about a particular opinion (such as who should be 'shipped with whom) that they will defend their opinion to the death, no matter who they have to insult.
Flamers often participate in flame wars.
Flame wars are often shaped by the strongest personalities taking part, and a once-amusing flame war can quickly turn offensive and personal to all involved if this precarious balance is changed.
Generally speaking, it is impossible to win a flame war, since neither side is prepared to hear the other's point of view, let alone give up on their own. However, an interpretation of Godwin's Law suggests that any debate on the Internet is officially over as soon as somebody invokes Hitler or the Nazis, with the side doing the invoking automatically losing.
Flames in Fanfiction
Flames and the PPC
Flaming on the Board
Flaming badfic authors on the Board or off it is strongly discouraged and, if seen, will usually be met by other Boarders with polite but firm requests to knock it off. Although we all slip occasionally, on the whole, the PPC recognizes the difference between hating a written work and hating its author. If you must flame, please do NOT do it in the name of the PPC.
In PPC Stories
Flames, usually those sent to the PPC (either its agents or the Organisation itself), appear in narrative as literal flames, and have on occasion been used as an assassination method for a Sue. Agents are required to handle them with the same fireproof equipment provided for the care of mini-Balrogs, i.e. oven mitts and a flame-retardant apron. Some of these flames, when used, scream out whatever the flamer said. This has led to some cognitive dissonance, especially when an agent throws flames unrelated to the PPC[source, please!].
Fire. Combustion. A chemical reaction consuming oxygen and producing light and heat.