Comic Sans Font QuotingEdit
On Pharyngula, if one is quoted using the Comic Sans font, it's taken as meaning the person quoted is a bad or stupid person and should be treated as such.
The font is a symbolic, but efficient, easy way to let the horde know that they should read the quote with the presumption of "bad person" right off the bat. This important ritual works well, picking up the slower folks who've been left behind in the ability to understand the actual words quoted so that they know who they're supposed to be for or against. It prevents anyone from even considering the quoted person's words too deeply and getting confused in that regard.
Upon viewing Comic Sans, they are to mock the user as well as either fear or hate them.
This is where PZ puts on a little rage performance, going into someone's comment who he disagrees with and removing all their vowels. This is seen as a symbolic win over the contents of the comment no matter what they were, and with no actual confrontation necessary. Just like with the Comic Sans ritual above, disemvowelling has no need of explanations or understanding of the content.
Anyone of a slow nature can follow along easily this way, regarding who to hate right now. This is likely a very satisfying ritual for them, tearing out the innards of the current enemy by proxy of PZ doing it symbolically to their comments. There's something almost transubstantial about it. It likely also serves as a purification or protection ritual, reassuring them that the enemy has been slain.
See the following examples of before and after pics, of PZ's symbolic cannabilism style of comment modification.
Due to the size of the readership, Pharyngula has been long known for its admiration and use of mob justice.
Survivor Pharyngula is a shaming ritual in which several commenters are selected as candidates for the Dungeon. A period of time is given to the Flock to send in their votes, which are counted by the author. At the end, the person with the most votes gets sent to the Dungeon. It is currently unknown if Survivor Pharyngula continues.
Order of the MollyEdit
Order of the Molly is an initiation ritual whose rules are similar to Survivor Pharyngula. Candidates are selected based upon the perceived quality of their comments. Often this is correlated to how voraciously and shamelessly they insult and mock others. If the target is chosen carefully, a comment that might qualify someone for OM status is, "Shove a porcupine up your ass you vile piece of shit."
I Get EmailEdit
I Get Email (see here for an example) is a shaming ritual in which one lucky person is picked out from the author's inbox (i.e. private correspondence) and posted in public for all to see. In the past this practice has been impersonal and Mostly Harmless, but that all changed when FTB author Greg Laden abused the ritual in order to further his personal vendetta with a member of the community. This link will probably be retroactively edited so it "never happened". There is a .pdf capture here (snapshot 10 November 2011).
The Dungeon (cf. stocks) is a public page on Pharyngula in which the names and "crimes" of banned commenters are posted for all to see. For one to be sent to the dungeon, one must allegedly have violated the Pharyngula Standards and Practices but this is not always the case. Also see Secular Blacklisting.