1. Limbo = Facebook/Twitter/Gmail
This is where internet hell frequently starts. In Dante’s hell, this is the circle for people who did not accept Christ, but did not sin either. They are the “guiltless” damned, doomed to live in a subpar version of heaven in the first circle. This is where most people fall.
In the circles of internet hell, the innocents are often just in the triumvirate of Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. If you frequent just these three sites, you are a normal person who has not sinned. You are a guiltless damned in the internet world. You need not go beyond into the further circles of hell.
2. Lust = Internet Porn
The sinners in the second circle are overcome by lust and their appetites for sex have swayed their ability to reason. Their punishment is to be blown back and forth by a violent storm symbolizing the needlessness and aimlessness of sex. In internet hell, sinners who are addicted or immersed in internet porn are punished by having to watch weird pop-ads for engorged dicks, cartoon porn of Homer and Marge from The Simpsons, and all the other creepy stuff in the ads surrounding porn videos without ever actually seeing the porn of their choice.
To symbolize the randomness and disorientation of lust, the pop-ups will keep coming one after the other and they’ll be the kind you can’t X out because when you click the X, you only open another ad. Forever and ever, for all eternity until you drown in computer porn viruses.
3. Gluttony = Food Blogs
Overindulgence in food and drink leaves the sinner sightless and forced to lie in icy muddy slush. In this circle of internet hell, you are forced to stare endlessly at people’s food blogs — their streams of Instagrammed photos of salads and French toasts and hamburgers, their Facebook posts about getting too drunk and being wastey~~, their intricate and boring recipe blogs. The sinner is forced to look at nothing but people using the internet to talk about food or worse, the sinner must stare at pages and pages of food porn but never be able to cook or eat the delicacies they see.
During this circle of regular hell, sinners are guarded by a giant worm so here in internet hell, you’re shackled to a Tumblr otherkin who believes they are the spirit of a giant worm. Don’t know which is worse.
4. Greed = Kickstarter
This circle of hell is for people who hoarded material goods or who only cared about wealth. Its internet hell equivalent is Kickstarter, where people shamelessly bombard their friends and family into giving money to their stupid projects.
Your punishment in this circle of internet hell is constantly fundraising for something you’re working on and always coming one dollar short. You will never make your independent movie about werewolves now! Mwahaha!
5. Anger = Hate Reading
This is where the river Styx comes in, where the angry sinners fight each other to the surface. This level of internet hell is characterized by “hate reading.” Sinners in this circle are forced to hate-read blogs that go against everything they believe in just to work themselves up into a tizzy. But! They are never allowed to write a response blog. NEVER! This means feminists will have to read the Men’s Rights section of Reddit, high-brow New Yorker fans will have to look at nothing but image posts on Buzzfeed, and 30-somethings will have to read THIS VERY WEBSITE. Ooooh, ahhhhh.
6. Heresy = Falling Into K-Holes
Heresy means a lack of faith and this circle of internet hell is for those who get sucked into internet k-holes and lose all faith in humanity. Maybe you start your day full of sunshine and coffee, ready to be a productive and kind member of society, but then you click one link and then another and then another and soon it’s dark outside and you haven’t left your bed. You have failed. You have succumbed to the internet k-hole. You are a lazy waste of space. You’ve read so many disparaging and misspelled internet comments, you also now hate people. All people. Everywhere.
In this version of Dante’s hell, you are trapped in a flaming tomb as punishment. The equivalent in internet hell is you can never, ever leave your bed again. Since you’re choosing not to participate in life anyway, now you won’t even have the choice. Your bed is your flaming tomb, full of dirty sweatshirts and cookie crumbs and nightmares!
7. Violence = Online Gaming and Fandom
Violent offenders are in the seventh circle of Dante’s hell, divided into three rings. In internet hell, this circle is reserved for people who online game like it’s the only thing in their lives. The people who play Sims religiously but forget to call their real friends, who care more about their level three troll avatar than their parents, who RP celebrities on Livejournal and never feed their toddler son.
These are the people who are too involved in fandom, who don’t see their little sister’s recital because they have to write Glee fanfiction, who cease to see fellow fans as people and throw heinous insults out over shipping wars or cosplay drama, who take every little thing personally and have stopped actually having fun in fandom. These people have ceased to be individual humans with emotions, families, friends and faces. They have become blank screens.
Your punishment is being able to only play one online game for the rest of your life but it’s an online game modeled after your actual life. There is no game. There is no fandom. You’re just living your real, boring life only removed and through a computer. You’re an RPG character now. The real you is dead.
8. Fraud = Abuse of Anonymity
The internet is a privilege, not a right. But the anonymity of almost everything online has led to some very bad behavior. It means anyone could pretend to be anyone. As the recent Violentacrez drama shows, there’s no such thing as true “anonymity” online, especially when your bad behavior involves child pornography. So the people in this circle of internet hell are the ones who abused their anonymous privileges — who left death threats for teenage girls or told Youtubers to go kill themselves or who participate in racist hashtag games.
In Dante’s eighth circle, you climb a huge cliff and are divided up into groups based on what kind of “knowing, deliberate evil” you committed. Seducers are whipped by demons, flatterers are steeped in human excrement, corrupt politicians are immersed in boiling water, etc etc.
In this internet hell, everything you’ve ever done online — every porn video you’ve looked at, every mean comment you’ve left, every nasty sexist blog you’ve written — gets emailed to your grandmother. That’s right. Then, you get to sit and watch her reaction to every single horrible online activity you’ve partaken of and you have to explain each one to her while she cries. Also you are whipped by demons in a boiling lake of human poo. Because you suck the most.
9. Treachery = Shit-talking Online
This circle of hell is guarded by giants, meant to symbolize pride and arrogance, and traitors in Dante’s hell are frozen in a lake of ice.
This circle of internet hell is reserved for anyone who shit-talks someone on Twitter and @-replies them in the rude comment, anyone who makes passive-aggressive Tumblr posts and then is sweet to you in person, anyone who posts Facebook statuses you know are about you (TM Carly Simon). This kind of online bravado a) never translates into a real-life discussion of the problem and b) stems from the often false idea that the person doing it is untouchable, that you’d never directly confront them about their treachery and that they are beyond reproach. The kind of pride and arrogance necessary to behave one way online and then shrink like a violet IRL is astonishing and psychopathic.
In this circle, your punishment is mandatory visits to the “icy lake” known as xoJane.com every single morning and you are not allowed to be snarky about anything they have sincerely posted, you unfeeling, smug jackass.