(Slang, derogatory) A jerk; an obnoxious person.
This mess was all predicted by a comic strip (really!) in 2004, when only Harvard dorm residents knew about TheFacebook—and Twitter was two years away. John “Gabe” Gabriel—the alter ego of one of the creators of Penny Arcade, a web comic—came up with the Greater Internet [Jerkwad] Theory (obscenity deleted). The theory is spelled out on a green chalkboard: “Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Jerkwad,” while interpreters note that “normal, well-adjusted people may display psychopathic or antisocial behaviors when given both anonymity and a captive audience on the Internet. (emphasis added).”
Early Thursday morning, Will Wilkinson, the vice president for policy at the Niskanen Center, tweeted out an extraordinarily ill-advised joke: “If Biden really wanted unity,” Wilkinson suggested, “he’d lynch Mike Pence.” By morning he had issued a handsome apology. By evening he was no longer the vice president for policy at the Niskanen Center.