(1) An oyster or similar bivalve mollusk in the larval stage, especially when it settles to the bottom and begins to develop a shell. (2) A cloth or leather gaiter covering the shoe upper and the ankle and fastening under the shoe with a strap: The waiter wore spats as part of his uniform.. (3) A brief quarrel. (4) [Informal] A slap or smack. (5) A spattering sound, as of raindrops.
There’s a spat between MarkMonitor and the Non Commercials.
You can read about it here. To be honest, even after reading this twice, I’ve no idea what the issue might have been.But whatever it was, I hadn’t heard of it before the refutation was publicised.
There’s something called the Streisand Effect, after Barbara Streisand.
And sometimes that’s worth bearing in mind, no matter how much one may feel or want to respond by yelling back.