Have you ever noticed certain commenters engage in scurrilous behavior on Huffington Post, take it up to the line and right on over it, post the most outrageous, horrendous posts, which get pulled (some of the time), and then have the audacity to act the martyr afterwords? They change the tone of their posts, act all aggrieved, and when someone points out that a comment they made in this new one still makes no sense, has the temerity to ask why they're being attacked. When they weren't being "attacked" unless criticism of the argument is an attack? And in that case, there's no winning with the person. That person just wants to be right.
And then, apparently, that was all the poster could stand of the new tone and the martyred tone and is right back to asking outrageously stupid questions in a fishing attempt to send the typical responders on a chase to track down the scientific information that the poster isn't going to believe anyway.
A personal attack would be if one simply called the poster a not-so-nice name and offered no corroborating evidence. I have no doubt that this would be a personally satisfying exercise, so am learning to leave that to brief oral tizzies that do not involve my fingers typing the words.
Also, one can go take umbrage: http://www.umbrage.org/ repeatedly until one gets it out of one's system.
It is important to remember to "attack" the words, not the poster, even if the words could only be written by a complete dumbass. Because even dumbasses have feelings. Damn. Blew that one, didn't I? :-)