Originally Posted by CielDuMatin
... where people can hide behind the typed word as a screen that bypasses the usual norms of social decency.
This is one of the main points that tends to get missed. Just because it's online and anonymous, doesn't mean the usual rules of civility and decorum don't exist.
That was a nice thing in the BBS days being more localized...if things had ever gotten out of hand in the chatrooms, there would have still been the weekly meets for people to sort it out toe to toe. The same as any dinner conversation or coffee shop debate would be. Hence people tended to keep the usual rules in mind.
Of course, I'm also suffering a bad case of nostalgia on this. Which is almost as bad as NRE sometimes.