Sweeping statement to start: everything was simpler before Facebook became huge.
It's not wholly Facebook's fault, I just credit it with starting the influx of 'regular' people onto the internet. I don't consider myself a (excuse the pun) veteran of internet usage since I only gained access in 1999, and Britain was largely late to the party in rolling out availability, but I used it enough in it's early days to understand the fundamentals:
1. You are a nerd
2. Staying inside and using a computer is something to be ashamed of
3. Therefore, remain anonymous.
All three of these intrinsic characteristics have disappeared and been replaced by the exact opposite:
1. Nerds are cool
2. Everyone uses a computer so why don't you?
3. Tell everyone everything.
Because of this new set of rules I find it amusing when stories occur of online harassment, or private details getting leaked, or someone saying something that they normally wouldn't; and at the same time it makes me cringe that they have no knowledge of the first set of rules. If they knew them then whatever mess they're in could be avoided.
This is the case that made me want to type all this: http://www.theguardi...ge-boy-zoe-sugg
Basically, popular vlogger writes book, is found out to have not written it, gets abuse.
Now, alongside other high-profile things like gamergate or even cyberbullying, I don't condone online abuse I just consider it less-worse than abuse in real life. Why? Because you can turn a computer off. And how could it have been avoided? By remaining anonymous.
Oh, you're a politician saying something on Twitter and people don't like it? What the fuck are you doing using Twitter?
Oh, you've responded to a tweet with homophobia and now you've lost your job? What the fuck are you doing using Twitter?
Oh, you didn't know your naked picture is automatically uploaded? Read the fucking manual.
You get the idea. Personal responsibility is absent. We have people, laymen, using the internet and then complaining when it doesn't work as expected. And as amusing and cringeworthy as I find it, I get annoyed when seemingly no one points out that maybe these people shouldn't have jumped into social networking without first learning what a goddamn username is.
Perhaps it's the advantage of having grown up with stuff like modem dial tones, file sizes in the kilobytes, 640x480 screen resolution, a DOS prompt - it makes you appreciate how wonderful and easy computers and the internet are now and that you value what you have.
People should be ashamed of abusing or trolling someone online, but really they should be more ashamed of getting caught.
Disclaimer to point out the irony of essentially complaining about online opinion expression whilst presenting an opinion.