Every new communications technology has that honeymoon period where a select group of people embraces it as the key to utopia. And then come the trolls. Even early radio had miscreants who would send out false distress signals. The people least prepared for their trollish ways? Canadians.
The Huffington Post has dug up a CBC TV segment from 1993 that looked at the future of the web. The network talked to John Allen, a Canadian playwright and "internet enthusiast," about the online communities of the early 90s.
Those ever-nice and trusting Canadians couldn't foresee that many corners of the internet would one day devolve into a cesspool of anger and poopmouth language.
"There's an interesting kind of restraint that you find [online]," Allen said. "I mean, there's not a lot of cursing or swearing. There's not a lot of personal cuts. There's not a lot of putdowns that one would expect to find. You know, there's not screenfuls of 'go to hell,' which is surprising."
Sadly, I've read a putdown or two on this very internet website. What is the world coming to? [Huffington Post]