Our predilection for unruly behaviour precedes the web, and the flaw was, and is, that using tech and traversing boundaries, physically and virtually, would create some utopia.
When some people travel abroad, unfortunately culture clashes yield conflict. With some ‘loving’ football fans meeting an opponent spawns general xenophobia and can yield football hooliganism. The 1970's Stanford Prison experiment showed what strangers could do to each other, given the opportunity. Some live radio stations have a relay-delay button to stop abuse.
The social media of their day, the alphabet (Socrate’s woes), telephone, ham radio and radio all required policy makers to work with technologists to frame regulations and penalties to ensure social etiquette. Self policing in a heterogenous group is generally difficult.
Social policy can often catch up with technology leaps, but generally it requires national government’s/ executives’ intervention, with tax payers money, to create and enforce laws. Seems little appetite for that at the moment, given the web’s raison detre is its freedom from authority and an entrepreneur’s mission is to profits above anything else (who picks up the tab?)
Enjoyed your gusto writing. Probably, need a figure that is illustrative of twitter or an SM dying, or becoming dead. I liked this by Evgeny Morozo in 2011, writing for Prospect magazine who says:
Perhaps the mismatch between digital ideals and reality can be ascribed to the naivety of the technology pundits. But the real problem was that the internet’s early visionaries never translated their aspirations for a shared cyberspace into a set of concrete principles on which online regulation could be constructed.