What makes me hate the Internet

I love the Internet. I especially like the services that let me connect, share and compare my ideas, my ideals and my interests with others.

But there’s a dirty underbelly to that wonderful creation, and that’s the fact that there are thousands if not millions of people out there who are just not mature enough to handle the Internet. Case in point:

A guy posts a fake ad on Craigslist. He pretends to be a woman who’s looking for rough sex. The answers come in, many of them by married men looking for a fling, and what does he do? He posts the hundreds of replies complete with real names, pictures, phone numbers and sometimes work email on a wiki (read about it here).

Now, the problem here is twofold. On the one hand, single-handedly a guy is destroying not just people’s lives, but also every trust anyone could have in the Internet. Especially today, when services like 43Places, Twitter or generally Blogs are enabling people to open up to the world and discover what else is out there, pulling a prank like that, is one big disaster, causing people to retreat back into their shells and adhering to the “rather safe than sorry” mentality. And well, they have a point.

I remember posting about a girl who got entangled in a plagiarism affair, and even though I didn’t make it clear enough then, exposing her to the Internet was a cruel and wrong thing to do. This recent prank? About a million times worse.

The second part of the problem is the fact that a majority of the people responding to above linked Wired blog article, were in favour of the guy who did this. Here’s an example:

Wow. You seriously think it’s okay for married men to troll the internet for ass without any consequences, and that anyone who catches them, outs them and calls them on it are actually the assholes in such a scenario.
I seriously can’t believe you guys. You have no reasonable sense of morality whatsoever. And WE’RE the social conservatives?!
That you two have a forum like Wired to express your backwards, amoral point of view is supremely horrifying.

The fact that the commenter decided to post anonymously displays exactly what makes me hate the Internet: The fact that there’s always a mob of self-righteous cowards just around the corner, waiting to impose their backwards, pseudo-moral views on whoever they think deserves it.