I think the monastery is different because you're not truly anonymous, in that you have a handle, bio page, etc, and (most importantly) other monks can vote you down. So trolling/flames would be a waste of time. And have you ever noticed how flame-fests need an audience? Whoever conducted a flamewar by private email? I don't think the "audience" here would appreciate shouting in the cloisters...
As for that quotation, I have always found it amazing how low people will stoop. As a one-time school sysadmin, I had many successes introducing the Internet but made a couple of really bad mistakes: (a) setting up IRC, and (b) allowing free use of email (but what else could I do??)
When these media started to be used for sexual harassment, racial abuse and good ole fashioned flame-wars, I was astonished that the people involved were often the most polite in real life. I guess they were a bit repressed and fubar inside, and the 'net gave them a way to express that. Hope it did them some good :-}
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