Anonymity Theory

Something I've commonly seen mentioned in online conversations is the "Greater Internet Anonymity Theory" which suggests that

"Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Assholes."

I think the whole "anonymity" part is overrated. I've seen people defend asshole-ish behavior by stating something like "oh, it's just the Internet" like people suddenly turn into assholes when they're on-line but act normally otherwise.

With the rise of social media sites, I think that's largely untrue. Google switched the comments section of YouTube to Google+, and I've seen no change in quality even though many people now post behind their real names. Same thing with Facebook - there are an unbelievable number of assholes on Facebook. Same thing with dating sites, too. I think the real issue is not that we're anonymous, it's that people can act out without ever really having to meet the other person face to face.
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