While the Web has brought us many wonderful tools and applications, the possibility of anonymity online has resulted in a form of anarchy and general rudeness in the way some people interact with each other on the Internet. Comments on newspaper sites and in user groups sometimes seem to spiral downward in a vicious circle of petty nastiness that seems to move in the opposite direction of civil dialogue. Users are increasingly frustrated with their Internet experiences, for this and other reasons.
One area of the web that seems somewhat insulated is the special place reserved for social networking sites. Some argue that social networking sites don't really offer a rich experience, and that may be true, depending on how people choose to use their time there. However, one thing seems apparent: users of sites like Facebook, for example, find it much more difficult to hide behind a veil of anonymity. Users generally present themselves with their real names . They tend to accept a higher stand of responsibility for their actions. One reason for this is that a news feed updates friends and contacts on recent activity, making it much harder to hide.
In a recent column in Time magazine, Lev Grossman argued that the social networking sites may point the way for future web developments. Does Facebook hold the key to a better web experience? More here.