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THE LACK OF CONTROL

FOR BETTER OR WORSE, YOUR LIFE ONLINE IS PUBLIC

In our real, physical lives, we accept that people close to us change their minds and suffer bad moods—but in the virtual world, we’re much less likely to accept this kind of natural inconsistency. We hold others to rigid standards of behavior and are much less forgiving. In virtual space, this double standard is particularly compelling. If you behave badly, it’s because you’re a troll, and your mother and her mother before you, back a thousand generations. These feelings are not logical, but such is the nature of virtual relationships. Lacking emotional depth, we substitute brittle, ...

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