A good read from the NYT about one of the earliest people to recognize the toxicity of group communication on the internet and the reasons why it always evolves the way it does. I’ve been on the internet since the late 1980s. I’ve seen the same pattern across many communication platforms, starting with the old USENET discussion groups. Domination of the conversation by small numbers of people, ratcheting up incivility (“flame wars”), eventual distruction of the platform. I remember this all being described quite accurately in the Douglas Coupland novel Microserfs.