Why does anyone expect people to behave differently on the internet than in
society in general?
Walter W. Jones
Because when the Internet (Arpanet) began, those on it realized it was
a privilege to have this sort of access, and treated everyone on the
net with respect due to the pride you had in your privilege. Those
people also realized that the privilege could be easily taken away,
and that the net was likely to be removed if abuse was allowed to
Now people regard the Internet like they have a RIGHT to access it,
and treat it with associated carelessness. They know if they abuse
the net, they will retain access anyhow, so abuse is prevalent. And
system managers realize that if they restrict access to a person, that
person can easily find another inlet to the net, so many system
managers just give up.
To answer your question, people expect others to behave differently
because they remember the idyllic beginnings of the net, and wish to
retain that aura of privilege and pride and respect.