I think it's far too soon to tell what the overall effects of the internet are and will be. My reservation about this sort of claim is that I suspect people probably made it about the distribution of pamphlets when printing first became widely available. I agree that the whole accusatory/insular mob culture of parts of the internet are horrible, but a lot of that may turn out to be a passing fad. We've never had the opportunity to mob total strangers without repercussions before, so people are trying out how it feels. I can see many people getting sick of it in a few years when some of the young people who help drive it grow up a bit. I'm not too worried yet that these patterns we see now are in any way permanent.