Anonymous messages of spam or bullying, hate speech or similar is as everybody knows is incredibly easy to do. To leave a comment after this post pretty anonymously (to "troll") - calling for me to be killed, kidnapped or beaten senseless on my way home from lectures would be all too easy. You can sign up, enter in false details and write your hate filled comment. The terms and conditions of using this site prohibit it as the very vast majority of community led sites do. But that doesn't stop anybody with an axe to grind.
Social networking should have tamed this in theory, you would have thought. Having your public name, a clickable link in that name to your profile and your accompanying profile picture would surely be enough identifiable information to prevent that person leaving extreme remarks on a status. Well it doesn't, for you optimists out there. You only need to see the popular Breaking News feed on Facebook to gauge how angry people can get over another persons opinion.
Then yet again, 4chan famed for image boards where 'anything goes' with very few exceptions and anonymity is by standard, carte blanche has been given to say anything there. It is a fantastic once-only antique of the web for expressing the freedom to say as and what you wish without caring about offending, because frankly the people there won't be there if they are easily offended. But as Christopher 'moot' Poole says in the TED video above, to say and to do something are two very separate things.
So with this in mind, I ask you wonderful people this:
How far should freedom of expression online go? Should the rules offline apply to the online world, or has the web diluted the meaning of 'freedom of expression' altogether? And did it ever really exist in the first place?