Just to prove that I am in fact an asshole who won’t shut up, anonymous or no:
I can’t speak towards how people use the comic these days, but from the PA news post on March 24, 2004, there’s this with a link to the same theory you linked to
When we submitted John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, we were not aware that it already had proponents in centers of higher learning. Except, when they talk about it, they call it The Impact of Anonymity on Disinhibitive Behavior Through Computer-Mediated Communication. Same thing, though.
I’m not doing a good job not arguing, but I really see this as a discussion over terms, not an argument. I still think we’re saying the same thing, I’m just using a pithy comic to do so. Which is totally a problem I caused, because you’re reading it differently than I am.
I’m also not actually trying to shut down debate, I just feel like it’s been discussed to death and there isn’t actually much more to say than John Suler’s take. I really just posted the comic as an attempt to snarkily burn the NYT for being 14 years late. I might have posted Suler’s theory if I’d known of it instead.