I think about the Internet quite a lot over the years since social media became popular, and I found your link about GAB quite interesting...I was amazed.
As for the online insult, for me I think the answer to your Q is yes, kinda-sorta.
One person on Blurt took a dislike to me (and a few other people); but because the moderation was strong, she could not insult me directly. So what she seemed to do was to talk behind my back to OTHER people, doing her best to alienate them...Blurtit is a rather small site, and she did succeed, somewhat...and for a long time I did not even know what was going on.
Even after I found out I stuck it out for a while, but then they threw out the old moderators and that is when I just left the site, for good. I don't want to participate in Internet drama, it's not what I come here for.
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Regarding freedom of speech, there was a wonderful Canadian pianist, his name was Glen Gould (1932-1952); I love to listen to his music, and I wrote down something he once said:
"So far as I can see, freedom of speech most often has to do with socially sanctioned verbal aggression.”
Interesting question, Kninjanin, thank you.