Thanks to Paddy Johnson for the linkage but this wasn't what I said:
Tom Moody laments the disappearance of ranting on the blogosphere and in the comment sections of blogs. We still see plenty of rants here, but the totally crazy shit (Moody says isn’t really a rant anyway) has subsided with the push away from anonymity on the web.
I was lamenting the disappearance of ranting in the blogosphere because of the comment sections of blogs. In a post you can be a fiery orator but then in the comments you are supposed to make nice and listen to what people are saying. The "new AOLs" (Facebook, G+) are all about comments (what the disconnected Mark Zuckerberg calls "connection") and being sociable, hence "social media."
The decline of rants doesn't begin with the loss of anonymity--I knew who most of my favorite mid-'00s bloggers were--but rather to "likes," "fav counts," "friends" and all the rest of that sophomoric BS. In this world of enforced happy talk, anyone who says anything too discouraging can be written off as a troll or congenitally unpleasant person. Sure, you can have fights breaking out in comments. Two trolls going at it provide a lot of entertainment for the well-adjusted.
minor edits for finer-tuned ranting