If I remember correctly, Squirrel is from China and I’m not surprised he has a different perspective.
I think part of the issue is matchmaking, which - in contrast to dedicated servers - tends to shovel people around. It’s a dehumanizing experience when publishers only care about the bottom line. Matchmaking makes it difficult to meet the same person again unless you explicitly add him to your friend list.
When you play online, I’m afraid you simply can act like a jackass without consequences. When you do so face to face, you either get punched in the face or burn bridges behind you. Face to face, you mostly meet people who live in the same general area, so if you alienate others you’re making things difficult to you in the long run. I don’t even think it’s about anonymity, because persistent accounts don’t help much. There are hordes of other people you can play with, so you don’t need to be nice to any one person.
More generally, I think we need better tools to police our online communities. On forums, we generally only have the ability to contact a moderator, report posts etc. In a game, it’s rare to see effective tools to remove obnoxious players.
It works both ways. Why would you praise someone you probably won’t meet ever again ? Someone who might randomly disconnect, might not respond, might not be reading your messages.
Face to face, you at least see if the person is paying attention. Lack of body language and facial expressions in online games doesn’t help with forming social ties.