I've been around fora and chats for while and know it can get rather heated. People who live in the computer instead of having real, living and breathing friends are an odd breed. At least those who think the anonymity of the Internet gives them a free pass for bullying. Those are the ones, who wouldn't be able to say a word to someone in person, but hey, in the safety of their home, perhaps some drinks involved and they turn into real monsters.
Heated discussions are good; they are healthy, they are necessary for us to see other point of views, but not everyone can discuss on a neutral level. There's attacks like, 'You're full of shit!'
I wonder why someone feels the need to resolve to such matters? Especially authors, who should have a way with words.
Yesterday, I've been called a stupid author of a poorly written book who's into animal cruelty and been advised to go back to where I come from and that quickly.
Made me laugh, because two posts later, the poster admitted to not have downloaded said book, hence not read it. She's a friend of said author telling people they are full of shit and she didn't like it when I raised my concerns. Said author also told me I should get a sense of humour. I guess he also didn't read my book. Oh well.
Personally, I don't interact with people like that. I do swear like a sailor, sure and I have called people arsehole in my life, yes, but I wouldn't dare doing that just because I disagree with them. It's normal to disagree and I think we humans should be smart enough to discuss on a civilised level. I also don't react to stalkers. I will let people know when I've got enough of their escapades and ignore them -- no losses there.
If I have a heated debate about something with my friends, I won't stand up and shout at them they are idiots or they have issues or don't know what they're talking about. I'll explain my viewpoint and hope they'll understand. I think I've never seen so many bullies than they are online. It's a bit like weed, they just spread and spread and if don't thin them out regularly, they'll take over.