It took only a couple decades for the internet to transform from a weird underground hobby to an entirely new medium for the self. One of the earliest draws of internet society was the invitation to become someone else — to obscure the dull strains of your real life behind a veil of mysterious text or behind an avatar, the image or persona you create to represent you online. In those days, it often seemed like people had collectively assented to participate in some degree of fiction about one another. The person on your forum or in your channel who loved to say inflammatory things was just some troll; you could even assume that he wasn’t like that in real life. That these were only mechanisms specific to the character he lived as online.