In the ante-Facebook, pre-Twitter, afore-social network era, how did you hurl insults at your enemies? Let me paraphrase, how did you publicise your hatred of someone, the hatred so unforgiving to that person's soul and maybe to your own? In other words, how did you call him/her names in public for the full humiliating effect _ the humiliation of that person and maybe, again, that boomerangs to hit you?
I guess there were many ways, too many and too depressing to list here, usually involving writing something in newspapers. But note: I've been using the past tense (the greatest tense in the English language), because in the present, a great implication of the social media - isn't that a tautology? - is that you can insult, defame, verbally abuse anybody instantly, literally nanoseconds after you're consumed by the dark impulse, or by unpardonable animosity, or by paranoia, or by fear. The debate whether Facebook is a private or public sphere will continue. The easy interpretation is, if your setting is "public", then it is. It's equivalent to putting up a manifesto on the wall in the town square for all to see, friends or otherwise. But even if you don't set your post as "public" but your friends share it out to the world, exponentially sometimes, what's meant to be private may not entirely be under your control.
Part of this refers to the case of famous cartoonist Chai Rachawat who made an allusive sneer, on Facebook naturally, contrasting or comparing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to a certain oldest profession, with a play on a particular word, "whore". The assumption that prostitutes are worse than the rest of humanity is whore-ifying to begin with, but that's another debate. The PM sued Chai on Friday, though the cartoonist vowed on his Facebook page that he would never let his supporters down. Meanwhile the PM's sycophants have urged the shutdown of any web pages that dare to criticise their mistress with sensitive metaphors. Chai's cheerleaders are clamouring about freedom of speech, while countering that the other camp has on many occasions called their idol Abhisit Vejjajiva something worse. The volleys are thrown back and forth. Sodom and Gomorrah! We've lived to see the day when Thailand wallows in the apocalypse of pettifogging nonsense, or as some might agree, in the universe's Whore-of-Fame.