Every so often someone will highlight Something Bad on the Internet and remark that once the Internet was a Good Place but now because of Something Bad, it no longer is.
I am sure they believe that, but they are wrong. The Internet has been a place for Something Bad for as long as it has been around. Case it point, Usenet groups. Before the Web, Usenet was a popular way to read about sports and the news and IT and pretty much anything else. Most of it was pretty mainstream, but some of it, especially the “alt” Usenet groups, was not.
To give you a taste of what I mean, read this: alt.binaries.images.underwater.non-violent.moderated: a deep dive – Waxy.org
There has always been Something Bad on the Internet since forever. (To see what I mean, read about ASCII porn.) There was never a golden era.