Gave “A Rape in Cyberspace” a lot of thought today while I was at the dentist (it wasn’t a painful procedure so I was daydreaming). The argument of the story is that the right of free speech will inevitably fade away in the information age. It obviously touches on the power of the symbol (word) as well.
The only good example of free speech today, is in music and a few other forms of art. Even then, if a song ends up publicly available (national television etc.), it has to be clean (not just of foul language, but content too). So in the end, when you buy an album or a single, (like with games) you agree to be subjected to certain views, language, prejudice, and even harassment.
My point is that all forms of harassment are already being policed in one way or another, and the reason virtual harassment is considered less serious is because you subject yourself to it.