Actually, I'd say the ability to do things like this with relative anonymity was a new (and now past) situation. For most of human history around most of the world the population density was such that if you did something "notable" everyone in your town knew about it and it stuck with you forever. Sure, you could move and leave your reputation behind, but you were left to deal with being a stranger in a time when strangers were not treated favorably.
That said, I agree that it's a shame that some decisions have such an adverse impact on people's lives - especially when those decisions probably are due to a momentary lapse in judgement and really cause no or minimal harm to others. Sadly, the world has been shitty in this way for a very long time.