Cletus, I got your point, but search engine optimization makes everything public knowledge. Punch in "John Doe" and one prominent keyword and typically you can find what you are looking for. That makes everything by and large public information worldwide 24/7. Sure it's a fragmented hodge-podge of hackneyed arguments, but most definitely readily available day and night.
Even if the person uses pseudonyms you are correct in saying it's nothing like TV on a national scale, but in another way you look at it from the standpoint that one can only focus on a certain amount of personalities per hour, whereas online all personalities within a certain field are easily ascertainable, knowable, and can be elements of discussion. Take for example the internet phenomenon of Ron Paul, he gets little media coverage but he is easily known, and those that support him can be easily known in certain environments. It's like a mini-tv with stories that can cover anything at anytime that is easily common knowledge amongst certain circles. It's like local tv or local newspapers.
Sins of detraction are for private matters. If someone told me they stole a Snicker's bar on PM I wouldn't be able to mention it. The internet is not a private message, but public. The very fact that people within our milieu can so readily discover information that it does make the matter public despite (and again I think the case of legalism goes both ways) our protestation. The difference being people like myself use their name and not pseudonyms. If I declared I fished without a fishing license it would be a public declaration of breaking the law. My protestation that it's just this message board is not honest in the light everyone knows who I am and such information could be easily accessible to someone who referenced my name and pertinent key words.
I'm familiar with St. Francis de Sales, but he was referencing private matters. I cannot see how posting on a message board for public view is private. Call it legalism, but if you, myself, my grandma in NY, and my uncle in Italy can see any message posted 24/7 I can't see how it's private unless that message board was password protected for private members.
Clare, just a quick point... St. Augustine never mentions his life except in the general sense. His life of reflection was insanely generic considering the life he led. He never mentions precise moments of his life in any of his writings. St. Paul asks that a thorn be taken from him (traditionally understood as fighting against lust), but no one could impute on him anything specific by his admission.
There is no case of saints publicly confessing sin after confession specifically. Saying you "fought addictions" is different that saying you snorted coke in L.A with prostitutes.