I was on a French language list to chat in French. I learned all the cuss words, the worst you can imagine. French exceptionalism includes a large dose of anti-americanism. All that was fine with me at that time. It certainly was not the famous "debat vif" of a different era.
The whole thing descended into chaos. One skinny guy in Lyons started sending empty messages to the list, a hundred at a time. The list owner shut down the whole list.
I have found the French to be delightful in person. When they get on-line, they probably need structure to thrive. And, in one's personal life there is great freedom in self discipline.