I am one of those people who is frequently bothered by what the internet has done to people's writing skills. People's idiocy and carelessness is out there for the world to see. It seems to be acceptable to many today not to know the difference between "your" and "you're" or "there," "their," and "they're."
A bigger problem is that now that there is so much more information available, a number of students in high school and college are simply copying content, with little-to-no modification, and turning it in as their own work. I've been in college somewhat recently (1996-2000 and 2002-2006 and grad school 2006-present, with a BA, 2 BSs, and almost finished with a PhD) and I know what they tell you at the beginning of the semester -- don't plagiarize.
But then I recently had occasion to work with some high school teachers on a project; we created a new set of lab experiments for high school students and wrote it up for publication. Seeing as they were the ones who actually work with the students, and know the students' capabilities, I let them take the lead on the writing. And when I got the end result, I had to re-start the writing from scratch. The entire first couple of paragraphs were copied from some web page on a Spanish university's server, with a word changed here or there. (I could tell because the writing style was markedly different from the rest of what they turned out, so I Googled a couple of sentences.) There was a glossary at the end, which was copied directly from Wikipedia -- the freaking hyperlinks were still in the Word document, and when I clicked them, they took me to the Wikipedia pages. Argh.
So, if this is what the teachers are doing, I wonder if there's any hope for the students? When I was in high school, towards the end, we got the Mosaic web browser. But there wasn't Facebook or Google, most people didn't have e-mail. The only reason I knew the internet existed was because I was in a class called "electronic research" where I had to use what was available at the time, for a grade. So in a way, it's an issue of the availability (or lack thereof) of resources. On the flip side, if I actually had to go to the library and use the microfilm machine to find a Time magazine article about a topic I was writing a paper on, well, that was unlikely to be followed up on by the teacher -- too much effort. So it is easier to catch plagiarism today, I think. There are even websites like TurnItIn.com which many colleges use to check for plagiarism.
There will always be dishonest, lazy people. There are also people who just don't know any better, because they haven't been taught. The second problem can be remedied. I am a proponent of much more writing instruction at the high school and college levels. The particular institution where I am getting my PhD has a reputation for producing graduates (at the undergrad level) who can't write. And it's probably because they have such a small requirement for humanities hours, and some of their projects in those classes are PowerPoint presentations and posters, that don't develop their writing skills at all. More writing classes would reinforce the idea that you shouldn't plagiarize, as well as improving on technique. Both would be welcome developments.
This *is* relevant to fantasy fiction, by the way. Check out The Eye of the World and then The Unremembered and tell me the second, while not a word-for-word copy, isn't highly derivative.