Many autisitcs wouldn't be able to do this, but many would. There's actually a number who hold advanced degrees, particularly in math and the sciences, including computer science.
Also, the conscious choice to participate is entirely within reach as well. Not all autism spectrum disorders are marked by social withdrawal, there are a number of social dysfunctions, and it's one of the main ways different specific syndromes are defined. One of the signs cited to draw the fuzzy line between AS and HFA is actually this. Some Asperger's sufferers are social to the point of making people uncomfortable, tending to have long winded one sided conversations with people who have no interest. They're socially inept, unable to process nonverbal communication, but they aren't universally withdrawn or aggressive.
Even ones who are withdrawn, there's evidence that when you remove the face to face aspects of social interaction, it alleviates a lot of what causes autistics' social problems. That goes past autism, too. Social anxiety disorders and just simple inexperience, awkwardness, or fear of reaction become easier to overcome when you take out the direct interaction. This is why there are far more people willing to be openly homosexual on the internet than in their real lives... and also why there are far more people willing to be jerks on the internet.