United face Aston Villa tomorrow where manager Alex McLeish has been at odds with supporters.
"I think so, yes," said Ferguson, when asked whether the abuse McLeish has received could happen anywhere.
"It is a change in society.
"I spoke some time ago about the picture of the melee on the pitch between United and Leeds and in the background the fans were completely passive. You wouldn't get that today.
"We did the right thing resting Paul (Scholes) on Wednesday.
"It may not have looked like that to the fans but after playing on Sunday and then having another match three days later, we did the right thing."