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Facebook, MySpace illustrate online social divides

Posted on Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 12:00:07 CEST by

CNET reports researcher Danah Boyd suggests that perhaps people's behavior online absolutely mirrors enduring social divides. She noticed MySpace is now more like ghetto, while the higher castes of high school have moved to Facebook:
"I'm not really into racism, but I think that MySpace now is more like ghetto or whatever, and Facebook is all...not all the people that have Facebook are mature, but its supposed to be like oh we're more mature...MySpace is just old."

For Boyd, the sites we go to reflect our idea of what "people like us" do. Another teen, 17-year-old Craig from California, put it extremely baldly (especially for a Californian):

"The higher castes of high school moved to Facebook. It was more cultured, and less cheesy. The lower class usually were content to stick to MySpace. Any high school student who has a Facebook will tell you that MySpace users are more likely to be barely educated and obnoxious."

Boyd, who is also a researcher at Microsoft Research New England (Microsoft being a prominent investor in Facebook), described the migration from MySpace to Facebook as being akin to white folks setting up their own communities. Yes, the places that spawned the allegedly desperate housewife. This wasn't that Facebook was newer or cooler. This was "modern day 'white flight.'"



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