[iDC] viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace

Andreas Schiffler aschiffler at ferzkopp.net
Tue Jun 26 14:07:08 EDT 2007

The Slashdot crowd descended on the article today. Here are a few of the 
comments from the geeks (aren't all slashdot readers geeks?):

On social networking purpose:

... Use it for what? Out of all the "friends" I've had that have pointed 
me to their myspace, etc. page, none of them have had a defined 
"purpose". ...

... Its groups allow people to be politically active -- you can bet 
Facebook and its peers will be quite important in the 2008 election. ...

... Congratulations for confirming what everyone suspected: hiring isn't 
based on whether the candidate can DO THE DAMN JOB, but rather on how 
much crap they can throw on a myspace page. ...

... I ran into a bunch of people I knew in high school on there ...  I 
felt like both my IQ and moral bank went to lower numbers every time I 
logged into it [MySpace] simply by association. ...

... My coworker had a bad run-in with facebook last month. Basically 
used his space and friends to spread stories and lies. Went totally 
psycho. ...

... Facebook has one major use for me: /It's not instant communication/. 
... [and a 3 followups] ... We used to call this email! ...

On the class divide:

... If you never went to university or college, the likelihood of you 
using Facebook plummeted because they originally required you to have an 
e-mail address at that organization! ... [it was confirmed many times, 
that Facebook's class divide is 'by-design'] ...

... Unfortunately discussion of and reference to societal stratification 
& class relationships carries a certain taboo in American culture. 
Indeed, the idea of classifying people at all is seen as negative. ...

... There are lots of geeks on facebook. If the article writer couldn't 
find them, it's because he wasn't invited to their networks. ...

... And, on the internet, what's to stop someone from being a member of 
both Myspace and Facebook? ...

... I would be much more interested if the paper's author found people 
who successfully used social networking sites to actually "change 
classes". ...

... I was just telling my sister yesterday: "Facebook is Myspace for 
people who actually graduated high school."...

... It would be better to do an N-way analysis of variance [of class 
type] and derive the most significant divisions within American society 
(there are many), although that would be well beyond the resources of a 
project at this level. ...

There was also some negative feedback:

... If Begging the Question is the name of the logical flaw in which you 
make an argument which assumes the point in dispute, what is the name of 
the logical flaw in which you make an argument which destroys the point 
which is assumed? ...

... If the author doesn't have data, then why are they bothering with 
making a claim? ...

... I'm rather shocked that this "research" is being reported by the 
BBC. ...

... Umm, my Mom is on facebook... that's how awesome it has become. ...

... That paper does nothing, as others have already said, but tell us 
there there are social classes among people. ....


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