Headline July 21, 2015/ "" !WOW!"' - "AN HONOUR OF HUMANITY"

'''' !WOW! ''' - 

FACEBOOK   -facebook has a site called  ''Peace on Facebook,'' where it describes how it can  'decrease world conflict' by letting people-

From different backgrounds connect. {The optimism is catching: one spring a founder of Twitter described his service as ''A triumph of humanity''.  

IN 2007 DANAH BOYD heard a white American teenager describe MySpace, the social network, as  ''like ghetto or whatever''. 

At the time, Facebook was stealing members from MySpace, but most popular thought it was just a fad : teenagers tired of networks, the theory went , just as they tired of shoes.

But after hearing that youngster, Ms Boyd, a social media researcher at Microsoft Research New England, felt that something more than whimsy might be at work.

''Ghetto'' in American speech suggests poor, unsophisticated and black. That led to her sad conclusion : in their online life, American teenagers were recreating what they knew from the physical world    -separation by class and race.

A generation of digital activists had hoped that the web would connect groups separated in the real world. The Internet was supposed to transcend colour, social identity and national borders.

But research suggests that the internet is not so radical. People are online what they are offline: divided and slow to build bridges.

Then one summer, recently, Ms Boyd heard from a scholar in Brazil who, after reading her research, saw a parallel. Almost 80% of internet users in Brazil use Orkut, a social network owned by Google.

As Internet use rises in Brazil and reaches new social groups, better-off Brazilians are leaving Orkut for Facebook. That is partly because they have more friends abroad [with whom they link via Facebook] and partly snobbishness. 

Posh Brazilians have a new word : orkutificaco, or becoming  ''orkutised''. A place is undergoing orkutificacao, is full of strangers, open to anyone. Brazilians are now the second biggest users of the  micro-blogging site Twitter; but some wonder whether the dreaded  o-word awaits that neighbourhood too.

Facebook's architecture makes it easy for groups to remain closed. For example, it suggests new friends using an algorithm that looks at existing ones. But simpler, more open networks also permit self-segregation. 

On Twitter, members can choose to ''follow'' anyone they like, and can form groups by embedding words and shortened phrases known as  ''hashtags'' in their messages.

In May Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas, who research the display of social information, looked at the ten most popular hashtags on Twitter and discovered that were used almost exclusively by either black or white authors.

The hashtag  ''#cookout''  was almost entirely black; the hashtag  ''#oilspill'' almost entirely white.

With ideology, the pair's findings were a bit more hopeful; the liberals and conservatives at least communicate   -by trading taunts. They do so  by appropriating hashtags so as to surface in each others' searches.

By now, only one keyword in American political discourse remains unaffected by such games of tag: #NPR, or National Public Radio, used only by liberals.

All this argues for a cautious response to claims that  e-communications abate conflict by bringing mutually suspicious people together.

Peace on Facebook keeps a ticker of friend connections made each day between people from rival places. Israelis and Palestinians, the site claims, made about 15,000 connections one July day, and recently.

That is hard to put into context; Facebook does not make public the total number of friendships in any country. But Ethan Zuckerman, a blogger and activist, used independent data to estimate that these links represent roughly:

1-2% of the combined total of friendships on Israel and Palestinian accounts. Using the same method for Turkey and Greece, his estimate was 0.1%. 

That understates the role of  Greek-Turkish friendship groups, or groups dedicated to music and films that both countries like.

The Honour and Serving of the ''Operational Research'' continues.

With respectful dedication to Sam Daily Times  ''The Voice Of The Voiceless'' and all its readers the world over. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' One Cyber World '''

Good Night and God bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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