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White Flight from MySpace to Facebook
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November 11, 2010, 02:15 AM
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Here`s a scholarly article by danah boyd (e.e. cumming-like lack of capitalization intentional) called White Flight in Networked Publics? How Race and Class Shaped American Teen Engagement with MySpace and Facebook. It`s based on a lot of interviews with teens. For example, one white boy pointed out that MySpace`s tools for customization to bling up their sites drove off more cultured teens:
"These tools gave MySpacers the freedom to annoy as much as they pleased. Facebook was nice because it stymied such annoyance, by limiting individuality. ... The MySpace crowd felt caged and held back because they weren`t able to make their page unique."
Unfortunately, it`s one of those academic articles which could be about 50% shorter if danah didn`t have to constantly puff up the possibility that the universally perceived differences on average between the races might just be one giant mass delusion. We`re not talking about reality, you see, just perceptions of reality and perceptions of perceptions of reality.

Like the lack of bling on Facebook, that kind of Occam`s Butterknife talk is a marker of respectable academic discourse about race: No, we don`t find race interesting, we find our perceptions of other people`s perceptions about race interesting. We try to make our interest in it as uninteresting as possible by padding our writing out with endless meta-ness. (We wouldn`t want any MySpacers reading our articles, now would we?)