Social networking illusion makes things look falsely popular

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Say it aint so

GamerGate was a typical case. I polled a random few friends and next to none had any idea what it is about. The sample included some casual gamers.

On the Internet, when you see a tempest, look for a teapot. If the storm is all around you and the teapot is nowhere to be seen, chances are you’re inside it.


Also, folks tend to connect along lines of similarity - geographical, political, educational, hobbies, etc. This results in echo chamber type effects where you can easily end up thinking that the things you like/do/whatever are more popular than they actually are in the real world, because your circle of social-network connections is /very/ unlikely to be a representative sample.

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Oh, and can we please stop using “social network” to refer purely to digital constructs like facebook, twitter, etc? Those things are all, collectively, just extensions of our actual social network, which includes all people we interact with socially…

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