Chinese Communist Oligarchs Unfriend the World

ChinaFacebookLightMap2011-01-02.jpg “The Facebook friendship map, created by Paul Butler.” Source of caption and map: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.

(p. B7) The contrast between Facebook’s spreading global network of users and its effective absence from China is starkly illustrated by a map, produced by a Facebook intern and flagged on the Economist’s website earlier this month, that has lately become a point of fascination of the Chinese Internet.

Described by its creator Paul Butler as “a social graph of 500 million people,” the map represents the worldwide volume of Facebook friendships across geographic locations using lines of varying intensity. Butler’s methodology is interesting in its own right, but what appeared to most interest China’s netizens was how China appears on the map. Or, rather, how it doesn’t.
. . .
Since Facebook is blocked in China, the number Facebook friendship lines flowing in and out of the country is essentially negligible, making China almost impossible to see.”

For the full story, see:
Josh Chin. “Facebook Gets Back Into China (Sort of…).” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., December 21, 2010): B7.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the article has the title “Facebook Gets Back Into China (Sort of…)” and includes paragraphs at the end that were not in the print version.)

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