There are major class divisions between the users of networking websites like Facebook and MySpace, according to a US social analyst.
Danah Boyd, who works with Microsoft Research New England, reckons that most Facebook users are white and wealthy, while MySpace users are uneducated and obnoxious.
AdvertisementShe says that Facebook's arrival sparked a migration from MySpace of white users, the educated and the wealthy, while non-whites had stuck together on MySpace.
"It wasn't just anyone who left MySpace to go to Facebook," News.com.au quoted her as having told a crowd at New York's Democracy Forum.
"We might as well face an uncomfortable reality ... what happened was modern day 'white flight'," she added.
According to Boyd, MySpace has become a digital "ghetto".
"The people there are more likely to be brown or black and to have a set of values that terrifies white society," she said.
Based on her interviews with American teenagers since 2006, she said that online migration mimicked the patterns of class groups' movements across cities.
Her findings showed that teen Facebook users were far more likely to talk down to those who used MySpace than vice versa.
Boyd said that her research showed high school students found Facebook "more cultured" and "less cheesy" than MySpace.
"Any high school student who has a Facebook page will tell you MySpace users are more likely to be barely educated and obnoxious," she said.
She also warned that the class divisions on social sites would harden over time.
"Their decision to (move to Facebook) was wrapped up in their connections to others, in their belief that a more peaceful, quiet, less-public space would be more idyllic," she said.
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