Facebook announced this week that it now boasts 500 million users. MySpace, by comparison, is getting left in the dust. Maybe you were one of the people who abandoned MySpace for Facebook in the last few years, and so, you're certainly not alone. But does that make you part of a larger racial trend without even realizing it? Danah Boyd, a researcher with Microsoft and Harvard University, certainly thinks so. She sees it as a form of "white flight" for the digital age.
"White flight" is a trend observed in urban areas when Caucasians leave and minority populations rise. Boyd says the siphoning of MySpace users to Facebook is a prime example of the same phenomenon happening on the Internet, proof that real-world social divisions are being reproduced online. Her theory will appear in a book she's writing, but she's previewing her chapter on this subject here.