A Facebook intern has discovered that tracking desperate Farmville pleas and tedious Facebook status updates creates an almost perfect map of the modern digital world.
The study was conducted by intern Paul Butler in an attempt to see how pervasive modern social networking had become amongst people you wouldn’t be seen dead with in real life.
A Facebook spokesperson explained, “What we have learned, is that Geographical boundaries are meaningless when it comes to sharing your thoroughly tedious existence with other people.”
“The more tedious the update or request, the more people it is sent to. It’s an amazing find, really.”
Butler was shocked to find that the ‘connections’ – a technical term for a relationship of low or dubious quality, rather than a genuine interaction – somehow replicated the shape of the globe’s main landmasses, with the exception of China.
“There’s just no good explanation for this,” Mr Butler said in a statement.
“It’s like some spooky emergent intelligence waving at us from the data of billions of individual connections, saying “Here I Am! You’re not alone!”’
Facebook connections map
Professor of Geography Leonard Tiler commented, “This is quite incredible. At the moment, we have no academic or scientific models that predict this.”
“Unless of course it’s just that people – particularly Americans with too much time on their hands – know more people who live near them, making those areas very bright.”
“But also, some people also know people who live a long way away. Except in China, of course, which doesn’t exist at all according to this particular analysis.”
Facebook has made few inroads into China, with spokesperson commenting, “We think this is probably because China only has a handful of computers. Otherwise, of course they’d all be using Facebook.”