Monday, July 9, 2007

class divisions during wartime

I was folding in some old favorite blogs into the blogroll in the right column, when I came across a link to an article on Jonas Söderström’s blog. The following paragraph really caught my eye:

A month ago, the military banned MySpace but not Facebook. This was a very interesting move because the division in the military reflects the division in high schools. Soldiers are on MySpace; officers are on Facebook. Facebook is extremely popular in the military, but it's not the SNS of choice for 18-year old soldiers, a group that is primarily from poorer, less educated communities. They are using MySpace. The officers, many of whom have already received college training, are using Facebook. The military ban appears to replicate the class divisions that exist throughout the military. I can't help but wonder if the reason for this goes beyond the purported concerns that those in the military are leaking information or spending too much time online or soaking up too much bandwidth with their MySpace usage.

[danah boyd. 06/24/07. “Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace”; see also her blog entry on apophenia; via Blind Höna entry]

When I first heard about the MySpace and YouTube bans the military had put in place, I wondered if they would be stationing MPs in front of Internet cafes like they used to do at bars. In the 17th century, it was coffeehouses in Europe that were considered dangerous. I guess any places, virtual or real, where folks congregate these days are danger zones.

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