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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7539329.stm
"For the purposes of the study, two people were considered to be acquaintances if they had sent one another an instant message."

I wonder if a distinction is made between two friends who communicate frequently, and the case of "Hello, I'm an IM spammer" and a response of "Go away you idiot" (or words to the effect).

Because that would effectively join a lot of networks to be a lot closer than they really are, simply because the spammers contact so many people with value-free communication.

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Last Post by jwenting
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7539329.stm
"For the purposes of the study, two people were considered to be acquaintances if they had sent one another an instant message."

I wonder if a distinction is made between two friends who communicate frequently, and the case of "Hello, I'm an IM spammer" and a response of "Go away you idiot" (or words to the effect).

Because that would effectively join a lot of networks to be a lot closer than they really are, simply because the spammers contact so many people with value-free communication.

It creeps me out that such a database exists. Does every IM anyone ever sends in the world to anyone else through Microsoft Messenger get stored forever in some database? Doesn't anyone delete anything anymore? What else is this database used for besides conducting 6 degrees of separation studies?

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[...] What else is this database used for besides conducting 6 degrees of separation studies?

Main purpose is to learn how to better tailor targeted ads to you and yours. Now the possibilities for other uses are limitless, or I should say; limited only by their imagination. I leave to you to speculate who "they" are.

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Main purpose is to learn how to better tailor targeted ads to you and yours. Now the possibilities for other uses are limitless, or I should say; limited only by their imagination. I leave to you to speculate who "they" are.

Could be George Bush's "National Spy Agency" run by the friendly folks at Blackwater USA?

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I think this study does not necessarily pertain to the world at large. Consider that it's only looking at people using MSN IMs - that's kind of a closed pool. And it's a group that has self selected themselves to be very chatty.

I think the term for all this is "a self-licking ice cream cone."

And in terms of connecting communicants, NSA's been doing that for...well, as long as there's been an NSA.

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