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Yet Another New York Times Fail

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

Alexis Madrigal watches New York Times honcho Bill Keller in action:

Alexis Madrigal - Authors - The Atlantic: Zeynep Tufekci (@techsoc) is a University of North Carolina sociologist of technology who occasionally writes for this website. Bill Keller (@nytkeller) is the outgoing executive editor of the New York Times. About an hour ago on Twitter, after Tufekci said research didn't support Keller's view that social media hurt real-world sociality, Keller shot back, "Um, did you plan on linking to the research?" At which point, Tufekci barraged him with a host of links showing that, at the very least, social media has no negative impact on people's social lives, and it might even make them better.

Keller challenged the wrong person to do some linking because our experience of Tufekci leads me to believe that she knows the academic research about social media backwards and forwards. But, if you think Twitter makes people act stupidly, you don't expect that a challenge will be met by citation after citation.

So far, Keller has not responded to Tufekci's research links. My favorite comment was doctoral student and blogger Aaron Bady, who wrote of the exchange, "I feel like I just saw @techsoc pull Marshall McLuhan out from behind a movie poster."

Here's the exchange:

When Bill Keller Met Zeynep Tufekci

.@nytkeller: time spent on "your 200 Facebook friends" is at expense of "in person" sociality. Research says otherwise. http://is.gd/BRZsXF techsoc

IOW, after many factors (race, gender, educ) statistically equalized, people who used more social media like FB had more very close ties. techsoc

.@nytkeller "use of certain 'social media' - were .. associated w/ having a larger number of confidants" --this after regression controls. techsoc

@techsoc Um, did you plan on linking to the research? nytkeller

Yes. Here's non-paywalled article from @mysocnet http://bit.ly/kRelbB @nytkeller: @techsoc Um, did you plan on linking to the research? techsoc

.@nytkeller My earlier paper (college age, not national) finds same number of friends b/w users & non-users of FB. http://bit.ly/lX897d techsoc

.@nytkeller Nationally-representative sample, @barrywellman & Wang: http://bit.ly/lTOHPV Either no diff or heavy net-users have more friends techsoc

Correction, sorry. RT @mubaraketganen: @mysocnet @nytkeller there was an extra RT at the end of the link, this works http://bit.ly/acnWcM techsoc

.@nytkeller Jeffrey Boase study from 2006 about email. Email users had more close ties than non-users. http://bit.ly/acjJYj techsoc

.@nytkeller I have detailed but old anaylsis of Gen. Social Survey 04 (probably best soc. science survey ) -under review- w/ similar results techsoc

.@nytkeller, latest @pewinternet by @mysocnet http://bit.ly/jphw7B. Need to look at regressions. No effect of FB or Twitter on network size. techsoc

@techsoc @nytkeller I also have paper under review where I found student time on FB is + related to time spent in co-curricular activities reyjunco

.@nytkeller Other smaller research exists, too. All increasingly find little effect or more ties of Net users. None I know shows fewer ties. techsoc

.@nytkeller Also don't know of recent research showing notable "displacement" of offline ties by online ones--as you voiced. Au contraire. techsoc

Finally, .@nytkeller important to use regressions so effect of Internet use isn't exaggerated, i.e. not a proxy for education, income, etc. techsoc

OK, folks, over &out, need to finish that revision I mentioned. @nytkeller totally right on about that. Twitter can displace writing time:-) techsoc

Yes, excellent book RT @nancybaym: @nytkeller You could also read my book that summarizes this research, esp chapter 6: http://bit.ly/mgtH7T techsoc

I feel like I just saw @techsoc pull Marshall McLuhan out from behind a movie poster: http://t.co/XA1UOIS zunguzungu