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Yahoo, Facebook Test "Six Degrees of Separation" 228

An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo has partnered with Facebook to test the iconic social experiment known as 'six degrees of separation' (everyone is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth). The goal of the Small World Experiment is to determine the social path length between two strangers by tapping into the world's largest social network and its 750 million users, each of whom have an average of 130 friends." Looks like a fun project, but not quite as useful as knowing how close you are to Kevin Bacon.
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Yahoo, Facebook Test "Six Degrees of Separation"

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  • by jarkus4 ( 1627895 ) on Tuesday August 16, 2011 @11:34AM (#37107658)

    Everyone here is bitching about privacy breach, algorithm complexity etc. Actually it has nothing to do with this experiment. From TFA
    "Anyone with a Facebook account can participate to verify if everyone is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth. You’ll be asked to select one of your Facebook friends whom you believe is most likely to know the “target person” that has been assigned to you. A message will then be sent from friend to friend until you get it to the “target person.” The goal is to do this in as few steps as possible. "

    Basically they are just repeating the old mail experiment, but with a new way of passing messages
    - unless you (or one of your friends) participates nothing happens to your privacy
    - no computer algorithm is involved
    - no problem with celebrity profiles linking thousands of people that now nothing about each other

  • Re:Kevin Bacon? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 16, 2011 @12:21PM (#37108216)

    That puts all of us at 3 step max because we visit the same website as you. That's about as valid as Facebook's idea of what Facebook friends are.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"