An intriguing image has been making the rounds via the Internet: the world according to Facebook. Produced by tracing Facebook connections worldwide, it’s a stark reminder that the electronic revolution that has allegedly been shaping the global village hasn’t yet reached every corner of the world.
Most of the world is accounted for. Europe and the United States are brightly lit. Largely-unoccupied expanses of northern Canada barely appear on the map. Even Western Africa appears as a faint outline.
What is most interesting is what can’t be seen on the map at all. Conspicuous by their absence are Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia. In fact, nearly the entire Middle East is missing, except for a few bright connections between Israel and tourist oases in Dubai and Abu Dabi. The horn of Africa also does not appear in Facebook’s atlas. Egypt, Somalia, The Sudan, and Libya, among a plethora of impoverished and war-riddled failed states, seem to almost vanish into the sea.
It should be no secret that, at any given time, these are the most...More >>