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Vicarious Friendship Supplants Vicarious Sex

To those who think the Web isn't changing people's behavior, I offer this Reuters article by Belinda Goldsmith as a counter. Goldsmith's subject is Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, an Internet tracking company, and author of the new book Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters.

After analyzing millions of Web searches, Tancer discovered that searches for pornography, which once accounted for 20% of all searches, are down by half and have been supplanted in popularity by searches for social networking sites.

"As social networking traffic has increased, visits to porn sites have decreased," said Tancer, indicated [sic] that the 18-24 year old age group particularly was searching less for porn.

"My theory is that young users spend so much time on social networks that they don't have time to look at adult sites."
Of course, young users might simply be getting their porn on through social sites.

Another of Tancer's predictions is the development of software to automatically vet for accuracy, in response to the proliferation of false information on the Internet. Weren't social sites and crowdsourcing supposed to take care of that?

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