Facebook Beautifully Debunks Princeton Study, Predicts School’s Demise


Facebook Debunk Princeton

Facebook debunked a Princeton study that suggests the social network will lose at least 800 million of its users between 2015 and 2017. The study, which came out earlier this week, claimed that people will simply lose interest in Facebook, much like they did with MySpace, and disappear. Except, well, that probably won’t happen.

On its blog, the social network’s researchers explained that they were “intrigued by a recent article by Princeton researchers predicting the imminent demise of Facebook.” They added that the use of Google search data to predict engagement trends was “of particular interest,” especially since the researchers didn’t look at the actual engagement trends. Because of their interest, Facebook explained, “Using the same robust methodology featured in the paper, we attempted to find out more about this ‘Princeton University’ – and you won’t believe what we found!”

Using the same methods the researchers did, Facebook turned the tables and compared Princeton’s page likes on Facebook compared to Harvard and Yale’s. As they noted, the trend was “alarming.” They also used Google Scholar, which showed the number of scholarly articles published by Princeton is declining, an indication that it could become obsolete.

Facebook researchers concluded, “This trend suggests that Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018, and by 2021 it will have no students at all, agreeing with the previous graph of scholarly scholarliness.”But they didn’t stop there.

The researchers added that, while they are concerned for Princeton’s future, given the statistics, they are way more concerned about “air,” since Google Trends for air have also been steadily declining. At the current rate, air will be gone by 2060.

To make sure that Princeton wasn’t too hurt by Facebook’s response (and to make sure the casual reader didn’t actually believe the post’s conclusions), the researchers added the following note:

“P.S. We don’t really think Princeton or the world’s air supply is going anywhere soon. We love Princeton (and air). As data scientists, we wanted to give a fun reminder that not all research is created equal — and some methods of analysis lead to pretty crazy conclusions.”

So, despite the uproar Princeton’s study caused, Facebook is sound in thinking its users will still be there come 2017.

[Image: Facebook]


Melissa Stusinski
Melissa grew up in the Seattle area, but moved to Indiana to attend Anderson University in 2005 and was editor at the school's Literary Arts Magazine for two years. When she isn't focused on writing, Melissa enjoys working on cars, gaming, and exploring new places. [Contact: [email protected]]

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