Facebook’s Critical Number: 140.3 Billion

Facebook-infographic-1-billion

Link: http://mashable.com/2012/10/05/the-most-important-facebook-number-140-billion/

Note: I was encountering problems scaling the picture to the screen, so you’ll probably have to go to the link to see the infographic in full size. In addition, this blog post tackles infographics in general.

I’ve found this infographic in several Internet blogs, and in several entries on Imgur and Pinterest, but I dug deep as possible to find the closest to original source from which this image comes. Seeing as how it is a Facebook infographic, and its source (Facebook Newsroom) is pointed out in the bottom left, as the reader I safely assume that these statistics were acquired from Facebook itself, and not just made up; I trust Facebook as being the credited source of the data. However, despite the credit I give to this infographic, it took over an hour of digging through the Web to find a source I felt was authentic, or the most trustworthy. Considering the length of time I spent searching, and the dozens of sources I checked for authenticity, I hold the conviction that infographics are unreliable display cases of information until an original source can be found.

For infographics in general, not just the aforementioned Facebook statistics, I feel they are an effective means of organizing and displaying data, but they themselves cannot quantify an argument; they require a blog poster, a web editor, or some other outside entity to bend the information held within towards a specific argument, goal, objective, or what have you. Furthermore, I lose trust in a website or blog that sporadically uses infographics without citing their source, as the creator/editor of the post may have just carelessly slapped the image into the text to make it more visually appealing, doing little to nothing good for the structure of the post or its argument.

To be blunt, infographics should not be trusted UNTIL a primary source can be identified and drawn upon. Simply finding one on the web and thinking to oneself “Hmm, this looks trustworthy” without bothering to look into the source(s) may prove to majorly mislead the reader.

2 thoughts on “Facebook’s Critical Number: 140.3 Billion”

  1. The info here comes from Facebook… but it’s interesting that KRDS, a social-media agency apparently unaffiliated with Facebook, produced it. What’s their purpose in doing so? I’m also interested in the idea that Facebook has a “Newsroom” in the first place—what role does that site play in its overall operation?

  2. The Facebook Newsroom is, as far as I can tell, designed to publish information that is more businesslike in nature than what is found in on Facebook timelines or on the main website. As for KRDS, I do not understand why they are publishing FB Newsroom statistics; I merely know of their actions, not their reasons.

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