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Jeff Johnson's post on this reminds me of the well-known story in the 
1960s when no one came to the aide of a NYC girl (Kitty Genovese) as she 
was assaulted and murdered within earshot of a large high-rise building. 
As in this case, no one even called 911/emergency.

Both Bibb Latane and Stan Milgram wrote about this, as I recall.

When the people were interviewed later, they all said in effect they were 
weak ties, and they assumed someone closer to the assaulted person would 
intervene. Of course, this might be self-exerving explanations.

I wonder if a similar explanation will be forthcoming this time, given 
that most Facebook ties (reportedly she had 1K) are weak.

  Barry Wellman

   S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC               NetLab Director
   Department of Sociology                  725 Spadina Avenue, Room 388
   University of Toronto   Toronto Canada M5S 2J4   twitter:barrywellman             fax:+1-416-978-3963
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