The Past Comes Alive!

8 April, 2008

As some of you may know, I maintain a facebook profile for William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate from the turn of the century. This by itself is entertaining. But it gets better. Facebook recently added a “people you may know” feature to the homepage when you log in, which is actually pretty useful since it gives you suggestions of people that a lot of your friends know. When I logged in as Mr. Hearst today, I was greeted with this:

19th Century Meets 21st Century

There’s apparently a thriving 19th century community on facebook. Now if I could only facebook chat with them…

Also, incidentally, WRH has many friends. Yes, a lot of them are my friends, and yes I often initiated the friendships, but at least half of them friended me. Which means that people actually searched for William Randolph Hearst on facebook. Now when I created him, I was trying to think of a historical figure that wouldn’t already have a profile but that would be entertaining to be. And I have a special fondness for him because I did my 9th grade research paper on how he started (basically) the Spanish-American War in 1898. But I’m really impressed that other people know/care about him.

He is now, also, a member of the group “We Think William Randolph Hearst is a Douche Bag,” as well as “William Randolph Hearst is Pretty Much the Shit.” Two opposing sides in a conflict I didn’t know existed. But they were there, and so I (he) joined them. Facebook is full of wonders.



  1. Some people might be bothered by the fact that dead political figures have more Facebook friends than they do, but I say, if you have your own Wikipedia page, you deserve to more popular than anyone that doesn’t.

    As the two groups you highlight demonstrate, Facebook is the place to go for eloquent debate. This is the finest use of language and rhetoric I have witnessed since discovering that there are 248 groups on Facebook whose title contains the word “fucktard.”

  2. so this tells us that people who friended William Randolph Hearst also friended those two historical characters. I feel that this opens up a whole new study by which we could create facebook profiles in order to figure out which other fitional/historical characters the facebook population relates them to.

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