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Dear Facebook, I am skeptical of your claims.

Don't get me wrong, I like data mining as much as the next guy, and without your help I might never have realized that "People who like Reason magazine also like Rand Paul" and that 13 of my friends like something called "Burn Notice."

Nonetheless, for some reason your latest doesn't ring true to me:


Here is what I suspect happened. About a year ago there was a brouhaha involving a pro-market op-ed piece the Whole Foods CEO wrote. Some people on the left called for a boycott of the stores, and in response a number of people "liked" Whole Foods on Facebook to show support.

My guess is that the Facebook "supporters" of Whole Foods are disproportionately those who liked the op-ed piece, and that Sarah Palin is indeed popular among that crowd. In this case the people who "like" Whole Foods on Facebook seem to be not representative of those who like Whole Foods in real life.

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