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Real Friends? Fake Friends? What's in a word?

6 years ago
Fake friends

(paraphrased from a New Scientist article)

A court in the US has ruled that Facebook friends don’t count as real ones. Florida’s Supreme Court justices were called upon to decide whether a judge’s Facebook friendship with an attorney meant he was too biased to preside over the attorney’s case.
In a written judgment, the court ruled that "...a ‘friend’ on a social networking website is not necessarily a friend in the traditional sense of the word… i.e. attached to another person by feelings of affection or personal regard”. Next they’ll be telling us that people didn’t really “like” your last selfie! ;-)

What happens when words clash with reality? Should a different word be used, or a new word created for social media 'friends'?