Flirty Turkish Users Propel Social Network Interconnections

Turkey has been named the most social and most flirtatious country in the world by a new study by social network Tagged. Turks, and specifically Turkish men, sent the most friend requests as well as the most “winks” — a flirty communication method on Tagged similar to the Facebook Poke. The most flirty women on the service were from the U.K. and U.S.

Turkish users strengthen the density of Tagged’s social graph, and drive up engagement by increasing the average number of friends the gaming and meeting network’s users have. However, questions remain regarding whether such extroverted users are degrading the experience for women who may not want to field their romantic advances.

Tagged tells me it found “nothing showing Turkish accounts to be out of the norm in complaints or abuse”, but I’m skeptical. Active Turkish users apparently send an average of 173 friend requests and 25 winks. Unless all of these are going to people that truly know and reciprocate the feelings of the senders, the higher volume seems likely to translate into abuse complaints or at least the need for Tagged to throttle their communication channel usage.

In the past, I’ve heard from user experience and enforcement teams at other social services that Turkish men trigger more complaints than other demographics. This is a natural side effect of globalized social networks, and in no way am I trying to paint the Turks as villains. Tagged’s own researchers say the flirtatiousness of users from Turkey, as well as Egypt, France, and Italy that also scored high on those axes, could be due to “Europe’s long-standing, open attitude towards love and romance.” Communication, friendship, and courtship norms are inherently different in each country.

Most social networks probably thank the Turks for their high engagement and for populating the content feeds and notifications of their fellow users. Still, maintaining a safe and friendly online environment free of harassment is important. Too much unwanted flirtation from men can lead women to abandon a service or lock down their privacy controls. Tagged may be currently touting the flirtaciousness and extroversion of its Turkish population. In reality, it may be walking a fine line between behavior that helps keep users on the site, and behavior that could drive them away.

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