My apologies, you seem to have misunderstood the thrust of my criticism.
I not worried about the political circus of wiki-leaks, rather I am criticizing the nebulous and still emerging notions of social behavior over the web. Mostly in regards to the Gladwell. Shirky, and others. To often I feel that these commentators are mostly engaging in politicking with a few incomplete facts thrown in.
There seems to be no broad based or even agreed upon approach to which we can develop concrete social data on such matters. Perhaps this is given over because of privacy matters, I’m not sure. I just can’t help think that any attempts to define the whole of human interaction online will always come up short. As the internet is not just one sub-culture in an isolated village, rather it is all those cultures clashing all at once.
I don’t want to be pessimistic, but right now any description of social “anything” on the internet is just too entwined with current politics to point to an objective way forward. Think of it like your mention of the “facebook friend of a friend” information problem. That problem is more then just an informational one it is a social one that current commentary has not, and does not show interest in, coming to terms with.