Does anyone notice more diversity on the Internet?

Used to be that only a few years ago, nearly everyone you met online was from a Western, developed country, primarily the US, Canada, and Europe. Now, I’m starting to notice that there are ever-increasing numbers of people from countries all across Asia and Africa. In particular, I’ve noticed a surge of Internet users from Arab countries.
Anyone else notice this trend? I know there is ever-increasing Internet penetration around the world, but it’s still kind of cool when I, even at my young age, remember when the Internet was almost entirely Western not too long ago.

I think a part of it is not that these people recently came online, but that the websites are more integrated. Like everyone here uses Facebook, but there’s a different social network that they only use in Brazil or something. I still don’t find it. Most people are English speaking or Western European unless you really look. I don’t notice Africa (unless you count, umm… Nigeria), and Asian websites aren’t usually in English. But overall, yeah some changes.

Even though it seems like there’s more diversity, I think thats more a product of seeing the most extreme examples. Say you have a Guild in World of Warcraft. Of, say, fifty members, there’s four women, one black guy. I would not be surprised if the other 45 members would be patting themselves on the back for how ‘diverse’ their guild is thanks to a few token women/person of color.

Being on the internet, particularly being able to spend extended time to play an online game or post on a messageboard like the SDMB is a privlege that will more often than not favor a stereotypical computer/internet user: a white guy. I think the internet is not as diverse as it ‘could’ be if some minorities had the means and time to enjoy it the way we currently do.

I’ve noticed it. It’s not that said people weren’t online, it’s that services weren’t nearly so integrated. Pretty much what thelurkinghorror said. English is becoming the language of the Internet, so now more English speakers are going to be from outside Western Europe. It’s still mostly a token amount, like Incubus says, but even a token amount gets noticed.

Has anyone set up a Straight Dope poll recently on this topic concerning the origins of Dopers?

I like “play money” poker on a well known site and it’s always interesting to see where the other players are from. I’ve sat in on some pretty large games where folks from the US were a distinct minority.

There are restrictions on US online play still, no? UIGEA. Only 3 or so states have made the rules easier. Same reason the “Canadian” population at gambling sites increased rapidly.

In fact the time when I noticed the most diversity was when I began using the internet (late 90s). I would meet quite often people from various countries (Africa, Asia, the Arab World, Latin America, etc…) Nowadays, not so much.

But I guess it’s mostly due to different habbits. Most of my internet time back then was spent in chat rooms, and it has been a very long time since I visited one. Still, i’m not sure I would find that much diversity now. I suspect that even regarding chat rooms, nowadays single Iranian scientists would be found on www.singlescientistschat.ir and Peruvian housewives on www.housewiveschat.pe or something.
What I notice, on the other hand, is the presence of much more older people (myself included, I’m affraid)

ETA : when I think of it I actually casually plays a internet game where players from all over the world are present. I was playing with Brazilians only a couple hours ago. Weird I would forget that.

I play Second Life. My partner of 5 years was a Polish guy. He was 75 when he died.

I’ve always loved how the internet let me meet people from different cultures and different languages. I’ve seen pictures and heard family stories that are just amazing.

Globally, absolutely. As an earlier poster said, some of it can be attributed to the emergence of larger forums and social networking sites - Facebook, Reddit, etc. When I was in Iceland last year, many people I met, locals and other tourists, have me their Facebook contact info. Just about every Icelander is on FB.

On FB itself, though, there’s still something of a divide. I went to a racially integrated inner city high school, and I’m friends with many in my graduating class, white and black. I think black FB users experience the site differently; more inspirational, religious and fashion/culture related posts, and most comments from other blacks, even when they have an integrated friend list. For whites, more personal, travel, sports, and humor, with likes and comments mainly from other whites. I hope it’s different among younger adults.

Right- there has always been a pretty sizeable Canadian, British, Australian and Kiwi presence on the internet as long as I can remember- and that goes back to Usenet and Gopher back in 1991.

I think now that English is “the language of the internet” and is more and more the “lingua franca” these days, we’re seeing a lot more people from places that don’t speak English show up.

However in online gaming I’m seeing less diversity because the game companies are now setting up regional servers, instead of having one set in the US that everyone uses. So if I was playing a game in 2003 with centralized servers, I’d be playing with people from all over since there was , but playing Titanfall yesterday, I’m playing on the S. Central US servers, so I don’t see the other people from around the world.

For gambling, yes. For “play money” poker there are no restrictions.