Is Facebook So Ubiquitous That No Explanation is Needed?

A story on Tareq and Michaele Salahi in today’s Washington Post begins as follows:

E-mails turned over to the Secret Service show that Tareq and Michaele Salahi had sought a top Defense Department official’s help to gain access to last week’s White House state dinner.

People familiar with the inquiry into how the Salahis were able to attend Tuesday’s gala, even though they weren’t on the official guest list, said the Salahis exchanged e-mails with Michele S. Jones, special assistant to the secretary of defense and the Pentagon-based liaison to the White House. It was unclear how well the Salahis know Jones, but Jones includes the Salahis’ lawyer, Paul W. Gardner, as one of her 50 friends on Facebook.

The story itself is interesting, but I was more intrigued by the last line: “It was unclear how well the Salahis know Jones, but Jones includes the Salahis’ lawyer, Paul W. Gardner, as one of her 50 friends on Facebook.” Note that the story does not explain what Facebook is, what a “friend” is, or what the significance might be of Gardner being one of Jones’s 50 friends. Rather, the authors assume you know that already. So here’s the question: Is Facebook so widely used among likely readers of the article that no such explanation was needed?