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How To Make Enemies (On Facebook)

EnemyGraph lets you add “enemies” on Facebook. Lms if you hate my guts.

Neil Strauss — yeah, that Neil Strauss — declared an enemy last week in the pages of the WSJ: The “Like” button.

Once, there was something called a point of view. And, after much strife and conflict, it eventually became a commonly held idea in some parts of the world that people were entitled to their own points of view.

“Like” culture is antithetical to the concept of self-esteem, which a healthy individual should be developing from the inside out rather than from the outside in.

Lots of people “liked” his article, and it makes a good point: Facebook is a weird world where you can either amplify something or ignore it, but nothing else. When the world is defined in terms of sharing, the most negative response you can have to something is to keep it to yourself. To borrow from Strauss’s awful lingo, there’s no way to “neg” a piece of content on Facebook. That’s what EnemyGraph is for.

Its founders say EnemyGraph is “a kind of social media blasphemy,” which is lofty but also true. It’s an app that lets you designate enemies on a social network founded on positivity. It’s a Facebook app that breaks Facebook.

It doesn’t work very well now, in part due to newness and glitches but also to a conceptual issue: EnemyGraph is participatory, meaning you basically have to like the app before you can use it to dislike anything else. It has to live within the rules of Facebook, the service it was designed to critique.

The “Trending Enemies” feature, though, shows promise: Westboro Baptist Church, Twilight and Racism top the list, followed by Deepak Chopra, Focus on the Family and Goldman Sachs. It’s a mixture of silly and serious, and all very Facebooky. It reminds me of the site’s most liked stories: a strange but extremely relatable list, constructed with an equally blunt instrument.

You can try EnemyGraph here.

chronicle.com

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