Home Keep Your Facebook Friends Close and Your Facebook Enemies Closer

Keep Your Facebook Friends Close and Your Facebook Enemies Closer

The adage says: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” And that’s exactly what the creators of EnemyGraph had in mind. It’s an application that allows users to list their “enemies,” whether these are ideological enemies of your mind, Facebook friends, pages or even groups. Hate a politician? Name that person as an enemy on EnemyGraph. If you install EnemyGraph and declare yourself a hater, you should know that you’re certainly not alone. EnemyGraph currently has 10,000 users.

EnemyGraph presents an interesting alternative to the homogenous liking culture that Facebook engenders. That is, if you don’t want to like something, you have only two options: ignore it completely, or leave a snarky “dislike” type of comment. If you do the latter, it’s easy to come off as a jerk – and you don’t want to feign negativity on a network based on positive interaction, now do you? With EnemyGraph, you can silently hate without causing any harm to others. Change the settings to “Only You” and no one has to see how much you dislike others on Facebook. Because haters gonna hate, ya dig?

The idea behind EnemyGraph is counter to Facebook’s like culture, which connects people based on common interests such as sports, brands, celebrities, artists or food. The entire Facebook culture is predicated on either liking something and amplifying that, or completely ignoring. There is no middle ground or place to be uncomfortable, aside from just saying “it’s complicated,” leaving it at that, and then leaving it alone.

Of course, EnemyGraph seems to be just as simplistic as the Facebook like culture it aims to disrupt. Facebook exhibits a culture of liking, of feigned positivity, of outwardly looking good in front of others. The Facebook like button has been written about and discussed, hailed as the thing that has “propelled the company to a galaxy-orbit valuation” in its IPO offering.

But like is more than just a marketing gimmick; it is the tiniest of emotional intent, filtered into the walled garden social network. The world’s largest social network doesn’t sell you products directly, or even ask you to do something active. It is a social network of people who are ready to share their lives with one another. It is a tangled emotional Web, and the like button is the smallest indicator of a positive feeling.

“The Like button is such a tiny nugget of connection,” says Facebook’s Head of Content Strategy Alicia Dougherty-Wold. “Something that was not actually a feeling wouldn’t be able to communicate the same thing.”

EnemyGraph was created as part of Facebook’s invitation to “Hack the Graph,” which works off of the three Facebook core elements of social design: utilizing community, building conversation and curating identity. While it’s possible to connect with others based on your mutual dislikes and content that you both can agree sucks, making a list of enemies is uncomfortable, yet important to do. Know thyself.

“Relationships always include differences, and often these differences are a critical part of the fabric of a friendship,” says EnemyGraph creator Dean Terry. “In the country club atmosphere of Facebook and its platform, such differences are ignored. It’s not part of their ‘social philosophy.'”

Image via Shutterstock.

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