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UT-Dallas Professor Adds 'Enemies' Feature To Facebook 112

Posted by timothy
from the antisocial-networking dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Many people have called for a 'dislike' button on Facebook, but the service has not allowed it. A professor's app lets users add 'enemies,' in what he says is critique of the service's advertiser-friendly niceness. Will Zuckerberg let the app stand or ban it?"
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UT-Dallas Professor Adds 'Enemies' Feature To Facebook

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  • BAN! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aglider (2435074) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @10:32AM (#39466015) Homepage

    Amything that circumvents FB choices will be banned. Or integrated.
    So, in the end, that app will die for sure.

    • Now I'm almost tempted to get onto Facebook. Except I'd never use a real name/address/email/etc., so maybe I'm still not tempted at all.
      But let's see who tries to add 800 million or so to their list of enemies (minus a few who might even be actual friends)...
      • I'm tempted to join Facebook now just to play it backwards! You know, like we turned "Damn Yankee" into a compliment.

        "Ooh! Would you be my Enemy?"
        "Hate me on Facebook!"

        But yes, as someone else said this has been done.

        But tying into the Employers snooping on Facebook, it would be funny if they asked "why does your Facebook page contain nothing but enemies?!"

    • by antdude (79039)

      Facebook bans Amy? :(

  • http://www.enemybook.org/
    very old app....

  • Prior Art (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    He can't patent the idea, President Nixon came up with it first. [enemieslist.info]

  • http://www.zdnet.com/blog/foremski/the-hollow-emptiness-in-social-media-numbers-most-accounts-are-fake-or-empty/2175 [zdnet.com]

    itâ(TM)s easy to buy âoefriendsâ and âoefollowers,â by the thousands, and âoelikesâ by the tens of thousands, for a low fee. This can jumpstart a marketing campaign if it makes it onto a top trending list. Buying such services will also help contractors meet performance goals set by clients and trigger payments. It can be a lucrative arbitrage.

    The result however, is considerable inflation in the numbers of users of all the major social networks and platforms.

    The operators of the networks: Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc, must know who is real and who isnâ(TM)t. They have usage data that shows telltale signs of a fake account. They also know how much information a user has disclosed, and how many user profiles are empty.

    Whatâ(TM)s not known is how they count the many types of users, how rigorous is their analysis? There is no transparency on the single most important pool of information for their commercial customers.

    So really, who cares? Facebook users are narcissists, insecure, asocial, or bogus "marketing accounts" [theglobeandmail.com].

    • by Technician (215283) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @10:44AM (#39466079)

      In reality most of those accounts are ignored for the most part. Circles of family and friends tend to cull dormat deadwood from active use. I don't friend random strangers, but family and close friends.

      • You're a rarity. Most people don't bother culling accounts - their innate insecurity, which led them to friend total strangers in the first place to bolster their sense of self-worth, prevents that.

        This sort of behaviour leads to some funny results. One of my friends, as part of a study, was asked to contact - by phone - a bunch of people picked at random from a person's friends list for a marketing project. These were all people the person had said they knew because "I don't just friend anybody..." Not one of them knew the guy.

        Facebook == lame.

        • by Tooke (1961582)

          You're a rarity. Most people don't bother culling accounts - their innate insecurity, which led them to friend total strangers in the first place to bolster their sense of self-worth, prevents that.

          Ok, so you state that a lot of Facebook users are insecure.

          This sort of behaviour leads to some funny results. One of my friends, as part of a study, was asked to contact - by phone - a bunch of people picked at random from a person's friends list for a marketing project. These were all people the person had said they knew because "I don't just friend anybody..." Not one of them knew the guy.

          Alright, so at least one guy has friended a bunch of people on Facebook that he doesn't know.

          Facebook == lame.

          This is the part I don't get. Having insecure users doesn't imply that Facebook is lame.

          (Also, what's with the whole "foo == bar" construct anyway? It doesn't make sense to me, shouldn't it be something more like "foo.bar == true"?)

        • You sir, win the gold star for anecdotal evidence using the phrase "part of a study" - which lends credence without adding any actual support.
        • by rtb61 (674572)

          Facebook seems useful to those who are less technically aware. Rather than getting to know a range of applications email, forums, instant messaging or using a range of web sites and completely unaware of the privacy and exploitation issues, just simply use Facebook to communicate with family and friends. They will also push no using family and friends to join.

          It's the simple use of a communications medium for the technologically simple, this combined with a mobile phone is pretty much all they understand

      • Try it. Create a fake account, open up some random stranger's page and friend them.

        I'd surprised if you get fewer than 80% accepts.

    • by Jahf (21968)

      So you're saying, with the exception of fake accounts and zynga, Facebook = /.?

    • by Omestes (471991)

      So really, who cares? Facebook users are narcissists, insecure, asocial, or bogus "marketing accounts" [theglobeandmail.com].

      Some/majority != All.

      Every single person on my friends list is a real life friend or acquaintance. Admittedly some of them are old college friends who I pretty much lost touch with, but occasionally check up so see where they've gone in life, but most of them are people I still keep in touch with (IRL when possible), and at some point I've had a real life beer with every single one of them (all, big whopping, 60 of them). Obviously, then, I'm asocial, insecure, a narcissistic, or a bogus marketing account

      • There are obviously exceptions to pretty much any rule where we're talking about human conduct, but that doesn't take away from the fact that facebook is a problem for many people, allowing them to replace real interaction with superficial "friends" (and then when that doesn't fix their self-esteem problems, go on quests for more and more pseudo-friends, the same as an alcoholic goes after more and more booze to "fix" their problems).

        Facebook is not only an enabler, it's also become the instigator in man

        • Facebook is not only an enabler, it's also become the instigator in many cases. If it were to disappear tomorrow, long-term, society would be better off.

          If Facebook disappeared tomorrow, then something just like it would show up the next day. All social media (since newsgroups, at least) has been vocally dominated by people desperately seeking attention, and using it as a crutch for their own psychological problems. This pre-exists the internet, go to a typical trendy college bar. Go hang out with your obscenely outgoing co-worker... Go to your local shopping mall and listen to the screaming teenagers (which was the social media of my generation, ignoring IRC and BBSs for us nerds).

          People said the same stuff your saying about AOL > Geocities/Angelfire > Livejournal > Myspace, and now Twitter. Yes, there are problems with them, but if mature people use them maturely, then these problems are mostly mitigated. The same can be said of things like alcohol, idiots will use them and degrade themselves, but some of us can enjoy a tasty glass of scotch after dinner and be fine. Do the idiots degrade the responsible ones? Only if the responsible ones can't ignore the idiots.

  • There's a dislike plugin already.

    • Re:FBDislike? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Barbara, not Barbie (721478) <barbara,hudson&gmail,com> on Sunday March 25, 2012 @12:51PM (#39466967) Journal

      There's a dislike plugin already.

      It's called "disable account" - but it doesn't really work. They'll keep sending you status updates via email, and tell you when someone shares stuff with you, even though you've disabled the account. I disabled mine monthas ago, after hardly using it for several years after I finally signed up.

      It's one way for them to keep their user numbers artificially inflated.

      Dumped twitter years ago - boring!

      Thinking of dumping google+ as well - I check it every few days, but really, it's not all that interesting compared to the real world. Especially now that spring is here! (I know, it's heresy to even speak of that big blue room with the bright light in the sky that can burn your skin if you stay there too long, and the living green carpet, and creatures that look almost as real as the digital people and birds and squirrels we see every day, ... but still ... :-)

      • by Q-Hack! (37846) *

        You speak blasphemy!

      • I check it every few days, but really, it's not all that interesting compared to the real world.

        Do you have invitations? How do I get one?

        • The easiest way is to get a dog. Walking them every morning and evening gives you exercise, and you'll be able to meet total strangers (sort of like all the people who "recommend" each other on linkedin). Plus they don't post embarrassing photos of you and they won't ignore you to check their facebook page.
  • It blows my mind to think of all the similar applications that have yet to be developed for social networking. "dislike all this guy's likes"; "like things that seem like this; join this coalition of things to like.

    Non-social like, for specific ideas or products. An app that warns you if the product you're looking at was made by a disliked company. An app that suggests likes by association. An app that warns you not to buy a product if 60% of your social circle dislikes it. An app that auto-likes things C

    • Re:Social choices (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PPH (736903) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @11:00AM (#39466161)

      I guess I just don't understand how people can let their lives be manipulated by people or things that they dislike. Or by people that they like for that matter.

      I select what products I want based primarily on my own judgment. If I know someone and respect their opinion, I may give some weight to it in my choices. But that respect doesn't always correspond one to one with friendship. Some of my friends are lacking in their knowledge in certain areas. Likewise, some people I don't like do display some common sense.

      The whole 'freinds have got to stick together and stand up against common enemies' is exploited far too much politically as well as in marketing.

      • You make some great points. Nevertheless offloading social decisions into the network is the way things are going. We just need better control over what we Like and Dislike.
      • But that's a failure of the software, if it doesn't let you model those relationships. In theory, you could search for e.g. a new car, and decide which of your acquaintances opinion you trust in that regard, so that the software can only take those in account.

        More: in certain areas, like music or films, it's possible to calculate "compatibility matches" based on previously added information. Some software already does this, but it's not integrated with Facebook, AFAIK.

        • by PPH (736903)

          But that's a failure of the software, if it doesn't let you model those relationships.

          I don't want 'the software' to be modeling those relationships for me. I'll do it myself. The whole relationship/marketing data mining business is aimed at identifying opinion leaders so that their opinions can be purchased by ad agencies. Some of these leaders are honest enough to reveal product placement deals that they are involved in. Some are regulated or prohibited from entering into such deals (securities and other financial products, for example). But the abuse of these sorts of things in viral mar [wikipedia.org]

      • The thing is that nobody actually behaves based on what happens on facebook. Nobody buys a product because a bunch of people "like" it. Heck, most people can't even remember any of the last 100 posts they read (try it - interrupt someone who's surfing facebook, and ask them to recall what they were reading. Their brain is in "zoned-out mode" - for the most part nothing they read really registers).

        We're in a "social media bubble", one which will collapse when advertisers realize that they can get better

      • Re:Social choices (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Sunday March 25, 2012 @01:54PM (#39467449)

        I guess I just don't understand how people can let their lives be manipulated by people or things that they dislike. Or by people that they like for that matter.

        Well, here's a good example. Governer Rick Perry's "Strong" [youtube.com] video. It was homophobic and hateful in every way. 26,404 likes, 764,362 dislikes. If there were such a thing as god I'd say he has a healthy sense of irony [nymag.com] as well.

        This one video was Perry's last stand, his last chance at being a contender. He decided to go all out and appeal to the Christian bigotry vote.

        It didn't exactly work.

      • I guess I just don't understand how people can let their lives be manipulated by people or things that they dislike. Or by people that they like for that matter.

        It's not about things you dislike, it's about things people you trust dislike. If I'm buying a new widget, and I don't know much about widgets, I may find that FooCorp makes very cheap widgets that have all of the requisite check boxes on their feature lists. If a friend, who is a widgetphile, tells me that FooCorp has very poor build quality, then I'll probably reconsider.

    • If such things get too effective it could have impacts elsewhere. Think news, for example: A poll gets going on some news site, and a few friends from the pro-X side go to vote... but in doing so, they identify the poll as something of interest to the pro-X community, and recormendation engines drive more pro-Xers there to vote, making it appear even more popular...

      Online polls are essentially worthless already for that very reason, but now extend the situation to businesses (Ten orders one day, a million
    • That mostly what VRM - Vendor Relationship Management - is about: giving people the software to manage their relationships with companies and other organizations. ProjectVRM [harvard.edu] talks a lot about those issues.

  • If advertisers want the feature, my guess is it will be implemented. However, would they want to be associated with advertising based on hatred for someone or something? If the language were softened to ~"not interested", then perhaps.
    • by BSAtHome (455370)

      Just make a bot-like-clicker and distribute it. I like it all; even all I dislike; we like, you like, they like, bot like, like like.

      When enough bot-like all, the like will be liked like dislike.

    • "not interested"? Are you crazy, how would advertisers want a feature that lets a user hand out the label "not interested"? In a way, such a label would be deadlier than "dislike". "Not interested" means basically "so bland that I don't even care enough to NOT like it".

      Advertisers want BY DEFAULT nothing but positive feedback. Because then your product just looks great, no matter how rotten it actually is. If of 10,000,000 people just 1,000 actually like your product (with 999 being accounts you created you

  • by Chemisor (97276) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @11:00AM (#39466165)

    Dear user, did you know that your sworn enemy Frin44 really hates Farmville? Would you like to add him to your Farmville notification list?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now let's see, how do I add EVERYBODY to my list??

  • by nimbius (983462) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @11:28AM (#39466297) Homepage
    if the application suberts or negatively impacts the model of facebook, which is data mining for the purposes of targeted advertisement, it will be banned.

    i predict the addition of a enemy feature will work to incense negative emotional responses to facebook that so far have been confined to things that can be relatively mitigated, for example its policies and terms of service. an "enemy" on your facebook will make you less likely to check facebook, or its related applications. users who previously had ignored intentionally obfuscated security settings may begin to pay more attention to them, thereby costing you advertising data. you may switch social networks for one without any enemies or abandon social networking alltogether for a more controlled and privatized relationship with your friends. the implications of "enemy" are pretty big.
  • by cffrost (885375) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @12:03PM (#39466547) Homepage

    Maintaining a personal list of adversaries sounds to me like a needless security risk. What's the purpose? The only uses I can think of off the top of my head: Remembering which entities to avoid, and/or to warning others of to avoid the same.

    Publishing a list of adversaries, accessible by those listed (either directly/intentionally or via hearsay, etc.) is foolish. For one thing, it invites unwanted attention from the listed entities, who may have otherwise been oblivious/benign. Further, it places one's self into the suspect pool of anyone listee who believes that they're on the receiving end of some (real or imagined) external harm. Finally, it tips one's hand, increasing the risk of being identified as the cause of any future action taken against those listed*.

    As a brief example, consider Slashdot's relationship system. Your Freaks list looks like some decent targets for some good old fashioned abusive down-mods. Are you being harassed by an AC or experiencing an suspicious share of down-mods? Well, how large is your Foes list?

    • Not that I disagree with anything you said, but somehow I feel like I just read an excerpt from the Bene Gesserit handbook.

    • by cffrost (885375)

      I failed to add the following footnote for my second paragraph:

      *It's not my intention to express any view on the morality of concealing information to avoid reprisal from future immoral action; I'm only approaching this from a security perspective.

      My apologies for that oversight and other editing errors.

      • by Thing 1 (178996)

        Thanks for the errata; I was going to chime in. :) I do want to remark on your signature, though: Carl Sagan seems like a sufficiently-vested authority, so I believe the quote from him that you state. :)

        And, I just have to say I love the fortune, as it self-applies: "If you mess with a thing long enough, it'll break. -- Schmidt"

    • by dwye (1127395)

      Publishing a list of adversaries, accessible by those listed (either directly/intentionally or via hearsay, etc.) is foolish.

      Worst possible result: it becomes a point of pride to be on someone's Enemies List, and a matter of embarrassment for some people NOT to be on it.

      Richard M. Nixon had that happen. As many liberals tried to claim being on his list when they were not as were actually on it.

  • by DanielRavenNest (107550) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @12:06PM (#39466567)

    Instead of a binary variable, friend or not friend, 1 or 0, It should be a floating point value with a range from -1 to 1. -1 = strong enemy, 1 = strong friend, anything in between indicates strength of the connection. Default value is 0 for everyone not specifically set to another value. Then you could set levels where certain info is revealed. For example: only friends above 0.9 get to post to my wall, anyone at 0 or below does not even see the wall. etc. That would make it a much more useful social service than now, where some random company that I want to keep up with gets the same privileges as my brother.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      That's too complicated for people who have to look up strategy guides for Farmville. Farmville!

  • "Enemybook was developed in July 2007 by Kevin Matulef." http://www.enemybook.org/ [enemybook.org]
  • Ironically, Facebook will exercise the ultimate dislike by banning this app.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Had to jump through heaps of blog posts to finally find the app: https://apps.facebook.com/enemygraph/

  • Enemies? Where is the "Nemesis" button when you need it?

  • I'll take whatever mod hit I get...

    although it'd be funny to lose karma for this statement.

    I'm a buddhist, so the enemy button seems, well, sad.

    In order to label any person an enemy, you have to then
    actively seek them out on Facebook. Sure, they could
    appear on a friend list of a friend, but you're still going to
    have to do at least 2 actions (clicks) to make them an
    enemy.

    Why?

    Yes, grudges, hatred, retribution. However, if you are $religion
    I'm sure your religion like most talk about forgiveness. And
    even if you

  • All Social Media is about the delusion that the diversity of the whole wide world can be boiled down to everyone who's just like you and everyone else who's wrong and must be censored. 'Hate' means fb'rs would have to motivated sufficiently to even consider that someone who's not them is even worthy of attention however negative. This is a mistake. In fact the very thought is wrong and must be censored. Sorry, but those are the rules.

  • If you really want to dislike something, Unicode 6.2 provides a "thumbs down" character (U+1F44E) that you can put in a comment. It isn't supported by many fonts yet, but that will change. Of course, if you REALLY dislike something, Unicode 6.2 also provides a "pile of poo" character (U+1F4A9).
  • I want to be able to flag certain people or concepts as being un-interesting, so they will never appear in the scrolling stories. Jerry and Elaine may be my friends, but George isn't, and I just don't care to read anything George says on Jerry's or Elaine's "wall." I would like George to just vanish from my viewpoint. George shouldn't know that I find him un-interesting, and neither should Jerry or Elaine or anyone else. That feature alone would eliminate 90% of the "spam" on social media services.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    1. Should Not Be Alive

    2. Should Never Have Been Born.

  • just came out today [photobucket.com]

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