[iDC] anti-social networking

geert lovink geert at desk.nl
Sat Jan 12 12:16:32 UTC 2008

(is this the logical next step after trebor scholz' critique of web 
2.0? from social to anti-social, it's a small step. geert)

Now, anti-social networking!

Author: Rajiv Mathew Date: 12 Jan 2008

After the hype about joining social networking sites last year, it’s 
time for anti-social networking sites to gain popularity.

Click to hate: Forget friends and social networking, now there are hate 
sites that are eager to elucidate about your enemies which then goes on 
to detailing your own flaws!

Facebook and all those social networking sites out there are not really 
your kind of thing? You’d rather be left alone? Tired of fake online 
friends? Riding high on the fame of social networks such as Facebook 
and MySpace, novel websites are poking fun at online friendships that 
connect you to the people you are fond of, by turning their attention 
to the ones you don’t.

Hatebook is the first anti-social networking site, where you can 
connect with the people you abhor. Get the latest gossip from your 
enemies and friends, post photos and videos on your hate profile and 
tag your friends. Hatebook looks and functions a lot like Facebook, 
except in a more devilish way. The colour is a more aggressive red, 
user profiles include a section called “Why I’m Better Than You!”

Over the past two years, sites such Snubster, Enemybook and Hatebook 
are alluring Internet users who get a kick out of the tongue-in-cheek 
humour of mocking their friends and others who are just plain cynical.

For instance, Enemybook is a fantastic Facebook mini application that 
allows you to finally tell your enemies as well as your friends what 
you really think about them. Just like when adding friends, this 
application allows you to detail exactly how you know the person and 
came to be their enemy. Now seeing a list of someone’s enemies tells me 
a lot more about them than their friends. Anti-social networking sounds 
bizarre, but is a great way to relieve stress and divert your anger 
into a better channel.

A new anti-social networking site called Snubster, however, is finding 
that shared hate can be an equally useful bonding tool. Software 
engineer Bryant Choung intended to satirise social networking websites 
when he launched his site, Snubster. “The whole concept of online 
social networking was really starting to irk me,” said Choung. Snubster 
members, by contrast, focus on what irritates them.

Snubster is only one of the most recent in a series of sites created to 
spoof social networking. Others similar sites include Isolatr, a parody 
site that claims to be “helping you find where other people are not”, 
and Introverster, which bills itself as “an online community that 
prevents stupid people and friends from harassing you online”.

When Facebook opened up its network to outside applications earlier 
last year, some users decided it was an opportunity to spoof the online 
phenomenon. Kevin Matulef, the creator of Enemybook, said the idea for 
his Facebook application started as a joke last summer when friends 
were asking if someone was a real friend or a Facebook friend.

The reality is that, several people today are exhausted and bored rigid 
of websites such as Orkut and Facebook.  These anti social networking 
websites might well be the balancing factor for all of us who are hyper 
stressed with the pressures that modern life has to offer.

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