The introduction of the new “EnemyGraph” app on Facebook allows users to create a list of people, places, and things that they DIS-Like
Josephine Kalshoven ‘15 | Media Club
How can you ever show your true opinion on things when Facebook only equips you with a “friends” list and a “like” button? What if you really don’t like something?
Dean Terry, a professor at the University of Texas, has finally begun to address the general concerns of the three million people who signed an online petition for a Facebook “dislike” button. If you have been longing to declare war on brussels sprouts or Justin Bieber, Terry’s release of the new “EnemyGraph” app for Facebook allows you to share these feelings.
With the app, you can create an enemies list comprised of anyone or anything that has a Facebook page and is either famous, already your friend, or another user of the app. Your list is then added to your profile. You can also view current “Trending Enemies,” “Top Enemies” (right now including everything from Rick Santorum to fake tans), and enemies that your friends have added. If your friend declares something that you have previously “liked” to be his or her enemy, this conflict will appear in a box labeled “Social Dissonance.”
But why has an actual “dislike” button still failed to make its appearance on Facebook? According to the Huffington Post, the company has put its foot down on allowing this feature. Facebook says they want to avoid opportunities for misuse of the button, but Facebook also does not want users to begin disliking its advertisers’ products. This protective policy is what threatens a shutdown of the rapidly-growing EnemyGraph if it becomes too popular.
There is merit to the premonition that an app like EnemyGraph might be harmful. Even without the aid of EnemyGraph, there are reports of people committing suicide after falling prey to cyberbullying. EnemyGraph may become an additional tool for bullies to effortlessly slay their victims’ self-confidence with a cruel dubbing of “enemy.” Friends might jokingly place each other on their enemy lists, but, as with sarcasm, on the Internet you can never tell the true meaning of things.
Terry is eager to point out the positive side of his new app. “Most social networks attempt to connect people based on affinities… but people are also connected and motivated by things they dislike. Alliances are created, conversations are generated, friendships are stressed, stretched, and/or enhanced,” he writes on his blog. “Relationships always include differences, and often these differences are a critical part of the fabric of a friendship.“