Keep your friends close, your enemies listed

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By Corinne Love

(Vanessa Soto)

By Corinne Love

As it may turn out, some of the odd number of friends you have on Facebook might not even like you.

In fact, some could have you listed as an “enemy.”

What’s this? Why would someone go through all that trouble to list you as an enemy? It’s a question worth asking.

Or at least worth considering, as some may have way too much invested in their online life.

On the popular Facebook, there is an application that allows you to list your enemies. But why use that, when growing sites of public dislike are spreading.

There’s Enemybook created by MIT graduate Kevin Mautlet, who told The Globe that Enemybook was more about expressing dislike for friends that aren’t genuine, co-workers, exes and celebrities.

Enemybook claims that it is an “anti-social utility that disconnects you to the so-called friends around you.”

Snubster (which can now be accessed as a Facebook application) allows users to put people “on notice” and the mean-spirited “dead to me.”

Creator Brian Choung started Snubster in 2006, and now has more than 16,000 users. Choung says it was started mostly as a joke in Web development.

And while Snubster is an exercise in Web development and parody, some of the users logging onto Snubster and Enemybook may be missing the punch line.

Both creators attribute the success of these sites from the “absurdity” of popular social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

It’s a common situation, you meet someone, a coworker, or a friend’s friend and they want to add you as a friend on whatever social network you are attached to.

You may be close friends, associates or just on a first-name basis.

However, sometimes it snowballs into people collecting “friends.”

Additionally, denying someone’s virtual friendship can be seen as improper e-manners.

Choung and Mautlet believe that social networking sites are just another way for users to create grand profiles of themselves, with carefully added tidbits about their personal life.

A “friends” list can be a who’s who of the social in-crowd, to basically show other users your varying degrees of ‘coolness’ and other ways for bands to advertise and get their music across.

Many users on social networking sites are sent requests that they simply do not want to accept.

Snubster and Enemybook offer a snarky way to show (rather than tell) those pesky “friends” and bands how you really feel about them.

Users can network their enemies by common disinterest, or be Nixon-like and keep a list where they can keep tabs on what “enemies” are up to and whom they are talking with.

It’s a lot of work for someone you don’t really care for.

While no one can stop you from disliking Tom or that annoying Facebook user who bombards you with messages, is that enough to publicly (and forever) denounce your feelings of spite towards them?

Although these sites are seen as jokes and parodies, some users utilize Enemybook to jab at people they see on a regular basis.

It has yet to be seen if anyone was ever fired using Enemybook or Snubster, but just as companies were firing employees for posting sexed up images of themselves on their MySpace it does not seem unlikely.

Enemybook can be seen as just another medium for people to cathartically express their inner Oscar the Grouch. Getting your feelings across in a ‘you know what grinds my gears’ type of rant is preferable to taking those feelings out on said person, though it’s a touchy subject.

Time will tell if Enemybook and Snubster turn into their own parodies.

Social network sites have shown since their conception that users will find ways to make themselves known, for better or for worse.

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