Facebook app lets you name enemies

Tired of being friends with everyone on Facebook and Liking everything on the social network? EnemyGraph is for you. The Facebook app lets you name your enemies on the service.

A new Facebook app called EnemyGraph allows you to designate friends, Groups, and Pages as enemies. Professor Dean Terry, director of the emerging media program at The University of Texas at Dallas, created EnemyGraph along with graduate student Bradley Griffith and undergraduate student Harrison Massey.

Here's how Terry describes the app (some typos were fixed):

EnemyGraph is an application that allows you to list your “enemies”. Any Facebook friend or user of the app can be an enemy. More importantly, you can also make any page or group on Facebook an "enemy". This covers almost everything including people, places and things. During our testing triangles and q-tips were trending, along with politicians, music groups, and math.

Most social networks attempt to connect people based on affinities: you like a certain band or film or sports team, I like them, therefore we should be friends. But people are also connected and motivated by things they dislike. Alliances are created, conversations are generated, friendships are stressed, stretched, and/or enhanced.

Facebook runs queries to find affinities. EnemyGraph runs what we call dissonance queries. So if you have said you like, say, Portlandia on your profile page, and in our app one of your friends has declared them an "enemy" we will post this "dissonance report" in the app. In other words we point out a difference you have with a friend and offer it up for conversation, as opposed to a similarity. Relationships always include differences, and often these differences are a critical part of the fabric of a friendship. In the country club atmosphere of Facebook and its platform such differences are ignored. It’s not part of their "social philosophy".

"It's social-media blasphemy, in that we're suggesting that you share differences you have with people and share things that you don't like instead of what you do like," Terry told The Chronicle. "I think social media needs some disruption. It needs its shot of Johnny Rotten. We're using 'enemy' in the same loose way that Facebook uses 'friends'. It really just means something you have an issue with."

The app may not be around for long, assuming it meets the same fate as another social media app created by Terry and Griffith. Undetweetable allowed Twitter users to recover deleted tweets, until Twitter shut it down. Naming enemies doesn't seem to violate any Facebook rules; as Al Pacino said, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." Still, I have contacted the company to make sure since Terry himself thinks the app will be shut down.