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The Internet It's funny.  Laugh.

New Apps Enable Social Network Snubbing 68

beafpeat writes "Both The Boston Globe and NPR are reporting on new apps such as Enemybook and Snubster that parody the social networking phenomenon. 'Tired of bogus online friendships... [the creators] hope to encourage people to undermine, or at least mock, the online social communities sites such as Facebook were designed to create.'" Relatedly News.com wonders, with the opening of the Facebook API and the ensuing app frenzy, how much is too much of a good thing?
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New Apps Enable Social Network Snubbing

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  • Bad Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TechForensics ( 944258 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @06:34AM (#20964645) Homepage Journal
    I have never seen what could turn out to be a better lawsuit incubator.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by therufus ( 677843 )
      And that will be because society in general has lost its sense of humour.

      (Yes, I'm Australian, we spell it humour.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Thats because it's spelt humour, it's just the Americans that decided to change it.
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Oh sure. Let's bash Americans on a Saturday before they roll out of the sack. In the spirit of the topic, y'all can set up your own snubbing social network and not let us in. Gosh, wouldn't that make us feel bad?

          Yeah, we changed humor, color, program, ton, and others because the King's English is fraught with frippery.
        • Re:Bad Idea (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2007 @08:27AM (#20965053)
          The -or ending was the original form from Latin, and quite popular with our ancestral brethren, too. Much like the change of hw- to wh-, you can thank the French for numerous boggling aspects to the English language.
      • Re:Bad Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 15Bit ( 940730 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @06:54AM (#20964699)
        I think its less a sense of humour loss and more an overdeveloped sense of political correctness. It just seems that half the western world wakes up in a morning looking for ways to be offended. And if they can't take offence directly they do it by proxy, taking offence for some random social demographic who they feel *would* be offended if they knew about it.
    • Re:Bad Idea (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:19AM (#20964775)
      Indeed it is. I work with a guy who made something like this in another city. It was basically a site where you talk bad about other people you know 'anonymously'. Everyone was from the same little area that knew about the site, so it quickly grew out of hand and I believe he said he had to take it down 2 days later because of all the threats.
    • "I have never seen what could turn out to be a better lawsuit incubator."
      Actually, parody is a protected right under U.S. Law. Now if they didn't make fun of sites specifically there might be a lawsuit for IP infringement. As long as they are making fun of myspace and facebook, they have nothing to fear ...
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        I think you're missing the point: the site is not going to get sued for being a parody. Its own users are the ones at risk of lawsuit for publicly defaming people.
        • "I think you're missing the point: the site is not going to get sued for being a parody. Its own users are the ones at risk of lawsuit for publicly defaming people."

          That makes sense, because I couldn't possibly defame you on, say for example, Slashdot, right moron?

          * No offense intended. This was not an actual insult, but rather one included for rhetorical effect ... If this had been an actual insult, you would feel MUCH more insulted :-)

          Peace ...

          • > That makes sense, because I couldn't possibly defame you on, say for example, Slashdot, right moron?

            Yes, you could and you would get your ass sued.

            The difference is that those sites are there for the exact purpose of letting their users spoil other people's reputations. So, of course, the users there will do just that.

            That's why those sites are much more likely to turn into "lawsuit incubators" than most other sites. Do you get it now?

            • "That's why those sites are much more likely to turn into "lawsuit incubators" than most other sites. Do you get it now?"
              Your new here [slashdot.org] on Slashdot, aren't you.
              • No, but I probably look like new because I avoid using silly /. memes.
                • "No, but I probably look like new because I avoid using silly /. memes."
                  Well, that is pretty sad then. Since you are not new here, you have been around quite a while, but still haven't accumulated enough Karma to post above a ranking of 1. You may want to take a look at why that might be :-)
    • I have never seen what could turn out to be a better lawsuit incubator.
      Then you have obviously not seen the patent for my chainsaw powered mucus removal system.
  • by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @06:46AM (#20964679) Journal
    There really is no problem with the way Facebook is setup (apps are, overwhelmingly, useless and stupid but maybe there are some useful ones, I don't know). The problem is how people use the system. But you don't have to use it like that. Just a few days ago someone from my high school tried to add my as a friend on Facebook. I had never heard of this person before, couldn't remember speaking to or seeing them even once. She did go to the same high school as me, but we weren't friends. Ignore request.

    Don't add people that you aren't/weren't actually friends with, and ignore requests from people who are just trying to increase their friends count and e-penis size. These websites are as useful as you make them.
    • by rtyhurst ( 460717 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:14AM (#20964751)
      I was a pathetic loser of 42, still living in my Mom's basement and writing software for DOS before Facebook.

      I had like zero friends.

      Now with Facebook, I have 1723 "friends"!

      Of course I'm still a pathetic loser living in my Mom's basement, but I bet have more "friends" than you!

      So, it's all good, eh?
      • by therufus ( 677843 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @08:45AM (#20965141)
        I have 27 friends on my Facebook and 46 friends on my Myspace (many of whom are on Facebook too).

        Considering I have 0 friends in real life and I live with my parents (all because of a bitter divorce - yes, friends and living with parents), FB and MS give me false hope that there are people who may actually wish to communicate with me. Yes that is sad, but it's the truth. I believe to some extent, this is the reason why these sites are so popular. It's got nothing to do with the fancy applets, not even the interface. It's the sheer fact that people can communicate with others they wouldn't usually.

        I'm off to bed to sleep... alone.

        Wait, gotta check my FB first... (for the non-existent glimmer of hope that someone of the opposite sex may talk to me).
        • I notice that you don't have any slashdot friends though:

          therufus(677843) is all alone in the world.

          • Awwww...I felt sorry and added him as a friend. Not that Slashdot friends count for anything. Slashdot fans, however, that's a different story!
        • It's the sheer fact that people can communicate with others they wouldn't usually.
          That... seems like a benefit rather than a problem? It's helped me catch up with alot of friends from high school/college.
      • by Rolgar ( 556636 )
        Online
        Brad Paisley (video starring Jason Alexander, Estelle Harris (George and Estelle Constansa of Seinfeld) and William Shatner)

        I work down at the Pizza Pit
        And I drive an old Hyundai
        I still live with my mom and dad
        I'm 5 foot 3 and overweight
        I'm a scifi fanatic
        A mild asthmatic
        And I've never been to second base
        But there's whole 'nother me
        That you need to see
        Go checkout MySpace

        'Cause online I'm out in Hollywood
        I'm 6 foot 5 and I look damn good
        I drive a Maserati
        I'm a black-belt in karate
        And I love a good glas
      • I was a pathetic loser of 42
        There's no such thing! That's the one year in your life where you're automatically cool :-)
    • Ah, come on, scrabulous is the best app ever.
      Especially, if you have an old "friend" you can't think to have an actual conversation with...you can have a scrabble game with them.
    • Don't add people that you aren't/weren't actually friends with, and ignore requests from people who are just trying to increase their friends count

      I call them friend whores.

      But I have a little more than just actual "friends" as friends, I also have a few friendly acquaintances, and I also accept friend requests from DJs of places where I hang out, even if I don't actually like them, because I want them to think good thoughts about me should I ever wish to request a song.
      Also, cuteness is a factor for the ladies : )

      But basically, Facebook is more about 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon than about genuine friendship.

  • How pathetic. "Hey, these guys are succesful and these people are having fun! Let's spoil it!"

    I don't have a high opinion of the facebooks and myspaces of the world, and i'll admit to occasional episodes of resentment (usually when there is superior technology or skills, but the guy who shouts loudest gets the cake), but I would stop short of actually undermining, disrupting, and destroying their products.
    • How pathetic. "Hey, these guys are succesful and these people are having fun! Let's spoil it!"
      Trolls: They've upped the ante from posting trolls to making troll applications :-|

      Betcha they'll start a "first to tag the person with an enemy" race instead of first posts.
  • One that lets you "friend" random other people, create fake facebook pages for you (complete with history and the odd entry) and so on. Just to spit in the soup of various data miners.

    The only thing that's worse to a data miner than giving him no data is to poison the data he has.
    • by 4D6963 ( 933028 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:17AM (#20964767)

      Just to spit in the soup of various data miners.

      Wow, way to stick it to the man, dude!

      • That's got nothing to do with "sticking it to the man". It's simply a trivial way to keep data miners from getting useful data.

        Sometimes you can't avoid handing out data. The only thing to do then is to make the data meaningless if you don't want it to be useful.
        • by 4D6963 ( 933028 )

          It's simply a trivial way to keep data miners from getting useful data.

          That sounds fine and dandy, but what's the use of ruining it for data miners?

  • Facebook (Score:4, Interesting)

    by deniable ( 76198 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:06AM (#20964729)
    All I've had so far is people throwing stuff at me. I might as well be back in high school. And the apps are over the top. Install one and the first thing it does is get in your face to spam it to all of your friends. The main problem is having the sort of friends who also forward chain letters. It sure feels the same.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:18AM (#20964769) Journal
    How long have we had foes/freaks here? Since before I signed up, which was before any social networking sites even existed.
    • How long have we had foes/freaks here?
      Long enough for me to find out that the list tops off at 200 relationships.
      That sure is not a feature Facebook stole!
    • by mdwh2 ( 535323 )
      Agreed - there's nothing strange about making an online "connection" whether or not your know them in real life (Slashdot has friends/fans, and no one seems to complain about them), and as you say, adding negative connections isn't anything new.

      Sounds like a latecomer trying to make a quick buck, by riding off the trendiness of taking the piss out of Facebook (even though, as another social networking site, all the criticisms of social networking sites will apply to them also).
  • by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @07:59AM (#20964927)
    The title for the lead-in on this story shouldn't have been "New Apps Enable Social Network Snubbing". It should have been "Here's Some Idiots Who Need To Get A Life".

    If you don't like Facebook or Myspace, etc, don't use them. Its that simple.
    • by bryz ( 730558 )
      If you don't like Snubster or Enemybook, etc, don't use them. Its that simple.
      • by mdwh2 ( 535323 )
        He doesn't use them.

        What he isn't doing, however, is setting up some brand new site to try to make some kind of point against them, and trying to get publicity for it.
    • The title for the lead-in on this story shouldn't have been "New Apps Enable Social Network Snubbing". It should have been "Here's Some Idiots Who Need To Get A Life".
      Yes, but that title would then have offended most slashdotters...
  • Prior art (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @08:53AM (#20965171) Homepage

    [the creators] hope to encourage people to undermine, or at least mock, the online social communities...

    Before Snubster there was /.

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @09:04AM (#20965213)
    Facebookake [facebookake.com].
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by noidentity ( 188756 )
      Whenever anyone tries to get me to join their social networking site, I just point them to the only one I'll ever need: isolatr [isolatr.com].
  • A crude virtual Death Note [deathnoteonline.com] exists, but it would be cooler to have a Facebook application for it.
  • Look at the inane formulas on the whiteboard behind him. So hilariously "made for press".

  • I don't think I've seen a good app, and really I'm sick of not logging in for a couple days and seeing like 40 requests for various apps. They also make people's profiles look like crap once you get more than one or two. They really need to include a feature "ignore all app requests".
  • From TFA: "Over the summer, Kevin Matulef, who is doing a doctoral thesis on algorithms at MIT, designed Enemybook, a software application that lets people list enemies below friends on their personal Facebook page. He describes the program as "an antisocial utility that disconnects you to the so-called friends around you."

    How creative. At least, one can infer that he is able to relate 'freak' (or 'foe') to 'enemy'. A true candidate to successfully 'do a hardware application' by 2050 [slashdot.org].

    CC.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @12:35PM (#20966733) Homepage

    LinkedIn is supposed to be about linking up people you already know. But it has spammers, called "open networkers", who will link to anybody. They're just trolling for big link counts. Some way to give those guys negative points when they spam would be useful. Right now, there's no penalty for asking.

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