Saturday, December 22, 2007

Social-networking sites for the anti-social

Fed up with Facebook? Whatever your opinion, a new kind of backlash against the way social-networking sites value, or devalue, actual friendship has found its snarky expression in sites such as Snubster and Hatebook.

It's not a zero-sum game. You don't have to snub Facebook to indulge in Snubster, which now ports its feature into Facebook. So if somebody you think is really creepy wants to be your Facebook friend, and if they won't take no for an answer, you could put them on your Dead To Me List, compliments of Snubster.

Snubster's creator, Bryant Choung, told Reuters he started the site as a kind of satire on the social-networking craze: "I didn't understand these fake-friend war chests that people were so busy building online."

A quick visit to Snubster reveals the misanthropic spirit. The logo is a round frowny face. For the Dead To Me feature, the dot eyes are replace by two X's. Hatebook, meanwhile, seems mostly a bulletin board for rants, some profane. For example: "I hate the . . . government for covering up the UFO conspiracy (even if aliens told them to)."

But a visit to Enemybook proved disappointing: It's an advertising marketplace, pushing services like "criminal background check." You can also find a private eye here.

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