NEWS

A New Way to Make Friends Enemies: EnemyGraph

March 07, 2012

A new Facebook application developed by a team in the UT Dallas Emerging Media and Communications program allows users to now list enemies as opposed to just friends.

While Facebook runs queries to find affinities, EnemyGraph runs dissonance queries to point out a difference you have with a friend and offer it up for conversation.

EnemyGraph, an app that explores social dissonance on Facebook, is the creation of EMAC faculty Dean Terry, developed by Emerging Media and Communications graduate student Bradley Griffith, with invaluable help from undergraduate Harrison Massey.

“When I saw the first friends list at the beginning of the social media era, I thought where’s the enemies list?” said Dean Terry.

EnemyGraph is an attempt to further define relationships between users and other entities across Facebook’s social graph.

“In a way, EnemyGraph is a social media blasphemy. Because we’re suggesting that you share differences you have with people or talk about the things you don’t like,” Terry said.

Users of EnemyGraph aren't limited to making enemies of people -- any object, place or thing that has a Facebook page can be an enemy.

“Most social networks attempt to connect people based on affinities. But people are also connected and motivated by things they dislike.”

Users of EnemyGraph aren’t limited to making enemies of people — any object, place or thing that has a Facebook page can be an enemy. “You can have an entire list with no people on it at all,” Terry said. “In a way we are misusing the word ‘enemy’ just as much as Facebook and others have misused ‘friend.'”

One early user described EnemyGraph as a way to “interact with friends over common enemies … creating alliances based on shared animosities.”

Dean Terry writes on his blog, “We look at EnemyGraph as a test to learn from for the new project we are about to start on for this semester. Because these kinds of tools have not been available previously we are interested to see how they are used. We plan to take what we learn and apply it to a site outside of Facebook that explores similar territory, but in a broader fashion.”

Terry recently shared his thoughts about EnemyGraphy in an interview on Outriders, a program dedicated to exploring the frontiers of the web from BBC Radio 5 live. Listen to the audio of the program below.

Try out EnemyGraph on Facebook.