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Detest Someone? Put Them on Facebook’s Enemy List

Facebook users, if pressed, will admit that not all the friends they list on the social-networking site are really friends. And that got Kevin Matulef, a computer-science graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, thinking: What if people were open about who on their Facebook page was and was not a friend? He decided to act on the idea by creating a Facebook application, Enemybook, that allows users to tag people as “enemies.” Those who use the application make available on their Facebook page their list of foes as well as friends. A photograph of the enemy is depicted along with a list of reasons why the person is despised: He/she hooked up with my ex, insulted my honor, or killed my family, are among the possible explanations.

Enemybook is not the only Web application to mock Facebook. Snubster allows Facebook users to list adversaries. And then there’s Hatebook.com and Hatebook.org.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Mr. Matulef said his software is meant to be tongue in cheek. “The time is right for a Facebook parody,” he said in the interview. He acknowledged that college rivalry may have played a part in his development of Enemybook. Facebook, after all, was developed by a Harvard alumnus, Mark Zuckerberg. MIT and Harvard are neighbors in Cambridge, Mass. So who are Mr. Matulef’s enemies? Mr. Zuckerberg and President George W. Bush, among others.—-Andrea L. Foster

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