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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cyberbullying Facebook App: Like or Ban?

No, YOU Don't! Help Ban EnemyGraph

Thought for the day: Last night I got an e-mail from my friend, Denise Restauri. She sent me a link to an article she wrote for Forbes, "New Facebook App: What Are You Waiting for? Go Make Some Enemies!". She reported on a new Facebook App which enables making lists of your enemies, People & things you "hate." I read it & was outraged. I commented, shared it on Facebook & LinkedIn, I Tweeted in protest, & Google+ed it. This morning, I woke up & I realized I needed to do more & I will need your help with this one. If you want to help stop Facebook from promoting this APP,  please comment here. I will forward all comments to Facebook directly.

Denise's article tries to be fair in it's presentation of the facts about The site was developed in Dean Terry’s research group at UT Dallas' Emerging Media + Communication program by graduate student, Bradley Griffith, with assistance from an undergraduate, Harrison Massey. They say they developed it because, “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 & motivated by things they dislike. Alliances are created, conversations are generated, friendships are stressed, stretched, &/or enhanced.” They see “EnemyGraph as a critique of Facebook's social philosophy.

Denise also reports that EnemyGraph may have some fun elements.  She notes that, if the app were to be used just to list things & places we hate, it might not be so bad. If you hate beer & join other beer haters, for instance. I agree with Denise, I'd rather make friends on positive connections, but joining together over hating beer isn’t harmful. Unfortunately an app like EnemyGraph will not stop there.  As Denise surmises, it will give "bullies & people with a sick sense of humor a great way to bully & attack.  It’s another example of “Absolutely nothing good can come of this.”

If the developers thought this was cute or funny, they need to think again. It's potential could be deadly. #Cyberbullying has already been a contributing factor in #depression, #schoolphobias, & even #suicides among teens. We do not need a Facebook app to encourage #bullying, #discrimination & #prejudice. I have spent my professional life using positive psychology to fight the fallout of #abuse & #bullying on the mental health of thousands of my clients. If you want to help stop this app, please comment below & I will forward all comments to Facebook. Thanks!


Pip Morgan said...

I think that these kinds of Apps should be banned from facebook. I seem to remember a horrible incident in England's Capital, because of a remark on a social networking site. This App is just asking for trouble, I would remove it or at least ask someone to remove it. You have my support, take it down.

InterestedThirdParty said...

I agree with your assessment of this app. Kids are already creative enough in their ways to torture their fellow students. They don't need to have it made easy for them or validated through an app.

Barbara Lavi said...

Thanks. You are right this kind of app is "asking for trouble." Now is the time to stop it before it does harm!

Barbara Lavi said...

Yes, we need to teach children how to respect one another, not how to hate!

Anonymous said...

i really appreciate it!!

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