If you watch The Five on Fox News, you've heard about this new app for Facebook: EnemyGraph. Just click on the link and see who's being hated the most and that should tell you who the current haters are.
From Mashable.com: Since the app launched March 15, it's seemed to appeal especially to users with a liberal bent. Some of its most-selected nemeses so far include Rick Santorum, Westboro Baptist Church and Fox News.
Come on. Seriously? Who would "friend" the Westboro Baptist Church, anyway? I don't know any conservatives who would.
This app was developed at the University of Texas/Dallas by students under the direction of Professor Dean Terry.
"One thing that has always struck me is the enforced niceness culture," Terry told Mashable. "We wanted to give people a chance to express dissonance as well. We're using the word enemy about as accurately as Facebook uses the word friend."
Do any of you think that there is a shortage of "dissonance" on the Internet? Is there a shortage of anger, hate speech and mean-spirited dialog here? Just read some of the public comments after a Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman news article and tell me there's not enough hatred on the Web. And to be fair, it's coming from both sides of that story.
I love Terry's lament that there's a forced "niceness culture" in America.
That is almost laughable. Well, it is laughable. With all the wonders of the Internet, there is also a darker, unkind side; a side where no one can enforce niceness. It's the anonymity of the Internet that allows people to be cruel and heartless - to write things they would never say to anyone's face - to tag team, bully and harass, especially children.
We've all seen the news stories of children who have committed suicide over Facebook and Twitter bullying. When I looked up Facebook related teenage suicides, the examples seemed, sadly, endless.
The potential for more of this horrible and cruel behavior has just been ramped up with the introduction of this new enemies app. Can you see the ramifications of forming alliances of enemies against some of our very vulnerable children?
Bullying is part of growing up. We've all had experiences with bullies. But as one of the co-hosts on The Five said yesterday, because of social media, the bullying follows you wherever you go. When most of us were growing up, home was a safe place from this torment. That is no longer true. It follows these children home to the privacy of their bedrooms and onto their laptops or cell phones. There is no longer a safe place for these kids.
As adults, we need to set examples for our kids. Creating an enemies list is a harmful behavior for kids to emulate.
And sadly, it's just one more example of the end of "enforced niceness" - liberalspeak for civility - in our society.