Press-Republican

FYI...

April 7, 2014

Hate With Friends, the fun new Facebook tool

WASHINGTON — Hating movies, earworms, conventions of grammar, clothing brands, diet fads - you get the twinkle of pleasure without the glob of guilt, or the cold brush of fear. A Coldplay song doesn't know you hate it.

Not so, hating people. You must commit to the idea that the animosity you harbor runs toward another human being. Hating people is the final frontier of hate, the enmity big leagues, and crossing it feels like stepping away from the primordial bonfire into a gust of Ice Age wind.

This old turn to the wilderness becomes new again with Hate With Friends, a Facebook tool by Chris Baker, who also co-created Unbaby.me. Sign into www.hatewithfriends.com through your Facebook account and you'll be presented with all of your Friends in alphabetical order - and below each profile picture, a dark pink button that says, HATE HER or HATE HIM.

From here, with any given Friend, three scenarios are possible. You can choose not to HATE HER and go chase butterflies or something. You can HATE HER, at which time the dark pink button will flip to spell out DON'T HATE HER, because hostility is a protean thing and sometimes changes its mind, and for the duration of your HATING she will live under a separate tab called WHO I HATE. In scenario three, you HATE HER, the button flips, she goes under the tab, and you get a notification. The notification says, "[Friend] Hates You Too!" and gives you the options of Sending Her a Gift (measles?) and Unfriending Her. And then she also goes under another tab called WHO HATES ME TOO, and then you cry.

The difference between scenarios two and three is, of course, that the disgust is reciprocal: Hate With Friends will tell you about someone's antipathy for you only if it knows you antipathize them back. You might recognize this Prisoner's Dilemma-type setup from Baker's inspiration, Bang With Friends (now known as Down), in which Facebook connections who want to hook up with each other are alerted to this fact, while unrequited longings flicker away in secrecy.

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