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Anti-social networking October 27, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Arto, Facebook, Friendship, Social networking sites.
7 comments

What does it mean to be a friend online? As I have pointed out in an earlier blog post and as I stressed during my AoIR-presentation last week, the concept of friendship has changed. Young people do call their contacts on social networking sites ‘friends’ (or at least Danish youngsters do) – even though the majority of their online relationships or the hundreds of people on their friend lists more resemble acquaintances. This, of course, has to do with the fact that social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Arto use the metaphor of ‘friending’.

Because of the possibility to ‘friend’ every Tom, Dick and Harry it has been suggested that a new trend on anti-social networking is seeing the light of day. My friend Anders Olsen just pointed me towards an article from LabConfidential that mentions an emerging resistance against the concept of friendship on online social networking sites. The Danish article refers to this article from The Boston Globe on anti-social networks on Facebook etc. The article reads:

Now that Internet users have forged online relationships with the people they like, they can turn their attention to shaming the folks they hate.

With Enemybook, a new program that runs on the social networking site Facebook, you can connect to people you loathe, display their photos and evil deeds, and give them the virtual finger.

Enemybook is one of several new online applications developed by computer-savvy twentysomethings who say they are tired of bogus online friendships. In a dig at the notion of virtual networking, they hope to encourage people to undermine, or at least mock, the online social communities sites such as Facebook were designed to create.

Besides Enemybook the two articles also mention Snubster, Hatebook, IFHY (I Fucking Hate You), NoSo (No Social) and isolatr as anti-social networking sites or applications.

I must admit that I had not heard of half of these sites, but I find the resistance against (the popularity of) online social networking interesting. Does anyone know of any Danish examples? I know that the Danish site Narto (now Narro) started as an opposition to the hugely popular Danish Arto, even though it is not an anti-social networking site per se, but advertises on the front page with the phrase: “If you are too annoying for any other social networking site, then create a profile here – and feel much worse” (my translation from Danish)”. According to the site itself, it has more than 50.000 users (Arto has app. 600.000).

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New paper: Love and friendship in the digital room April 30, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Academic, Arto, Friendship, Identity, Social Networking, Youth Culture.
4 comments

undgomdsforskning01_07.jpgMy new paper “Kærlighed og venskab på Arto.dk” (“Love and friendship on Arto.dk”) is now available online. The paper is part of the newest issue of the Danish journal “Ungdomsforskning” on young people’s different rooms or spaces. I recommend the other articles in the issue which are all very interesting.

You can download my article here.
Or read the whole issue of “Ungdomsforskning” here.

“I love you” the best message April 15, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Arto, Friendship, Social networking sites, Youth Culture.
1 comment so far

I just wanted to share some preliminary findings from the online questionnaires that I am working on with The Danish Media Council for Children and Young People. In the questionnaire aimed at children and young people between the age of 12 and 18 we ask them what the best message they have received at a social networking site is.

The majority of the youngsters say that a guest book message with the words “I love you” is the very best message they have ever received. Such messages most often come from close “real life” friends or boy- or girlfriends.

This is very much in accordance with the results from my Arto-study where I identified a strong love discourse between “offline” friends. By the way, I have an article about that very subject coming up in the Danish journal “Ungdomsforskning“. The article is called “Love and friendship at Arto.dk” and I will remember to write a post once it gets out.

The meaning of a friendship? March 9, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Arto, Friendship, MySpace, Social Networking, Social networking sites.
15 comments

Concurrently with social networking sites and services becoming increasingly popular the notion of ‘friendship’ is changing.2007-03-07_151952.png Many of the large social networking sites like MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, Facebook and Arto are using the friendship metaphor in relation to the contactvenner.jpg lists. This means that the word ‘friendship’ has a new meaning online and rings more hollow than in its original sense.

Even though you have to be accepted as a friend from the other part, it is quite easy to collect many friends (since almost everyone wants a high number of friends). As a result young people often have more than 100 ‘friends’ on their friend lists. Then, what do they do when they want to signal who their actual or ‘real’ friends are? (more…)

FakeYourSpace In Real Life Troubles March 7, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Fakers, Friendship, MySpace, Social Networking, Social networking sites.
4 comments

It seems that FakeYourSpace – a website that provides fake friends for social networking sites – has shut down.
A blog on social networks reports today that the site has some legal problems:

FakeYourSpace Facing Very Real Problems

FakeYourSpace shut down today, citing “legal problems”. The specifics weren’t mentioned, but we know that iStockPhoto had contacted the company regarding the misuse of model’s images, and it also seemed that FakeYourSpace might be against the terms and conditions of those social networks.

It seems that the problem is that the models the site offers as fake friends are in fact real people 🙂 Read the rest of the post here.

I was wondering where the site had gone. A few days ago I noticed that it was no longer to be found on the URL www.fakeyourspace.com.

Fake your space with fake friends February 28, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Arto, Fakers, Friendship, MySpace, Social Networking, Web 2.0, Youth Culture.
5 comments

Last year I read a post on Michael Zimmer’s blog about a new social networking service called Fake Your Space that offers purchase of fake and hot friends for MySpace profiles in order to seem popular. Yesterday the Danish online magazine Computerworld.dk spotted the website and wrote an article about it. Today I was interviewed by the Danish radio P3 (P3 Nyheder) and the newspaper dato about what I think of the service and why friends are so important on social networking sites.fakeyourspace.com

First of all, I think that the profiles the site offers are so clearly fake and model like that other users would probably be sceptical of the users who have bought the fakers and listed them as friends. Also, other people’s friend lists are often used to find new friends. What happens when someone tries to add one of the fakers to their own profile? (more…)