"It's the year 2008. I thought the Internet could do better." So says Bryant Choung, creator of the anti-social networking site Snubster.
Choung derides the "warchests" of friends who most folks on MySpace, Friendster and Facebook attempt to assemble. Life's a little different on sites like his. "People actually are a little bit more honest with themselves and also who they represent themselves as," he says. "On Facebook a lot of times, people are trying to build up this new online persona. Rather on Snubster it's just really what's on peoples' minds that's really bothering them."
We talked to the folks behind other anti-social networking sites, including Hatebook.com and Hatebook.org, and they also feel that people on their sites are more honest. There's also a site called Enemybook, which is designed specifically as a Facebook app.
On Snubster, users create lists of things, people, phenomena, etc., that are stuck in their respective craws. Each item gets filed under one of two headings: "On Notice" and "Dead to Me." Choung says an "On Notice" classification suggests the relationship might be repaired. "Dead to Me" is, well, just that. (The headings are taken from a Stephen Colbert bit that works in a similar fashion.)
Choung flips through the site and lists some of his favorite entries: "Pictures of angels, dead to this person for clogging up the Internet. Another one was Certificates of Appreciation, dead to this person — 'It's really a piece of paper to let me know you're too cheap to give me a raise.'
"This wife apparently put her husband on notice," he continues. She put, 'He knows why. In fact he's perpetually on notice. You better kick it up a notch, buddy.'"
But Choung says that in spite of all that bile, Snubster is just a place for people to have some fun. "That's really the whole idea. It wasn't meant to be taken too seriously. It really just lets people vent a little."