Social networks have a culture of promoting positive social interactions among people – the liking, favourite-ing and double-tapping are testament to it.
What happens though, when people stop feeling favourable towards certain things you share with them (like, Candy Crush invites)? Or what if someone just wants to express their dislike about something in general?
Maybe it would help if they had a network to talk about just that – all the things they hate.
That’s what founder Jake Banks believes his app – Hater – is here to provide.
The app resembles Instagram with its photo-sharing features. It lets people upload photographs of their most common pet peeves, which currently appear to be waiting in lines and selfies.
Other features include a text rant and a showcase of which ‘hates’ are trending – much like Twitter and Facebook’s trends.
What inspired the creation of this app?
Banks feels the ‘Like’ culture fostered by the leading social networks today prevents people from being themselves: it isn’t a true reflection of our society where it’s completely normal to dislike certain things and ideas. A platform like this, he believes, makes way for an honest, balanced approach to things on the web.
While a platform for sharing common pet peeves like rush hour traffic and mug stains might be harmless, it does raise some concerns. Hate is a powerful word – encouraging people to feed a negative emotion can result in undesirable consequences.
Banks thinks otherwise and hints at the larger potential of the app:
“It’s important to have a conversation about something you dislike. Hating something for change is a big thing.
Whether the hate is for gun control, traffic every morning on my way to work, or a factory from my corner dumping toxic waste… all your opinions help create a message.”
Should we be monitoring hate?
Hating to inspire change? Seems far-fetched. Misuse of the app seems more likely. For instance, it might lead to potential a breeding ground for cyber bullying, violence or worse.
The free reign people have on social networks makes them powerful platforms for people to have an opinion, a voice. It also gives people the choice of anonymity like no other platform does, and raises hard questions: Should the hates be monitored? Who should monitor it – the social network itself? Government agencies?
Could it be integrated for wider use?
It will also be interesting to see if brands or media organizations will integrate the ‘hate’ feature with their social content. This might be a good fit for websites that current news and report on political/legal developments, and may lead to a new form of online citizen activism.
Maybe the challenge lies in the word “Hate” – phrases like “down-vote” or “disagree” might be more effective for productive discourse.
This post is a part of our monthly People’s Insights brief for March – Part 1: The Mobile & Wearable Web