At Picnic 08, Matt Jones from Dopplr gave a short talk on his concerns around the focus on ‘friends’ in social networks. He said that he was worried that with the development of sites like Fake Friend Follower the social space seems ‘narrower’ than it was a couple of years ago. He highlighted this quote from Merlin Mann:

“If you need to appear on an internet list to know whether you’re someone’s friend, you may have problems a computer can’t solve.”

Jones argued that ‘friends’ is not the only social role we play – and should not be the only service our tools create. He said that online friendships should be considered harmful:

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