Welcome to Faceglória, the Brazilian Evangelical take on social media that opts for Gospel music and billowing white clouds instead of the moral swamps our Facebook pages have turned into.
Here you will find no swearing.
No selfies in that skimpy little bikini, no revenge porn.
No erotic content whatsoever, for that matter, nor anything else that all of us ungodly Facebook “sinners” are into.
Don’t click “Like” – click “Amen!”
That’s not an exaggeration. Users don’t “Like” things on Faceglória. Here, you really do click “Amen.”
As co-founder Attila Barros told AFP, the goal is simple:
We want to be morally and technically superior to Facebook.
In Brazil, the country with the world’s largest Catholic population and one in which Evangelicals are an increasing force, Facebook has proved to be simply too violent and porn-filled, he said:
On Facebook you see a lot of violence and pornography. That's why we thought of creating a network where we could talk about God, love and to spread His word.
So three years ago, Barros and three colleagues who are similarly devout Christians decided there was a market opportunity for a cleaned-up version of Facebook.
The four were working at the mayor’s office in Ferraz de Vasconcelos, near Brazil’s financial capital, São Paulo.
The mayor liked the idea so much, he gave them about $16,000 (about £10,200) out of his own money to set up a business, and thus was Faceglória born.
The social network immediately proved popular, garnering 100,000 users in its first month, the founders claim.
Anyone can sign up, but the site’s currently only offered in a Portuguese version.
But Acir dos Santos, the mayor of Ferraz de Vasconcelos, says they’re not stopping in Brazil: they’ve purchased the domain in English and “in all possible languages,” and the team is hoping that a mobile app also helps to extend their reach worldwide:
In two years we hope to get to 10 million users in Brazil. In a month we have had 100,000 and in two we are expecting a big increase thanks to a mobile phone app.
To be one of those users, you have to watch your Ps and Qs. Actually, you have to watch your booze and your cigarettes, too, since selfies get scrutinized for possible removal.
Other things that face removal from a team of 20 volunteers that patrol the site: potentially risqué selfies and bikini shots, and, of course, the aforementioned swearing.
In fact, there’s a list of about 600 forbidden words. Homosexual activity depicted in videos is also verboten.
This isn’t an uphill battle, by any means. One of the volunteers, Daiane Santos, told AFP that Faceglória users aren’t into erotic promenading:
Our public doesn't publish these kinds of photos.
This isn’t the first social media site tailored to a given religion.
As the BBC reports, a social network for Muslims launched in 2013 and currently has around 329,000 members.
The site, named Ummaland, includes “extended privacy settings” for women and daily Islamic inspirational quotes.
At the time of its inception, co-founders Maruf Yusupov and Jamoliddin Daliyev said that the site was based on Islamic values:
We are creating Ummaland on Islamic values, no small talk, no boasting, no gossiping and backbiting but focusing on the message that really matters. We encourage every user to ponder upon if the message they share will benefit Ummah [Arabic for "community"] or not. If not, it is better to be silent.
From a secular perspective, the treatment of erotica and gay content as “sinful” is increasingly unacceptable.
But the idea of a social media site that’s squeaky clean – one that bans boasting or gossip or revenge porn or other myriad forms of nasty – certainly has its appeal.
Can we look forward to someday seeing a whitewashed version of Facebook that’s not aimed at a particular religion and which doesn’t ostracize gay people but simply opts for silence over attacks on the community?
After all, in the US, gay people are making enormous strides in being accepted as an integral part of the community, covered by the Constitution to the same extent as all citizens.
If a secular version of a squeaky clean Facebook came into being, would such a presumably highly censored creature flourish?
Readers, would you pull yourself out of the swamp in favor of a version of Faceglória or Ummaland that caters to your religious, anti-religious, or secular values?
Please let us know in the comments section below.
Image of enter button cross courtesy of Shutterstock.com .
11 comments on “Faceglória: like Facebook but without all that ‘sin’”
I can’t imagine anything more boring.
1) What does this have to do with security on the internet?
2) “Facegloria” is not any better than Facebook because it’s religious. Your article is slightly insulting to those of us who don’t follow a religion.
3) Your article borders on the edge of proselytizing.
1. Information security encompasses topics such as privacy and the physical harm threatened by things such as trolling and revenge porn. The emergence of a social media site that polices such threats is of relevance to cybersecurity, most particularly given that such a site strives to serve as a replacement to the extremely popular Facebook. For similar reasons, we cover the anti-trolling efforts at businesses such as Twitter and Reddit, et al.
2. I don’t follow a religion, yet I still find the prospect of a social media network devoid of snarkiness, violence and threats to be interesting. Many who don’t follow a religion likely feel the same, which is why I pondered the possibility of a secular, cleaned up version of Facebook and asked readers if a whitewashed version would be compelling. Maybe it wouldn’t; I don’t know, given that we don’t have one. This article doesn’t imply that Facegloria is better because it’s religious; it implies that might offer a preferable experience, at least in a limited way, due to the absence of threatening behaviour and content. To my secular, liberal mind, this is offset by anti-homosexual policy, as I said in the article.
3. Proselytizing what, exactly? An unsupported accusation.
My dictionary describes “proselytising” as “advocating or promoting a belief or course of action.” I like to think that’s exactly what we do on Naked Security, at least in respect of urging people to take computer security seriously, and to learn how to live safer online lives, and it’s why we so frequently take the trouble to end our articles with a list of tips, or a section entitled “What to do?”
I am not Christian and generally prefer to keep things secular but respectful. I actually think this is a great idea, and think a secular setting that encouraged a more thoughtful, respectful community would be great. I also wanted a “church for non-Christians,” saying that I love the idea of a built in support system, social outlet, and place where people can sing and dance (and not be drunk), and support one another in an uplifting way… Minus the God part. Turns out that exists (I would link if I could)–so, maybe there is a hope for something like this too 🙂
I believe the term we’re describing is Humanism: “an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.”
I actually like Unitarianism for its emphasis on Humanism. It’s a religion, or system of beliefs, if you will, that doesn’t have a problem with atheists, or with any other religion, to my knowledge.
There’s a joke about Unitarianism that I like a lot:
Q: What did the villagers do when they wanted to drive the Unitarians out of town?
A: They burned a question mark in their front lawn.
Well, I am a Christian and I am looking forward to this site. I logged in at wordpress. I hope to meet some interesting Christians who truly are believers. See you later!
I wonder how much money the creators make… It seems like a great idea to look like a hero and profit form someone else’s idea. The idea of them censoring you if they don’t like what you are saying isn’t appealing either. Not to mention the all out discrimination against an entire orientation. A site for judgmental people who think they are better than others. :/
Censoring? If you come to the aircraft-devoted forum and start posting about cars and trains you will be probably told to stop or move somewhere else. Is this also censoring? Every website owner has a right to define appropriate content. It has nothing in common with censorship which may occur only in public media like newspapers, Wikipedia and so on.
I hear you. But Facegloria’s members are self-selecting. As the volunteer noted, their public just doesn’t take raunchy selfies, for example, so there’s not a lot of censoring that needs to be done.
As far as discriminating against an entire orientation goes, well, I wouldn’t want to sign up for a site like Facegloria if I were gay. If I were a devout, gay Christian who was offended by Facebook, though, I might ponder putting up my own, more tolerant clone.
The potential Balkanization of a virtual nation state as sprawling and messy as Facebook seems limitless, really.
1. I am a Christian and I do use Facebook. I like the idea to have a Christian social media where Christian can encourage each other in the faith, support Christian causes and have social medial with a Christian ethic.
2. But same time I don’t want Christians to have an isolated social media. Christians plays very important role in our society ( particularly in the UK first hospital, first universities, first orphanages, abolishing slavery and etc) we should always be in touch with society.
3. You can achieve appropriate content in Facebook by using various settings.
4. Social Media actually made our connection with friends very impersonal now you respond to your friends happiest event by using “Like” or “Amen” button or just browsing their life like a BBC news.
5. Social Media is actually waste of time and it degenerates focus. Since I removed Facebook from my phone and tablet I’ve got at least 30 mins free time which I use to read my IT magazines. I don’t think I want to have another social media.