A Brazilian Evangelical version of Facebook has appeared, but not by divine intervention, in the cybersphere.
Faceglória is a lot like Facebook, only it trades “likes” for amen! clicks, and, naturally, tightly controls its users’ content.
“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,” said Sophos Security’s Lisa Vaas, in a recent post.
To make sure of that, a team of 20 volunteers patrol the site, removing what they deem to be questionable content: risqué selfies, videos that could be considered “homosexual,” bikini shots, swearing and the like—and there’s a list of 600 forbidden words. No sinful, heretical or demon-infested content here, folks. Anot no gay stuff. Definitely no gay stuff.
The censorship (which, of course, users agree to in the terms and conditions) is merely a precaution, the company insists. “Our public doesn't publish these kinds of photos,” one of the volunteers, Daiane Santos, said.
Faceglória co-founder Attila Barros told AFP that “We want to be morally and technically superior to Facebook. 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.”
That’s a message that resonated in lofty quarters—and no, we’re not talking about, you know, the guy upstairs. Acir dos Santos, the mayor of Ferraz de Vasconcelos, a burg near São Paulo, contributed the seed money for the venture ($16,000) after being pitched on the idea.
Dos Santos was richly rewarded for the gesture, if you count soul-saving points: A full 100,000 users signed up in Faceglória’s first month, the company said. But that’s nothing compared to its stretch goal for signups of 10 million Brazilians within the next 24 months—a quest that the company founders hope will be aided by the launch of a mobile app. Given that internet access is still a dodgy proposition in much of the country, going mobile would seem to be a savvy move.
But they’re not stopping there: While the site is only available in Portuguese for now, the company has purchased the domain in English and other languages, and has plans for worldwide expansion.
Vaas noted that a similar social network for Muslims, Ummaland, launched in 2013, boasting “extended privacy settings" for women. It currently has around 329,000 members.