God’s Facebook? Brazil’s sin-free Facebook alternative

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – @BednarChuck

A new social media website that prohibits foul language or sexually-charged content, launched by a group of Evangelical Christians in Brazil last month, has attracted more than 100,000 people since going live.


A screenshot of the sign-up screen. (Credit: Facegloria)

The website, which Agence France-Press explains bears “a passing resemblance” to the more widely used Facebook, is called Facegloria and was designed as an alternative to people who found social network to be too secular or sinful in nature.

Facegloria replaces Facebook’s “Like” button with an “Amen” one, and BBC News reports that there are 600 words that are prohibited on the website. Similarly, violent or erotic content is prohibited, as are images or video depictions of homosexual activity.

“On Facebook you see a lot of violence and pornography,” Atilla Barros, a web designer and one of the founders of the Portugese-language social network, told the AFP. “That’s why we thought of creating a network where we could talk about God, love, and to spread His word.”

A morally better Facebook

The origins of the website date back to 2012, when Barros and three colleagues working at the mayor’s office in Ferraz de Vasconcelos, located near Sao Paulo, decided there was a market for a sanitized version of Mark Zuckerberg’s popular social network, especially considering that Brazil is said to be home to more than 40 million Evangelical Christians.

They even secured the financial support of the mayor and set up Facegloria using about $16,000 in start-up money, according to the AFP. The social network is patrolled by a team of nearly two dozen volunteers who evaluate the appropriateness of content and decide whether or not to allow “potentially risqué selfies,” bikini shots, and other debatable content remain online.

Barros said the goal is to make Facegloria “morally and technically better than Facebook.” He added that “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.”

It is not the first attempt to create a faith-based social media network, according to BBC News. Ummaland, a social network for Muslims that launched in 2013, currently has roughly 329,000 members. The website’s features include “extended privacy settings” for women and daily Islamic inspirational quotes.

“We are creating Ummaland on Islamic values, no small talk, no boasting, no gossiping and backbiting but focusing on the message that really matters,” co-founders Maruf Yusupov and Jamoliddin Daliyev told reporters shortly following the launch of the social network.


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