The site is operated by 20 moderators who patrol the site to keep it free of porn, violence, and a list of 600 banned words. By scrubbing it clean of this offensive material, the moderators open it up to Brazil’s booming evangelical population of some 40 million people.
But after all that scrubbing, Faceglória becomes pretty damn dull.
Having used Facebook on and off for the past 10 years, I decided to take its holier-than-thou alternative for a test drive. The Portuguese-language social network for evangelical Christians fills the needs of a specific demographic of which I am not a part. Its newness and language barrier mean that none of my friends are on it, but that might change when the company launches its already-purchased English-language domain.
When you create an account, you see a screen much like the one below. A media player in the top right plays your favorite Portuguese contemporary Christian songs, leaving you free to conduct the traditional social-networking activities like uploading photos, updating your status, and finding new friends. In lieu of “liking” a post, enthusiastic users can say “amen” to content they enjoy.
Faceglória’s promise of a swear-free environment is not an empty threat: If you want to share dirty words in Portuguese, take it to Facebook. When a user tries to post an inappropriate word, a software filter prevents it.
As of right now, though, the site doesn’t stop you from using English-language vulgarity.
Despite my loner status on Faceglória, a few kind souls were nice enough to accept my random friend requests. One of them even chatted with me.
dylan: hello does this work?
PUSHKAR: Of course it does, my love!
dylan: is this better than facebook?
PUSHKAR: Yes! I’m here and we have met, so yes!
dylan: how long ago did you find out about it?
dylan: why did you join?
PUSHKAR: To meet you
dylan: lots of other people too, i’m sure
Faceglória looks and functions like a Facebook clone that’s been altered just enough to still feel unique. But the site, which retains the word “beta” in its logo, also feels sophomoric, with a clunky and counterintuitive design.
It’s also built in a way that exposes users to a gaping security vulnerability by forgoing the industry-standard HTTPS protocol. This glaring omission of what is common practice for even the smallest Internet companies makes it difficult to consider Faceglória a viable social-media contender.
“We want to be morally and technically better than Facebook,” site co-creator Atilla Barros told the Telegraph.
Faceglória was unreachable for this story. The site’s contact page is broken.
H/T CNET | Illustration by Jason Reed