We tried Faceglória, the sin-free Facebook alternative for Brazilian Christians

Facegloria was unreachable for this story—the site’s contact page is broken.

 

Dylan Love

IRL

Published Jul 6, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 10:23 am CDT

Faceglória, the Brazilian website that bills itself as a sin-free alternative to Facebook, has welcomed 100,000 users in its first month of existence. 

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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

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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.

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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.

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As of right now, though, the site doesn’t stop you from using English-language vulgarity.

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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.

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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?
PUSHKAR:  Recently
dylan:  why did you join?
PUSHKAR:  To meet you
dylan:  lots of other people too, i’m sure
PUSHKAR:  :D

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.

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H/T CNETIllustration by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Jul 6, 2015, 3:49 pm CDT