Frum Facebook for the strictly kosher

By Jennifer Lipman, July 28, 2011


If the film Social Network is anything to go by, one of the reasons Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg built his site was to help him meet women.

But seven years after Facebook started, another web developer has launched a site that does precisely the opposite.

FaceGlat is social networking for the strictly Orthodox and, as in the real world, contact between male and female users is forbidden. Even husbands and wives, or brothers and sisters, are unable to contact each other on the virtual platform.

The site was the brainchild of Yaakov Swisa, a 25-year-old resident of Israel's Kfar Chabad village who wanted to bring religious internet users all the benefits of technology but none of the temptations. The idea has already attracted several hundred people.

Like Facebook, users create accounts and can post photographs, add friends to their networks and share video files.

But it operates a much stricter moderation policy than Mr Zuckerberg's version. On FaceGlat, there is a word filter so that obscene language is blocked. There are no adverts encouraging consumerism and there is technology to monitor men infiltrating the women's section and vice versa.

Mr Swisa said he believed the site would be useful to those who were "Godfearing" but tech-savvy.

Miriam Weinberg, who joined FaceGlat after finding herself unhappy with the content on Facebook, said the site was "perfect for a Torah-true Jew".

Last updated: 2:31pm, July 28 2011