Could the Anti-Facebook Platform ‘MeWe’ Lead the Way for Alternative Social Media?
By Movieguide® Staff
Companies like Facebook and Twitter are no longer working to hide their blatant censorship, which recently resulted in the ban of President Donald Trump. As a result, consumers fled to various sites such as Parler and Gab. But the social media company MeWe could lead the charge in alternative social media.
In the wake of the events of Capitol Hill, MeWe’s membership skyrocketed. The company is only four years old but boasts nearly 15 million users. Moreover, the platform adheres to their Privacy Bill of Rights policy that protects user data, unlike Facebook.
While censorship is one cause, CEO Mark Weinstein attributes MeWe’s recent success to “everyone who is infuriated by their data being sold down the river” by big tech.
According to Weinstein, revenue boomed at the time of the election into the new year.
“We’ve got about $22 million from high net worth investors and our advisory board includes Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the World Wide Web, and Sherry Turkle, perhaps the most esteemed academic expert on the impact of technology on human beings,” Weinstein told the Associated Press in an interview. “We have fewer than 100 employees and we did $1.2 million in revenue in 2020. Revenue grew 300 percent from November to December.”
MeWe faces the same challenges of moderating hateful or insightful content as other platforms. However, MeWe ensures their efforts to moderate are vigilant and growing.
“Social media can get messy in times like these,” Weinstein said. “And just like Facebook and Twitter, and other sites that also moderate we are doing the very best we can. We are expanding our moderation team as rapidly as we can, and we’re investigating reports from our members, who are helping.”
While social media has become a hub of political opinions, Weinstein said that MeWe’s goal is entirely different.
“We are absolutely not an opinion chamber of one side or another,” Weinstein said. “We are fundamentally different by design from Twitter or Parler or Gab. We’re a social media platform like Facebook, where family members and friends connect. Your news feed is purely and exclusively everything you choose to connect to. There is nothing injected into your news feed by us or anybody else on the platform. We don’t have trending topics. We don’t have boosted content.”
Unlike Facebook, MeWe aims not to censor the content posted by its users, so long as they follow the platform’s guidelines.
“We have absolutely no censorship for good people who follow our rules. We don’t care what your opinion is, if you’re on the right or the left. That’s none of our business,” Weinstein said. “Members do moderation for us, but a very deep violation can lead to immediate removal and being reported to outside authorities. For others, a member can be placed “in jail” — temporarily suspended — and then a three-strike rule applies.”
Weinstein noted that to end companies’ “surveillance capitalism” does not mean breaking up Facebook.
“Facebook has lobbyists worldwide influencing legislation and government officials. And it doesn’t comply with regulations, anyhow. Regulating Facebook more carefully will only serve to institutionalize surveillance capitalism, make it harder for competition and sort of legitimize their business model, which is really an illegitimate form of capitalism,” Weinstein stated.
He continued: “Pure capitalism is, plain and simple, delight your customer, build a relationship of love and trust. Respect them and they will be your customer for a lifetime. Facebook has completely broken that bond. Facebook is a marketing company. Facebook is a data company. They’re not a true social network. Their customers are advertisers, marketers and political operatives. MeWe’s customers are its members.”