Occupy Wall Street Building a Better Facebook?


Facebook has been the ire of many for a long time, despite (or, in part, because of) its growing popularity. Compared to top internet rival Google, it lacks that whole “do no evil” thing… (and many have the hunch it’s all about doing evil).

A portion of another tremendously popular network, the Occupy Wall Street network, is now looking to do what many have tried to do and failed at — create a social networking site to replace Facebook. Notably, of course, this site is specifically for the Occupy movement… and its purpose is not to steal market share from Facebook, of course. It’s just about providing a safe space for Occupy protesters to gather and coordinate online.

“We don’t want to trust Facebook with private messages among activists,” developer Ed Knutson told Wired. “I don’t want to say we’re making our own Facebook…but, we’re making our own Facebook.”

From Forbes, of all places:

“The site, tentatively named The Global Square and expected to launch later this month, hopes to provide a place ‘where people of all nations can come together as equals to participate in the coordination of collective actions and the formulation of common goals and aspirations,’ according to a post by Occupy-blog RoarMag.”

With good reason, some of those in the Occupy movement are a bit nervous about the safety of identities and messages on mainstream social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

“Activists also became nervous last week after a Massachusetts district attorney subpoenaed Twitter, forcing the social networking giant to disclose information from the @OccupyBoston account. Fearing a legal precedent, the Occupy development team is speeding up its efforts to carve out its own secure space on the Internet.”

The space is supposed to remain open-source, meaning that developers will have all the freedom they’d like in expanding on what’s created. However, the site will be invite-only.

Some other planned features:

  • an up-to-date map of uprisings around the world;
  • links to find movements close to you;
  • debate forums;
  • collaboration space.

Obviously, this is something a bit different than Facebook. It is not commercial. There is no intention to make it a Facebook competitor. It is for something far bigger, a global movement to take power from the exceedingly rich and put it (back?) in the hands of the people.

“The Global Square could provide activists with the means for even larger protests in 2012…. the site will likely serve as a niche central communication hub for protesters across the globe.”

Occupy/Anonymous protester via shutterstock

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