Facebook's kosher twin separates users by gender

FaceGlat--the name is a mashup of Facebook and glatt kosher, the most strict level of Jewish dietary laws dealing with meat--filters objectionable content, but not very well just yet.

FaceGlat's users are segregated at the site's splash page. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

To say that some of the things you come across on Facebook aren't exactly kosher is a bit of an understatement. Fortunately, Facebook's fully kosher twin, FaceGlat, is up and running. FaceGlat--the name is a mashup of Facebook and glatt kosher, the most strict level of Jewish dietary laws dealing with meat--is essentially a basic Facebook clone that lets users connect; create groups; and share status updates, photos, videos, and events. But unlike Facebook, it separates men and women and also filters out objectionable language.

Not everyone on FaceGlat seems to be sticking with the guidelines, or at least not all users hail from the target demographic.

I signed up for an account and was a bit surprised to see this thumbnail of a mostly naked, tattooed young man with a Latino surname on my list of suggested possible friends.

He'll be needing a refund on his deposit for a grave plot in the orthodox cemetery. Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

FaceGlat is the creation of twentysomething Israeli developer Yaakov Swisa, who wanted to create an alternative for Facebook users who were uncomfortable with some of the content on the massive network. Swisa told ynetnews that he considered allowing people of opposite sexes from the same family to be able to connect on his site, but decided against it:

"We feared that would lead to impersonations and people making up names. In the end we decided to leave it as it is, and let the couples meet at home, on the sofa in their living room."

There's little threat that FaceGlat will make a significant dent in Facebook's membership. Though Swisa says the site is growing quickly, I kept an eye on the male section over the weekend and saw only a few dozen publicly visible new members sign up--despite the current media attention the site is receiving--bringing the grand total on the men's side to just more than 1,500 users.

One barrier is the fact that despite the availability of an English-language version of the site, much of the navigation remains in the Hebrew script. Of course, that could be a feature rather than a bug--one meant to keep out certain not-quite-kosher elements...like me.

 

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