Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

Summary: Young activists involved in Occupy Wall Street are currently developing a new platform dubbed the Occupy version of Facebook.

SHARE:

A team of young activists with an aptitude for technology are planning to design a new 'Facebook' for the age of global protesters.

Ed Knutson, a website and mobile application developer within the Occupy development team said: "I don't want to say we're making our own Facebook. But, we're making our own Facebook."

(Source: Flickr)

The developers hope that the platform currently being built will eventually become a new tool for other demonstrations and 'Occupy' protests to utilise.

Rather than relying on social networking giants like Facebook or Twitter, the group believes it is high time that the 'protesting generation' built and run their own online communication system.

Although social platforms like Facebook or Twitter are currently a key component in creating online communities and for the exchange of demonstration details and ideas, the Occupy developers want to lessen the requirement to rely on these services. As a preemptive measure, the team would like to be able to pull together the chaotic state of different protest websites and create a more central hub for communication.

It's no wonder that this idea has sprung to the surface. Social networking is an extremely powerful tool in the arsenal of global demonstrators.

If you consider the example of Egyptian dictator Mubarak 'turning off' the Internet to prevent such communication, it is shown to be an incredible weapon for groups to use for organising themselves and sharing ideas on a scale that never used to be possible.

However, the recent subpoena Twitter received for protester information reminds us that the services demonstrators use are within the control of large corporations -- and the current facilities may not always be available.

The developing platform is hoped to become an open source alternative focused on protesters, rather than a business model that will try to compete with Facebook or Twitter. It will serve a particular purpose in becoming a 'private' platform for activists.

However, there are risks in creating such a loose, open source project. To limit these risks, the platform will be using a 'friend of a friend model' to instigate trust and limit spying or sabotage. Members will not be able to become 'full' users without a sponsor, unlike Facebook, Twitter or Google +.

The 'Occupy Facebook' is to be designed with the group in mind, rather than the individual. It may be a way to further unify protesters across social networking, but without extensive developer support it may become little more than a private forum and a directory.

Related:

Topics: Collaboration, Networking, Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

10 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

    I'm just glad I have a choice to say no and avoid this at all costs.
    Godmocker
  • RE: Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

    Great. Another platform to spread misinformation and FUD.
    I12BPhil
  • RE: Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

    They have a business model. They just don't mention it. Such a site will need funding, lot's of it. Soros and company pocketbooks are deep. More of your undocumented bailout dollars being laundered and then shoveled into the coffers of Professional Protestors. Really, how does one become a professional demonstrator and not sign on to the very model of corruption that they claim to abhor?
    notme403@...
    • RE: Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

      @notme403@...
      they will not need much money if it is per to per, like bit torrent.
      ForeverSPb
      • RE: Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

        @ForeverSPb
        Uhhh, p2p requires an application. If they require an application be installed to use this, they might as well just get the 10 people who would do that on the phone. Otherwise, they have to host somewhere and somebody has to pay for that...
        RidgebackJim
  • RE: Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

    Thou shalt not envy... the 99%ers, for they are not aware of their clueless sinning.
    tdudash
  • Perfectly proper

    If you don't like and don't want to use existing services, then there's nothing wrong with creating your own. This is definitely more constructive than camping out in city parks and harrassing alleged public enemies. Maybe next they'll give some new life to the century-old cooperative movement.<br><br>Edit:<br><br>What the Occupiers are likely to discover is that "friend of a friend" is an unreliable way to protect an organization from infiltrators, unless backed up by threat of physical punishment, in which case, they end up with yet another band of professional revolutionaries to plague the world even if they fail to achieve political power, and the foundation of yet another totalitarian state if they succeed.
    John L. Ries
  • RE: Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

    Why does the guy with the beard have a Pink Phone Case?
    slickjim
    • RE: Occupy Facebook: A new social network for the 99%

      @Peter Perry Another good question is why are they using their corporation developed tech when they claim to be so against corporations?
      KJSOARES2
  • laughable

    The chaotic bums in the parks who pretty much destroyed everything they touched are now going to get organized in application development? Well, it doesn't have to be plausible. It's a dog and pony show anyway, just like the last event. The puppet master will use them as he did in their previous joint venture and the media will praise them for being willing sheep. It follows the Liberal philosophy of mindless indiscriminates following a ruse all the way to Utopia, over the cliff.
    emaleroland@...