by Eric Lieberman
Cybersecurity and privacy experts are currently in the process of trying to rival Facebook by starting their own social media platform.
With a fundraising page set to launch Tuesday, the “open source” social network called Openbook is aimed at “helping make the world a better place,” a similar overarching objective to that of Facebook.
The professed difference is that Openbook will be “privacy-friendly” in which it won’t monitor or track users.
“Surf the network with absolute peace of mind!” the start-up’s site says.
Many avid users of social media, including the ones who find fault with Facebook and accuse it of not caring how user data is utilized, even manipulated, are often reluctant to try to find an alternative to Facebook because of its apparent ubiquitousness. They worry, in other words, that jumping ship to another platform is mostly pointless because not enough people will follow — seemingly not considering the fundamental principles behind a movement or protest.
But Openbook, which was founded in The Hague, Netherlands in April 2018, appears to have a solution by allowing users to import all photos, videos, chat logs, and other content and communications, into its platform via a “drag-and-drop” feature.
While there appears to be no direct mention of Facebook in the firm’s manifesto or website, certain key points seem to be directed at Facebook and tech companies that substantially profit by offering advertisers data on users’ traits and tendencies.
“Social networks are awesome. They connect us, help us share treasured moments with our loved ones and provide us with funny cat videos,” the “Why?” section of the manifesto reads. “Sadly, nowadays social networks aren’t so much about connecting people, instead they are all about making as much money as possible out of people, no matter the consequences. For example the loss of privacy.”
Leaders of Openbook are fairly impressive. Its founder, Joel Hernández, is a young software engineer who has worked for many key firms. Chief Cryptographer Phillip Zimmerman in 1991 created PGP, a popular encryption program that empowers users with completely private communications capabilities. And COO Jaya Baloo was the chief information security officer for KPN Telecom, a relatively large Dutch telecommunications company.
Openbook plans on giving 30 percent of revenue to charity, furthering its mission to improve the world “now and forever.”
Facebook still has around 2.2 billion monthly active users, and continues to have more sign up everyday, so it will likely be an long, uphill campaign for Openbook. But while there are several social media platforms with varying degrees of differences, Facebook is a unique powerhouse with ostensibly little competitors, meaning it could be ripe for disruption.
Facebook did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time of publication.
– – –
Eric Lieberman is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Eric on Twitter.