Muslim users who choose to ditch Facebook for the upcoming social network SalamWorld shouldn’t expect to find a Madonna video or discussion of sex anywhere on the site.
Salamworld hopes to be a far cleaner version of Facebook, by “filtering out harmful content” and ensuring that its pages “uphold and respect family values,” according to the company’s commercial.
“The content that is being used on other social networks is not very secure and full of haram,” one of Salamworld’s owners, Abdulvahed Niyazo, told the Hürriyet Daily News. Haram is an Arabic term meaning “forbidden.” “We don’t want our young people to absorb all these ideas that are not familiar to them,” he said.
But some believe that young Muslims won’t welcome a social media site containing only halal content, as they will perceive the filtering of content as Web censorship.
One Google trends study found that the most searches for the word “sex,” as a percentage of all searches in a country, came from Pakistan.
“It’s people trying to uphold the traditional values or the values of the religion who are saying, ‘We don’t want our youth exposed to this, and this is a better alternative,’ ” Omar Chatriwala, an online journalist in Qatar, told PRI’s The World. “Its not necessarily the young people saying, ‘We don’t want to be exposed to it.’ ”
Salamworld, based in Istanbul, will be launched during Ramadan in July in eight languages. The social network aims to have 50 million users within five years.