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Facebook: Nobody likes it, but everybody uses it.

From monetizing your personal information to withholding people who’ve already liked your page so it can ransom them back to you to its absurd and arbitrary censorship policies, the monstrously popular social network has been known to engage in some seriously shady practices. But you use it anyway, because all your friends are on it, and it’s fun to bullshit with them on there all day. Or because it’s an effective means of promoting your parties, kinda. (Until you reach the cap on how many people you can invite and have to pay to “advertise” it.) Or because you’re running a blog whose primary traffic source is Facebook (i.e. any of them).

But what if there were a kinder, gentler version of Facebook? One with a sense of social responsibility beyond the bottom line? One that compensated users for providing the content that kept it running?

That may have arrived in the form of Tsu. Billed as “a Facebook with a conscience,” this up-and-comer has amassed some 4.5 million users thus far. It’s currently invite-only, but that may change as it grows. According to the site’s FAQ, it shares 90% of revenue with its users, keeping just 10% for itself. Of the remaining 90%, half goes to the users themselves and half gets distributed among users’ social networks. They also make it easy to donate the money directly to charity. All your posts are visible to those who like your page, it has a working search function, and did I mention it compensates you for your content and engagement?

Sounds great, but does it actually stand a chance of replacing the 1.5 billion-user behemoth or will it go the way of Ello? If Facebook’s response is any indication, Tsu is a credible threat. The site has been blocking any attempts to post about the competitor with the excuse that such posts include “a link that our security systems detected to be unsafe.” Unsafe for Facebook’s bottom line, maybe!

Huffington Post has a rundown of the ways Facebook is trying to keep folks from finding out about Tsu:

Of course, Facebook is claiming Tsu is violating the terms of their API, a platform to platform sharing agreement, but according to [founder Sebastian] Sobczak, it’s just an excuse to attempt to legally justify the removal and subsequent blocking of the site from Facebook and its users. “If we are violating any type of technical or legal boundaries regarding Facebook’s API, which we are not, we would see warnings on our dashboard – which we’ve never seen -, not to mention, we continue to receive messages that we are in compliance, all while we are being blocked,” he says. “We’ve even been deleted from Facebook Messenger and we don’t even integrate with that app.”

Facebook isn’t discriminating, either. According to Sobczak, they’ve deleted every mention of Tsu from 50 Cent’s Facebook page with 38 million followers, as well as over 7,000 works of art posted by breast cancer survivor A Dog a Day. “These are independent posts shared by Facebook users without using an API and have nothing to do with Tsu,” he says.

Um, has Zuckerberg not heard of the Streisand Effect? The more you freak out about something, the more you call attention to the very thing you are freaking out about.

Here’s hoping David stands a fighting chance against this Goliath, and if you have any spare invites, drop me a line.


Please check out our new TSU page HERE.   Join up and follow Chaostrophic.


Facebook Freaking Out About New Social Network Poised To Destroy It

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