A new left-leaning social media network is on the market, boasting great promise of something that has never been achieved by even the best-funded and best-staffed social media platforms: to be a hate-free forum.
“We are an innovative alternative to Twitter/Facebook that is free from hate, fake news and bots,” reads Twitter. organic for Tribel. Tribel’s Facebook page dubbed the new platform a “social network that nurtures smarts and kindness instead of hate.”
And yet, about a year after its launch, unsurprisingly, the Tribel platform has yet to materialize this utopian vision.
“Lauren Boebert is a boogedy grilled char AJ ~ boogedy batshit mad C–T. and and IDIOT,” reads a December post.
“So what do we [do] about Lindsay Gram? wrote one user in August of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “The scum-sucking piece of hillbilly shit calls for riots… So does McConnell. Investigate his Chinese wife for collusion with China and trading in state secrets. That fucking skanky also needs to rot in a cell, for life. Another user commented, “Those motherfuckers are terrorists and should be put down.”
“WHY MAKE A DEAL WITH THIS SHOWER BAG? reads a September article, referencing Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). “…IT’S TIME TO FUCK HIM. FIRST DRIVE HIM OUT OF THE DEM PARTY WITH THIS C–T SENIMA,” the poster added, an apparent reference to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
“FUCK THIS TWAT!!!,” one user wrote in September, referring to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) in a post about the congresswoman’s recent divorce filing.
“T–t!!!!!” an article from July captioned next to a photo of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who called her “strange Christian female dogs” in white overlay text.
Tribel works in some ways like a Twitter-Facebook hybrid. Users have followers and followings, can post on other people’s pages, and can like, share and comment on other people’s posts. The platform’s differentiator, in addition to calling itself the “kindest and smartest social network,” is that posts in categories like “activism” and “social justice” are categorized by number of likes they receive. Users who create popular posts earn “stars” and can earn the coveted “featured contributor” title.
The platform’s founder, Omar Rivero, who is also a co-founder of the left-wing organization Occupy Democrats, says the platform has more than 400,000 users.
Ranking posts by likes pushes the most enjoyable content to the top of users’ feeds, like generic content dipping into Republicans and motivational spiels. But hordes of posts with derogatory language dwell beneath users’ neatly curated timelines.
While the political right has launched several social media platforms in recent years, such as former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social, Parler, or soon-to-be-owned Kanye West’s Gab, the left hasn’t launched into many. similar businesses. Elon Musk is also in talks to buy Twitter, insisting he would bring Trump back into the app and ease current restrictions on speech.
Major social networks like Twitter and Facebook are also filled with foul and derogatory language, such as posts on Tribel. Over the years, both platforms and other major social media sites have strengthened their reporting mechanisms and content moderation in an attempt to fend off criticism of harassment and hate on their platforms.
Rivero noted that users who violate Tribel’s terms of service are banned from the platform for life, adding, “Once we raise more money and can afford more staff, we will have the opportunity to focus even more resources and attention on enforcing our Terms of Service.”
In a follow-up, The Daily Beast asked Rivero how Tribel defines hateful content, given its description of being a “hate-free” platform, and no definition of hateful content is listed in its terms of service. use. He replied: “Bullying, bigotry, harassment, homophobia, racism, ageism, making fun of people with disabilities, etc.
The Daily Beast used an example of a real post from September stating “Kari Lake is a fucking stupid c–t” to clarify whether that language would be considered unauthorized content on a hate-free site. In his response, Rivero said this type of posting was allowed.
“At this time, insulting politicians or public figures, even with harsh language, is not a violation of our terms of service,” Rivero said. “That can change down the road. Our current goal is to protect our users.
Rivero said posts containing “an explicit threat of violence,” like this one from July insisting that right-wing attorney John Eastman “should be shot,” would violate the terms of service.
The same user who insisted that John Eastman should be shot also wrote in an August post: “Donald Trump is a piece of shit and should be shot with every member of his family to ensure that the genetic disease he ‘it carries can never be transmitted to another human being. In the comments section, another user wrote, “WELL DID…!!! I wish I could say that on FAKEBOOK…”
Currently, Rivero says Tribel has five employees, including himself, and 15 members on its development team. The platform is not currently monetized, but plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign on We Funder, and will “eventually place non-invasive ads” on the platform. Rivero says the platform is currently funded by private angel investors.
Rivero previously co-founded Occupy Democrats, an organization that has a seemingly inescapable hold on the #Resistance movement, boasting more than 498,000 Twitter followers and 10 million Facebook followers. The organization has been repeatedly criticized for spreading fake news.
Grant Stern, editor of Occupy Democrats, said that since early 2020, the site has enforced rigorous editorial standards and instituted a corrections policy to guard against the spread of misinformation.
But even beyond Occupy Democrats, this isn’t Rivero’s first social media rodeo.
Rivero first launched Liker, a social media platform with many of the same promises and features as Tribel. Liker closed in 2021 due to issues with outdated technology that Rivero said would be difficult to scale. It launched the beta version of Tribel in October 2021, Tweeter that former Liker users could use their Liker credentials to access Tribel.
But Rivero insists that Liker and Tribel, which he says are still in beta, are two different platforms, “because Liker has been rebooted from the ground up with a whole new design and technology that’s a lot newer and more secure”.
Yet even with the revamped technology, Tribel users still seem to have grievances against the platform. One user wrote on Rivero’s page that the platform’s reporting feature was not working, saying she and others were trying to get a scammer removed from the site.
“[T]The reporting functionality is working, but I just don’t have the staff to check all the reports right now,” Rivero replied to the user. “The network is growing fast and I’m basically a one-man show. After we do our round of crowdfunding, I will have the resources to hire someone and keep an eye on the reports and also have someone work on Tribel support.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Rivero said it would be “impossible” to control all of Tribel, adding that he thought it was “a big step up from our competitors, especially when it comes to is to ensure that only truthful, kind, and hate-free content has the ability to go viral and trending on Tribel.
“We take our responsibility to steer social media in a better direction very seriously,” he added. “Social media is the new battleground for ideas, so it’s vital that [is] responsibly managed. »