Google+ users on whether they can recommend MeWe as a social network to migrate to

I created this topic as a companion to this post in the MeWe as Exemplar of Humane Technology thread: Exemplar of Humane Tech Social Network: MeWe because it was too long to post there. Read there for context.

The text below is a copy of a discussion thread on Google+ and copied because it may disappear after shutdown of G+

John Lewis wrote:

I can no longer remain quiet regarding MeWe.

After much thought and some very long nights of research, I can no longer silently suggest MeWe as a viable option for migration. My silence may have previously been considered support for the platform, but there are three considerations that forced me to make an active stand:

  1. Many people from here are migrating there (based on polling data.) This means it’s my duty to inform you that I think this is not a good idea.

  2. I have interviewed numerous people who have used it. I have yet to have a positive review from these random samplings.

  3. As a private, for-profit company, their loss of an app on the Apple App Store is a very significant sign that they are in trouble and that their life cycle is coming to an end.

I can go into more details to specific questions asked in the comments, but I can no longer silently accept that the site would self correct if enough people migrated there.

It’s my conclusion that the monetization of the network is untenable, the company is shaking hands with the devil to stay afloat, and will likely fall in short order.

Isaac Kuo shared:

Say no thanks to MeWe

I do not understand the enthusiasm with which many users being abandoned by a “good” corporation’s closed garden are running toward a newbie startup corporation’s closed garden.

Oh sure - a startup promises everything and seems very responsive to the customers. They all do. They’re not being funded by the customers, they’re being funded by VC cash. They try to lock you in while they can, so they can extract value from you later. This is what always happens, because sooner or later the VC’s always want their money back and then some (a LOT some).

And you know what? MeWe is going to fail. I mean…there’s a small chance it won’t, but most startups fail. From the VC’s perspective, that’s just the price of doing business. Most investments fail, but you get a big payoff from the one that doesn’t. That’s cool for the VC’s, but what good is it for the end users?

For the most part, the end users aren’t stupid. For the most part, we avoid getting in deep with dubious startups, and just try to take advantage of freebies while the getting’s good. But with this MeWe mass migration, it’s like a form of mass stupidity.

The hard truth is that there weren’t enough G+ users to justify Google continuing to invest in G+. In terms of raw numbers, there weren’t enough of us to keep a Facebook wannabe afloat. Even if we all migrated to MeWe, it would still be a struggling Facebook wannabe.

In contrast, far smaller numbers flooding into diaspora are enough to breath new life into the project. It doesn’t have to live or die on high stakes venture capital. Diaspora and Friendica and Mastodon etc have been around through tough times…but without greedy VC’s looking to cash the chips in, they have plodded onward rather than folding. The open interoperability means that it’s not a closed garden. You can shift from one option to another if one goes down or stagnates.

If you want something future-proof, I’d recommend Hubzilla. It already federates with both the diaspora world (Federation) and the Mastodon world (Fediverse). It offers a unique capability to migrate from one pod to another live - no export/import process required (such as its predecessor, Friendica). Multiple “clones” can be live across pods, meaning that even if one pod goes down you’re still up - your followers/followees see no downtime. It’s not 100%, since followers/followees in diaspora/Mastodon are pointed to your “clone” on a specific pod, but it’s as good as it’ll get.

The bottom line is that you’ll be part of an open system which has been around the block, and which is resilient to the loss of pods. Your followers/followees don’t need to make the same choice as you do - they can use diaspora or Mastodon or whatever.

There are 28 comments on the thread, some very positive, some not. I have not included them, because there was some (a lot) of emotion and specific opinions in it

MeWe founder Mark Weinstein responded to this situation:

Dear Incredible MeWe members,

Well we must really be getting big together now! A few days ago we received a message from Apple saying the following:

“We found that your app is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines. Specifically, we found: Your app enables the display of user-generated content tagged as NSFW (Not Safe For Work) but does not have the proper precautions in place.”

Huh??? The MeWe team scratched our collective heads. Precautions are exactly what we have in place - we have built MeWe so our members can love and trust it! Recently we added a feature to help even more - MeWe now automatically blurs possible adult content images in member profiles during contact requests and in group cover pics during group invites, to protect MeWe members.

It is simple - you get a warning that you have to click through if you want to see the image.

Digging further into Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines we discovered the following strange rule: “your app . . . may display incidental mature “NSFW” content, provided that the content is hidden by default and only displayed when the user turns it on via your website.”

You see, strangely, that “click”, because you can do it on the MeWe iOS app, violates Apple’s guidelines. You’re only supposed to be able to click through to the image if you’re logged into our desktop service. Crazy!

Yes, this is totally annoying - but according to their rules, they are right. The fix is already done, and in communications with Apple it appears all is resolved. If you’ve already downloaded MeWe’s iOS app on your iPhone it works fine - and if you have friends registering, new members can simply join MeWe on Android and desktop right now.

So we’ve fixed it to big brother Apple’s liking and are just waiting approval to go back in the store. That will happen Monday because they actually take the weekend off even though they are managing millions of apps - another jaw dropper.

I have written several articles over the years about Tim Cook and believe he is a true hero in the battle to restore our privacy. I met him once a couple of years ago and he said very simply, “I like your company name and I like what you are doing.” And I like Apple. But they’ve gotten so big that they just don’t realize how awful their App Store customer service has gotten.

No worries - we’re on it - and having grown so rapidly with so many days as the #1 trending social app in 2018 has given us new visibility with someone on their app store review team.

We always take care of our members and blurring NSFW images is just one awesome example. #MeWe is social done right. Thanks for being an awesome MeWe member!

Have a great weekend - MeWe is back in the iOS App Store on Monday.

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More about migrating from Google+ to Mewe.