Christian-based social website hopes to avoid the pitfalls of Facebook
For Immediate Release (Nashville, TN) – The headlines regarding Facebook are mounting daily. Recently, it was reported that hundreds of thousands of Facebook users downloaded a computer worm through “like-jacking,” a cyber attack that tricks users into clicking links that mark sites as Facebook “like” pages. In May, over half a million Facebook users mistakenly downloaded a malicious code. The death of an Australian teenager has raised eyebrows after a person created a fake profile on Facebook then lured the teen to her death by promising her a job. A recent poll conducted by a computer security organization concluded that 60% of Facebook users were considering deleting their accounts over privacy issues. The UK-based Divorce-Online site says that over 20% of their divorce petitions contain some reference to Facebook, and more marriages are being affected by affairs as spouses reunite with old flames on the website. Chris Burkhart, co-founder of the new Christian social network site MyBLAB.com, has seen it personally.
“I know about five people who are having marital problems or going through divorces right now because of connections on Facebook,” he says. “And with the increasing number of websites that actually facilitate extramarital affairs, it is simply astonishing that people are not realizing the potential harm to our marriages, families and to society overall.”
MyBLAB.com (acronym for “Be Linked as Believers”) is a non-apologetic, targeted community structured to bring Christians and organizational ministries from every denomination and every part of the world together online. Burkhart spent over three years and literally hundreds of thousands of lines of code to develop a site that combines the best applications of Facebook and MySpace, yet offers a safe and contained environment for people who profess the Christian faith.
“Honestly, MyBLAB.com started out as a social networking site to compete with the big two,” says co-founder Chris Burkhart. “But I really began to become convicted by God to make it into a worldwide community for Christians. I didn’t want to just add more ‘noise’ to the internet. I wanted the network to bring something positive into people’s lives. I grew up in the church as a preacher’s kid and I had the strong desire to create a worldwide community for believers to interact with each other, encourage each other by sharing their own personal experiences.”
Burkhart hopes the moral disposition of the membership of MyBLAB.com will discourage unseemly behavior that happens on other social network sites. "Obviously, any social network has the potential for exploitation by people who mean to do harm to others,” says Burkhart “We do have a zero tolerance policy with anything inappropriate. Any user can flag any other profile and if we conclude it is offensive, we will delete it. We rely a lot on the users to be our eyes and ears, but we take the safety of the community very seriously."
So are non-Christians barred from the site? Absolutely not, says Burkhart. Like a church, his vision is for MyBLAB to become a community where people who are interested in the Christian faith can come and find answers to their spiritual questions. Ultimately, Burkhart sees the site becoming a valuable resource to connect people with churches in their area or Christian-based organizations that can help them with both their spiritual and practical needs such as dealing with health issues, financial difficulties, marital and family concerns, addictions or other problems they may be facing.
Burkhart says the applications in MyBLAB.com are fast, scalable, reliable, and feature-rich. Because the site is new, joining MyBLAB.com now allows individuals or organizations to grab a simple and personalized link to their profile page (URL), something almost impossible to do at this juncture with any other social networking site. Plus, music lovers and video fanatics can load their profiles with great Christian music and videos. Christian artists can promote and share their music by uploading songs to their profile page. And like other social networks, MyBLAB.com is completely free to use.
“The vision for MyBLAB.com is to form a community of believers across the globe, encouraging one another in their journeys of faith,” says Burkhart. “I can’t think of a better way to use the internet than that.”