Friday, June 01, 2012 -
Uzbekistan, one of the world’s most tightly controlled countries, now has its own social network site YouFace – and it’s very nearly a clone of Facebook.
Ayub Abdulloh, publisher of the new local social online site Youface.uz, said he wants to “develop the patriotic spirit in our youth,” according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Abdulloh, 22, told the news agency he also wants to promote the “concept of finding information on the internet.”
That could be difficult, given Uzbekistan’s famously effective stranglehold over internet usage. The range of sites blocked from surfers in the country includes a long list of foreign and independent media outlets – and even others like Wikipedia encyclopedia.
And despite Abdulloh’s apparent aim to provide an opening for social interaction, RFE/RL noted that its own postings were immediately deleted from the site.
YouFace has an almost identical look-and-feel of the massively popular Facebook, using a blue background and copy-cat graphics. Even its slogan “It will always be free” is clearly a rehash of Facebook’s, “It’s free and always will be.”
Abdulloh pointed out that he would redesign the site as it gets more users.
YouFace has gained a little more than 300 members since it went online May 21.
Internet usage has rocketed in Uzbekistan, with almost 8 million people going online out of some 28 million people in the country.