This article was first published by The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
Sometimes, putting on a mask is the only way to really let yourself go – to express yourself and tell it like it is, without having to worry about what others think of you.
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“It’s like what Leonardo (DiCaprio) told me about Halloween being his favorite holiday,” said Moshe Hogeg, whose latest app, Galaxia, aims to supply the masks that he believes online users want and need. “It’s the only time of the year he can go out on the street and be himself without having to worry about being judged by anyone.”
Hogeg can casually drop Oscar-winner DiCaprio’s name, as well as the name of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, because they are backers of Galaxia, which allows users to anonymously join different “worlds” in a galaxy of social networks. Users can present a persona that is appropriate to each group, posting content and participating in conversations that remain in that group – with their actual identity remaining confidential.
The app was released Thursday for iPhones; an Android version will be ready in a couple of weeks, said Hogeg.
In essence, Galaxia is the anti-Facebook. It uses the same social network tools, like contextual conversations, the ability to post many kinds of content, allowing for open or closed groups, and other features. Except that instead of a single profile page, users can have as many profiles as they want, and those profiles are associated with users only in the specific groups that they choose; the actual identity/owner of that profile remains a secret.
“Leonardo is an actor, you are a journalist, I am an entrepreneur,” said Hogeg. “Actually, everyone today has a their own online brand, and most people are reluctant to do anything to mar that brand – which means they self-censor, keeping their thoughts to themselves, or find ways around the system,” like setting up fake Facebook pages to post content to news sites and groups that they would be embarrassed to post with their real name.
The difference is that Facebook discourages – actually forbids – having multiple accounts in different names. Galaxia not only encourages that – it’s the app’s raison d’être, said Hogeg.
With Galaxia, anyone can create their own social network – called a world – where they can post and discuss any subject of interest. Users can join any public world, share their content or create new worlds where they can set their own rules such as deciding whether the world will be private or public, and whether the world will be free or users will need to pay an entrance fee to join. Each world provides a stream of content, ranging from text, to photos, videos, and live broadcasting.
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