How to Debate About Religion Without Losing Friends and Alienating People on Facebook: Roust

CC BY-SA 3.0,
CC BY-SA 3.0,
New social network has been created specifically for engaging in political and religious debates.

Roust is a website that Mark LaFay developed after he realized that there’s a pretty large market and need for it. The website allows you to take your political and religious opinions somewhere more suited to the debate than Facebook. Posting about your opinions on Facebook commonly leads to broken relationships as people can’t just accept that someone has an opinion that is either different from theirs or on a subject that they consider offensive. In fact, according to a PEW Internet survey, 39% of the adults who use social network sites speak on politics and religion. In return, 18% have unfriended, blocked and hidden their friends over the subject matter that they speak on.


Source: Pew Research

On Roust, you’ll find a news feed that is similar to Facebook, but packed with the latest news and updates on a wide range of trending and controversial subjects. LaFay spoke with Digital Trends, sharing some of his upcoming plans for the website and how he believes it will affect those who use it. With the news feed, you can share the content, upload things as you please, comment on posts, message privately between friends and like posts. However, LaFay has an additional feature that many have pleaded for from Facebook for some time: the dislike button.

The dislike button is a great feature for Roust as it can be the very thing to spark a debate. In addition, LaFay is planning to incorporate other features that can spur on arguments and heated debates. Many are intended to involve privacy, “discoverability…moderation and gamification”. Of course, due to the nature of the site, it does seem like a breeding ground for bullying and harassment. He thought ahead to that, and developed an administrative team that will monitor the site and take action against illegal activities and threats.


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