Recently — and especially since the results of the 2020 presidential election were announced — conservatives have been deactivating their Facebook and Twitter accounts and hightailing it for social media networks with less oversight. They’ve flocked to apps like MeWe and Parler, which promise a “free-er” social media experience.
Most people are familiar with names like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey (founders and owners of Facebook and Twitter, respectively), but when it comes to these newer apps, there’s slightly more mystery about who’s behind the curtain. Who owns MeWe? Here’s what we know.
Who owns MeWe?
The folks behind MeWe brand it as the “Next-Gen Social Network.” Their website promises “No Ads. No Spyware. No BS.” Sounds fancy enough, but what does that actually mean? And, perhaps more importantly, just who are those folks in the first place?
Although it has enjoyed a very recent surge in popularity, MeWe can actually trace its lineage all the way back to 1998. That’s when author and internet executive Mark Weinstein established a social media site called SuperGroups.com. Although SuperGroups was closed down in 2001, Weinstein gathered up a nearly identical leadership team and incorporated Sgrouples Inc. in 2011 (not nearly as catchy of a name, if you ask us!).
After hearing Zuck say that “privacy is a social norm of the past” (which, yeah, yikes!), Weinstein decided to create his own social media site with strong privacy controls. That’s where MeWe came in. By 2015, MeWe was pretty much ready for the public … and it pretty much sat there, unheard of by many, until November of 2020.
Following the crackdown against spreading disinformation and promoting violence that occurred on mainstream social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, a wave of Trump supporters and other conservatives transitioned to using MeWe instead (or signing up for accounts, anyway).
These days, Mark Weinstein is not only the founder of MeWe but also the CEO, though the network is technically owned by Culver City, Calif.-based Sgrouples Inc. As for who is a member of Sgrouples, well, that info is actually pretty difficult to come by. Someone named Jonathan Wolfe appears to have been a co-founder of SuperGroups who also worked for MeWe until 2015, but MeWe’s Twitter account confirmed in 2018 that he was no longer with the company.
Is Mark Weinstein a democrat?
Naturally, many people who are joining the alternative platform as a response to the political discourse they encountered on mainstream social media (or didn’t encounter, rather) have questions about Mark Weinstein’s political affiliation. Most Trump supporters probably wouldn’t want to unknowingly join some kind of liberal-run site, right? It seems they’re more interested in a space where they can share their opinions and not have to worry about being misconstrued by the left. A safe space, if you will
They may be relieved to know, then, that Mark Weinstein is not a democrat. He’s also not a republican. According to tweets from MeWe’s Twitter account in 2018, Mark Weinstein is a libertarian. So there you have it! Now we just have to wait and see what happens with MeWe.