Facebook’s rival ‘MeWe’ gained 2.5 million new members in the past week as social media users increasingly flock to privacy-focused apps.

The ad-free platform aims to compete against traditional social media models that use data collection for targeted ads.

The social network currently has 16 million members, according to the company. In June 2020, MeWe stated it had roughly 8 million members.

MeWe, launched by Mark Weinstein in 2016, also vows not to censor their users for behavior that might violate the policies of other networks, including Facebook and Twitter.

“People all over the world are leaving Facebook and Twitter in droves because they are fed up with the relentless privacy violations, surveillance capitalism, political bias, targeting and newsfeed manipulation by these companies,” MeWe’s marketing director, David Westreich, told USA TODAY.

Over 50% of MeWe users are located in North America. Meanwhile, 24% are located in Asia, 24% in Europe and 2% in Australia. Brazil and Argentina also have a small percentage of members.

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Parler and MeWe saw momentum in November 2020 around the election with users pointing to the preservation of free speech as one of their main reasons for joining.

Google and Apple both removed Parler from their respective app stores, and Amazon Web Services suspended Parler from its web hosting services, but the website made a partial reappearance on Monday.

The privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo also saw its average number of daily searches increase by 62%.

MeWe follows its “Privacy Bill of Rights,” which states the platform does not manipulate, filter or change the order of users’ newsfeeds or use facial recognition technology. Its terms of service prohibit users from posting content that is hateful, threatening, harmful or incites violence.

In January, MeWe became the second most downloaded free social app in the Google Play Store, according to the company.

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