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Social networking, sans clothing

MANCHESTER, England, June 5 (UPI) -- Think of it as Facebook au naturel -- "Skinbook," the Web site whose Manchester, England, founder claims is the world's largest nudist social network.

"Skinbook," with 9,000 members -- though many more have applied but been rejected, founder Karl Maddocks says -- offers many of the same features and functions as Facebook, but everybody's naked, The Times of London reported.

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Maddocks said the Web site provides an alternative to those frustrated by the strict regulations of many nudist clubs.

"You shouldn't need to fill out application forms and pay fees to clubs," Maddocks said. "Just go to the beach and get your kit off."

Maddocks, 25, said he and classmates at Manchester Metropolitan University started Skinbook as an online network two years ago to share experiences of nudism during a vacation they had taken in Wales. They say they didn't expect anyone outside their online friends group to join.

"Suddenly, it went from nine people to 250," Maddocks said. "We've created a monster. It has slowly but surely turned into a full-time job."

Skinbook members will gather in Brighton, England, this summer -- in the nude, naturally -- for the network's first conference to talk about how to continue developing the site.

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