Diaspora (social network)

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Diaspora is a social networking software that aims to establish an open source alternative to commercial sites like Facebook. The main motivation for the project (started in 2010) was the lack of transparency concerning the handling of users' data by these centralized networks, such as their availability to others, in particular to advertisers, The immediate interest and support received by the project shows strong demand for a social network that gives users control,

Diaspora is designed to use distributed servers. It allows users to set up their own personal servers, called seeds, and to create their own hubs, and it gives them full control over the information they share.


The project was initiated by four students — Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg, Raphael Sofaer, and Ilya Zhitomirskiy — from the Courant Institute at New York University who were inspired to this idea by a talk of Eben Moglen, a law professor at Columbia University, who described the centralized social networks as "spying for free".

It was first announced on 24 April 2010 with the purpose to collect a support of 10,000 dollars using the online site Kickstarter. This amount was reached surprisingly soon after only 12 days, and by mid-September more than 200,000 dollars were collected.

The first developer release was posted to GitHub on 16 September 2010.