Facebook Killer or Anti-Facebook

Diaspora, a new social media platform, is set to be released in the coming months and it looks a lot like Facebook. One difference, though, is that users control their personal data.

The developers behind the company recently released the source code behind the network, providing a glimpse at how it looks and works.

Diaspora promotes itself on its website as "the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network."

The blog Technology Review described it is a decentralized social network. That means users' data, such as photos and friend lists, are hosted on their own computers or on servers they can access called seeds. Users would get a say in what data they want to share and with whom.

Diaspora, a new social media platform, is set to be released in the coming months and it looks a lot like Facebook. One difference, though, is that users control their personal data.

The developers behind the company recently released the source code behind the network, providing a glimpse at how it looks and works.

Diaspora promotes itself on its website as "the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network."

The blog Technology Review described it is a decentralized social network. That means users' data, such as photos and friend lists, are hosted on their own computers or on servers they can access called seeds. Users would get a say in what data they want to share and with whom.

Diaspora is the creation of four New York University's Courant Institute students – Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg, Raphael Sofaer and Ilya Zhitomirskiy. The four gave themselves a timeline of 39 days to raise $10,000.

The New York Times reported they set out on April 24 by using the fundraising website Kickstarter and found finding support wouldn't be hard. They reached their goal in 12 days and, according to Technology Review, had raised more than $200,000 by June.

"We were shocked," said Grippi, 21, to the Times. "For some strange reason, everyone just agreed with this whole privacy thing."

The developers said on their blog that they got the idea after listening to a talk by Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen, who called centralized social networks spying for free. The professor said that people are trained to "casually sacrifice" our privacy and fragment our online identities for the sake of convenience.

After releasing the source code they are facing their own criticism.

The Register reported that a number of researchers found that the program has security flaws. Within a few hours of the release of the pre-alpha source code hackers said users' security could be severely compromised by hijacking their accounts, deleting their photos and befriending them without their permission.

TechNewsWorld said the Diaspora development team acknowledged there are glitches and said they are fixing them. They ask anyone who finds security holes and bugs to log it in their bugtracker.

The alpha release is scheduled for October. That is when they will see whether the privacy concerns are enough to give them a leg up on the half-billion strong Facebook.

Diaspora_20100929113514_JPG

Diaspora is the creation of four New York University's Courant Institute students – Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg, Raphael Sofaer and Ilya Zhitomirskiy. The four gave themselves a timeline of 39 days to raise $10,000.

The New York Times reported they set out on April 24 by using the fundraising website Kickstarter and found finding support wouldn't be hard. They reached their goal in 12 days and, according to Technology Review, had raised more than $200,000 by June.

"We were shocked," said Grippi, 21, to the Times. "For some strange reason, everyone just agreed with this whole privacy thing."

The developers said on their blog that they got the idea after listening to a talk by Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen, who called centralized social networks spying for free. The professor said that people are trained to "casually sacrifice" our privacy and fragment our online identities for the sake of convenience.

After releasing the source code they are facing their own criticism.

The Register reported that a number of researchers found that the program has security flaws. Within a few hours of the release of the pre-alpha source code hackers said users' security could be severely compromised by hijacking their accounts, deleting their photos and befriending them without their permission.

TechNewsWorld said the Diaspora development team acknowledged there are glitches and said they are fixing them. They ask anyone who finds security holes and bugs to log it in their bugtracker.

The alpha release is scheduled for October. That is when they will see whether the privacy concerns are enough to give them a leg up on the half-billion strong Facebook.

Source: Fox News

Tom Retterbush

Posted By: Tom Retterbush 

You can stay up to date on the latest Internet trends by subscribing to my tomretterbush's posterous Social Media Experiment, but if you really want to stay on top of social networking, check out my AssEtEbooks.com Social Media Blog, where you'll find all the news, tips, tricks, articles and ebooks you'll need. And while you're at it, you'll want to check out the many FREE and cheap Ebooks I offer on just about any and every subject you can possibly think of, at AssEtEbooks.com. Oh, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @assetebooks

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