Diaspora – Your Digital Identity Under Your Control, The End of Facebook?

I’m not on Facebook. You won’t find me there. I once was but I left after seeing many people waste too many hours on it and Facebook first changed its privacy policies (or lack thereof). Read these two articles from the Business Insider and tell me if you trust your information with Facebook’s CEO – #1 How Facebook Was Founded #2 How Mark Zuckerberg Hacked The Harvard Crimson whom, according to this Wired article, “doesn’t believe in privacy”. Just check out the Facebook Eroding Privacy Policy timeline by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It’s probably only a matter of time until Facebook sells your information in bulk like MySpace has already done.

I’m not the only one on the ‘quit Facebook’ bandwagon. Gizmodo just published an article today titled Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook. Consumer Reports just gave its State of the Net and published a survey that revealed 52 Percent of Social Network Users Post Risky Information. Despite all of the good reasons to quit Facebook, few people will listen to you. Social networking has its benefits when your information is handled responsibly. So, what do I recommend?

Delete your Facebook account and invest in Diaspora.

What’s Diaspora? Diaspora is a distributed, privacy-aware, open-source social network that will allow individuals to control their node for social networking. Similar to WordPress, Diaspora will offer a hosted solution and a self-hosted solution. Decentralizing the social network puts each individual in charge and removes giant corporations that have their own interests and profit line at heart from the equation.

If you opt to not use the Diaspora paid hosted turn-key solution, Diaspora will make your computer or commercial hosting the seed and then you can create connected encryption from your seed to another person’s seed. This would put creating connections in your control and wouldn’t be done in the arbitrary method that Facebook uses for its Connections.

Peer-to-peer social networking. How about that? The concept practically writes itself.

Make It Happen

Right now, Diaspora is only a concept. It’s a planned project for this Summer by 4 NYU CS students but it still needs help. You can learn more about the project at You can follow the group on Twitter. Most importantly, you can make a difference. Get involved and put a little money towards making the web better and investing in applications that put privacy first. Using KickStarter (which I’ve written about before as a way to invest to make a difference), you can become a backer for Diaspora and fund its development.

I’m invested and I think you should also.

Spread the word with this short link:

There are some alternatives to Diaspora as well:

Competition benefits everybody. We are all better off with a decentralized web and keeping our information in our control. With some of Facebook’s recent changes, I don’t think we can afford to allow them to keep running free with your information. Why not put that money where it can matter and invest in change.

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