NYU Students Start Privacy-Minded Social Media Site

Fallout from Facebook's recent privacy issues gives new site some buzz.

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We talked about Colgate University's interactive yearbook yesterday, noting the site's simplicity and non-Facebookness. Well, here's an even more direct competitor to Facebook: Diaspora, a privacy-focused social networking site whose popularity has gone viral amid recent concerns about Facebook's privacy settings.

Four New York University students wanted a different social media option and came up with Diaspora, the Chronicle of Higher Ed reports. The site uses a "more secure, personalized" network, the report says, which means that users have more control over what they consider private than other social media sites. The founders describe Diaspora as a "privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network" on their site.

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According to a story by the New York Times, the group started the Diaspora project on April 24 and reached its original funding goal of $10,000 within 12 days. Using the fundraising and awareness site Kickstarter, the project has now made more than $100,000 and has more than 2,500 backers.

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What sets Diaspora apart from sites like Facebook? The developers/founders say that the coding for the site will be open so other programmers can build on it, the Times story says. Diaspora will allow each user to "set up their own personal servers, create their own hubs, and fully control the information they share."

"So many people think it needs to exist," one of the founders, Max Salzberg, tells the Times. "We're making it because we want to use it."

So does Paper Trail.

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