Facebook rival Diaspora goes live

A “privacy aware” social network called Diaspora went live on Wednesday. It was founded earlier this year by four students from New York University who saw an opportunity for a new type of service to counter Facebook which has increasingly come under attack for its dubious privacy policy.

One of Diaspora’s founders, Maxwell Salzberg told the BBC: “We are going after the idea there are all these centralised services where people are giving up their personal information. We want to put users back in control of what they share.”

It’s refreshing to see a social network that doesn’t require individuals to hand over reams of private data but with Facebook’s 500 million members, is there a place for Diaspora? Although the company plans to roll out services gradually, subscription to the site is only available to a small number of invited users.

Salzberg says Diaspora, “is not just about Facebook. Facebook is not what we are going after.” But the founders will have to progress past the “baby steps” they outline in a blog post on the site if they want their privacy-championing project to challenge the status quo.

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