Public-funded social network is DIY Facebook

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Diaspora develop privacy-aware DIY Facebook

A new social networking website funded by public donations hopes to offer a privacy-aware, personally-controlled alternative to Facebook.

Four developers from New York University's Courant Institute have set up the Diaspora website with help from $200,000 (£138,708) from members of the public. Daniel Grippi, Raphael Sofaer, Ilya Zhitromirskiy and Maxwell Salzberg are behind the site, which connects users across a decentralised network rather than a central server like Facebook. This gives users the power to curate and publish their own content wherever and whenever they see fit.

The team explained on its blog that it is attempting to give users back the power to handle their own information, and that it hopes to replace the central server method with a decentralised network of personal hubs:

"Our real social lives do not have central managers, and our virtual lives do not need them. Friend another seed and the two of you can synchronise over a direct and secure connection instead of through a superfluous hub."

Facebook privacy problems

Facebook has recently come under fire regarding its privacy policies. Founder Mark Zuckerberg told an audience at the D8 technology conference that the site is now responding to criticism with a simplified system.

The site's detractors pointed to the length of the Facebook privacy policy - currently longer than the US Constitution