In what is quickly shaping up as the David versus Goliath fight to watch, four students from NYU’s Courant Institute are looking to take on social networking behemoth Facebook with Disapora – a distributed, open source social network. They aim to address the privacy concerns that has put Facebook under fire by giving users complete control of their details and content and who they share it with. Through the use of a personal web server called a Diaspora “seed”, users will be able to securely share information, pictures, video and more.
To cut out the middleman, Diaspora will be a distributed network where separate computers connect to each other directly, instead of relying on a central hub to relay information. Since each computer – or “seed” – is owned and hosted by the user, they have total control over what information is shared and with whom. GPG encryption will also ensure that no matter what kind of content is being shared, it can be done so privately and securely. This is sure to appeal to Facebook users concerned about what Facebook does with the personal information stored on its servers.
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