I don’t know if Diaspora was the first of the alternatives to come along, but it was certainly the first I was aware of. It got a lot of attention for the college students who first put it together (and remember that Facebook was originally created by a college student, Mark Zuckerberg). The four students, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg, and Raphael Sofaer, were inspired by a speech Eben Moglen gave to the Internet society’s New York Chapter, where he described centralized social networks as “Spying for free”. The students chose the name Diaspora, which is a Greek word that means a “scattered or dispersed population” to reflect the idea that instead of a centralized platform, Diaspora would consist of independent nodes, called pods, each running a copy of the free software which is open source and licensed under the GNU-AGPL-3.0 license. https://www.zwilnik.com/?page_id=1032
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