Open Facebook Alternatives Gain Momentum, $115K | Epicenter | Wired.com

When Wired.com called for an open alternative to Facebook last Friday, lamenting the company’s untrammeled desire to control your online identity and reconfigure the world’s privacy norms, reader response was overwhelming, with hundreds of comments and ironically, thousands of “Like” votes on Facebook.

Now, a group of four New York University students — who were working on just what we called for — have harnessed that dissatisfaction in the form of more than $115,000 in crowdsourced funding for their distributed, social networking system called Diaspora. That’s the equivalent of a significant angel round of funding in the internet startup world, and their fundraising on the Kickstarter crowdsourced funding site has another 19 days to go.

It’s also an impressive for a project proposal from four students who say they aren’t going to start coding until they graduate from college this summer. And a testament to how strongly that a growing number of people want an alternative to a centralized and dominant social networking site.

The students took their inspiration from a speech in February by the outspoken Software Freedom Law Center founder and Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen. In that speech to New York’s Internet Society, Moglen accused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of having “done more harm to the human race than anybody else his age” and described Facebook as a “terrarium for what it feels like to live in a panopticon built out of web parts.”

Read mor via Wired.com.

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