TLDR: FSFTN is now on Diaspora.

If you are hearing the term Diaspora for the first time, it is a Social Networking Platform.

We can hear you say,

Oh, no! Not Another Social Networking Platform." We already have Facebook, Twitter, etc., why another?

But wait, that is where the catch is. Diaspora is not yet another social networking platform. It is a new kind of distributed, decentralized social networking platform which puts the users and the community in control. Diaspora respects the users privacy. Moreover Diaspora is also Free Software available under GNU AGPL.

Issues with Traditional Social Networking Platforms

You might have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc., You spend years on these networks to build your friend circles around you. The above three platforms are evil in two ways.

  1. They are Proprietary Platforms.
  2. They are also heavily Centralized platforms.

The fact that they are proprietary and centralized platforms enables them to censor contents on their platforms, disable accounts, accumulation of data with complete disrespect to users privacy, selling behavior patterns, likes & dislikes of users to third-party & even government agencies is a potential threat to the values of Democracy.

In simpler terms, the control of these platforms are concentrated in the hands of very few while it is the users who brings the actual use-value to the platforms.

How Diaspora is different from other platforms?

  1. Diaspora is a Free Software Platform available under GNU AGPL unlike other social networking platforms which are proprietary. This means everyone has the access to the source code that runs on the server.

  2. The development of Diaspora is community driven. i.e users and developers drive the development of Diaspora unlike other social networking platforms that are driven by investors with a very few number of people.

  3. Diaspora is distributed & decentralized. Since the source code of diaspora is accessible by everyone, anyone can use this code to run a diaspora server of their own. Servers that run Diaspora are called pods. Each pod is run independently. Thus the control is not anyway centralized.

  4. The Administrators (or) the maintainers of the pods are called podmins (pod + admin). A user who wants to join Diaspora network are free to choose any publicly available pod and join them.

  5. Pods can communicate with each other. This federation of pods is what makes diaspora unique. For example, a user on a pod diasp.in (a pod hosted in India) can communicate with a user on another pod that are hosted in another part of geographical location. Users are also free to move from one pod to another.

Compare that with other social networking platforms where the users have very very little choice to make when it comes to their data, it is those platform owners who dictates the terms & conditions and users are held captive.

The option to choose between a decentralized, distributed, federated and community driven social networking platform like Diaspora, GNU Social, etc., and centralized, tightly controlled, market driven social networking platform like Facebook, Twitter, etc., is an option to choose between Freedom and Slavery respectively.

Diaspora project was started around in 2010 and FSFTN has also have been around that time. We don't dismiss the fact that we also have our presence on proprietary platforms like Facebook & Twitter. We could have decided earlier not to choose these platforms and jump right into Free Software platforms, but we wanted this change to happen from bottom up approach not in a top-down manner. i.e We wanted our community members to drive the course of our action instead of the organization members pushing from the top.

Recommended Read from our community discussions,

  1. Is it Right to Have Facebook Page
  2. Moving towards free platforms

Miscellaneous links,

  1. Diaspora Wiki
  2. Getting Started with Diaspora