The David-versus-Goliath effort to build a revolutionary social network that would give us back control of our personal data
In June of 2010, four nerdy NYU undergrads moved to Silicon Valley to save the world from Facebook. Their idea was simple—to build a social network that would allow users to control the information they shared about themselves instead of surrendering it to big business. Their project was called Diaspora, and just weeks after launching it on Kickstarter, the idealistic twenty-year-olds had raised $200,000 from donors around the world. Profiled in the New York Times, wooed by venture capitalists, and cheered on by the elite of the digital community, they were poised to revolutionize the Internet and remap the lines of power in our digital society—until things fell apart, with tragic results.
The story of Diaspora reaches far beyond Silicon Valley to today’s urgent debates over the future of the Internet. In this heartbreaking yet hopeful account, drawn from extensive interviews with the Diaspora Four and other key figures, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jim Dwyer tells a riveting tale of four ambitious and naive young men who dared to challenge the status quo.