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[liberationtech] Fw: [progressiveexchange] Facebook interfering with activism Pages

Yosem Companys companys at
Wed Sep 22 18:29:54 PDT 2010

> Hi Yosem- I think we're conflating a few different concepts here, so
> let's dig a little deeper. As you mention, most of the existing social
> networks offer APIs and support various protocols for federating or
> sharing data with other social networks. That's great, and it's easy.
> Diaspora is talking about a distributed social network in a much
> different sense, however, where users themselves run servers. That's a
> different ballgame.

No, I was talking about the guys in the federated social web (see:;  These are folks
working on building the infrastructure to make a Diaspora-like vision a

> This is also unlike Zuckerburg's early forays into file sharing on
> Facebook. He wasn't sharing the data of the social network itself but
> rather specific files on users' machines, likely relayed through
> servers. That's kid's stuff compared to a fully distributed social
> network Diaspora is proposing.

But file-sharing is where most of FB's value lies.  What else do you mean by
data?  Just the profile info?  Here's a description of what Zuckerberg was
working on (

The software was described by its creators as "an HTTP file transfer system
using dynamic DNS and NAT traversal to make your personal computer
addressable, routable and easily accessible". The client allowed users to
both access data stored on their home computer from a remote location and
let friends exchange files between each others computers. In ways, Wirehog
was a project comparable to Alex Pankratov's Hamachi VPN, the open-source
OneSwarm private network, or the darknet RetroShare software.

Facebook hosted information regarding their Wirehog service and suggested
users email Facebook with questions regarding the software.

Until at least July 2005, Facebook officially endorsed the p2p client,
saying on their site

Wirehog is a social application that lets friends exchange files of any type
with each other over the web. Facebook and Wirehog are integrated so that
Wirehog knows who your friends are in order to make sure that only people in
your network can see your files. Facebook certifies that it is okay to enter
your facebook email address and password into Wirehog for the purposes of
this integration.

Wirehog has been suspended and one of its uses on Facebook, sharing photos,
has been superseded by the introduction of photo-sharing into Facebook

The Wirehog software was written in Python and was available for Microsoft
Windows and Mac OS X only. A Linux version had been promised on the
service's website. The service ran a custom-written HTTP server, and file
downloading and photo viewing was through the web browser, with requested
authentication by Wirehog's central servers to allow users to set up custom
privacy settings.

>  --
> Adam Fisk
> | |
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