Read our new manifesto

Social network Diaspora says terrorist accounts can be banned

Social network Diasporo has denied media claims it cannot ban IS accounts, stating that it relies upon users to flag up content hosted on its independent servers.

Diaspora is an open-source forum with independent discussion rooms

The social network, which was launched in 2010, gained prominent media coverage this week after it emerged IS fundamentalists were using the site - after being removed from higher profile communication services such as Twitter.

Diaspora, which said it was “concerned” by the IS posts, admitted that terrorists were using its “free and open source software,” but added it was actively removing accounts responsible for the uploads, as they are located.

A statement on the Disapora blog, said: “A number of journalists have responded to our recent blog post about Islamic State accounts on Diaspora with articles under headlines such as 'Diaspora cannot ban IS accounts'. This is simply untrue, and misrepresents what our last post said. This may come from a lack of understanding of the distributed nature of the network.

“Diaspora can and does deal with inappropriate usage. As with everything in a decentralised project, the ability and responsibility to deal with inappropriate usage are devolved, from the one central body of the centralised corporate model of Facebook or Twitter to individual podmins and individual community members."

Diaspora, is a Greek word literally meaning “scattering or dispersion” and as such the site in its current form may have difficulty regulating its use by IS social media uploaders. However, the firm disagrees with criticism that it is failing to stop IS posters.

The statement added: “It's worth repeating: Diarspora does indeed have mechanisms in place to deal with inappropriate usage. Like everything else in Diaspora, these mechanisms are decentralised.

"Because this is such a crucial issue, we have also accumulated a list of accounts related to IS fighters, which are spread over a large number of pods, and we are in the process of talking to the podmins of those pods.

"So far, all of the larger pods have removed the IS-related accounts and posts."

This comes after Twitter on Wednesday announced it was banning the accounts of those who shared content showing James Foley's execution.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis