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Diaspora Co-Founder, 22, Found Dead

Ilya Zhitomirskiy may have committed suicide
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2011 2:31 AM CST

(Newser) – A programmer and online privacy advocate some hailed as an "anti-Mark Zuckerberg" has been found dead at the age of 22. Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of four friends from New York University who founded open-source social network Diaspora, was found dead on Saturday by police in San Francisco responding to reports of an apparent suicide, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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The non-profit project—which released its source code last year—raised $200,000 in just 39 days last year from donors including Zuckerberg, but ran out of cash recently and asked for fresh donations. In an interview last year, Zhitomirskiy said the plan with Diaspora was to create an open platform for users, not to make a profit. "There’s something deeper than making money off stuff,” he said. “Being a part of creating stuff for the universe is awesome.” (Read more Ilya Zhitomirskiy stories.)

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