The technology community is mourning the apparent suicide of Diaspora co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy, a promising mathematician who helped create a social network that respected privacy. Zhitomirskiy was one of four friends from New York University who founded open-source social network Diaspora, he was found dead on Saturday by police in San Francisco responding to reports of an apparent suicide, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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.”
Unfortunately, his was not the only suicide in the technology community, which over the years has witnessed suicides of the CEO of giants like Nokia, the former CEO of FalconStor, a co-founder of Silicon Graphics and others.
According to International Business Times associates of Diaspora’s Zhitomirskiy suggest the young man may have suffered from depression or burnout, triggering his extreme act. Some suggested Diaspora, a non-profit social networking site, hadn’t achieved the success he and co-founders Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg and Raphael Sofaer had hoped for when they set it up in New York last year.
IBTimes.com contributed to this article.
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