Twitter has been hard at work cracking down on the Islamic State after the death of American journalist, James Foley. However, this has only pushed ISIS to seek refuge somewhere else, and they have chosen Diaspora. Interestingly enough, removing ISIS from this platform won't be easy, it might even be impossible.
Diaspora is quite different from traditional social media websites. The platform doesn't have a central server; it relies much on a network of small servers. Each of these smaller servers is responsible with moderating what users place on the network. Furthermore, Diaspora is an open source platform, which means users can use it in whichever way they choose.
"Various newspapers have reported that members of the Islamic State (IS) have set up accounts on diaspora* to promote the group's activities," says the Diaspora team in a blog post added on Wednesday. "In the past, they have used Twitter and other platforms, and are now migrating to free and open source software (FOSS)."
To make matters even more interesting, the core members of the Diaspora administrative team have no way to remove ISIS or the contents ISIS will eventually place on each individual node in the Diaspora network.
The team refers to these nodes as pods.
Things are so bad that not even the administrators have any direct influence over what gets posted to the platform. This is probably the biggest reason why ISIS has chosen to make its presence known on Diaspora.
Despite the shortcomings, the administrators are working to find ways to remove ISIS accounts and its contents. The team has been in contact with pod administrators known as podmins to remove ISIS accounts and contents. However, they claim there's no fail-safe option when it comes down to removing content, and this has a lot to do with the open source nature of the platform.
It would be in Diaspora's best interest right now to get control of ISIS on its platform before things goes haywire. In any case, the folks could come under fire for not being able to control its own website, and even a lawsuit could one day come into play.
With ISIS now at a new home, many folks would be hoping nothing else along the lines of James Foley's beheading will be posted.