Co-Founder of Social Networking Site Diaspora Dies at 22

Ilya Zhitomirskiy helped create the Facebook alternative in 2010.

Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of four founders of the social networking site Diaspora, has died at 22-years old.

A representative for the San Francisco medical examiner’s office confirms the death to the Associated Press, though declined to comment on the details surrounding the death. A source close to the Diaspora told CNNMoney that Zhitomirskiy committed suicide over the weekend.

The San Francisco Police Department responded to calls regarding a possible suicide at the 700 block of Treat Avenue on Saturday, Nov. 12 around 8:10 p.m, CNNMoney reports. “In this case it appears to be suicide,” SFPD Officer Alvie Esparaza said. “However, the medical examiner’s office will make the final decision.”

Zhitomirskiy co-founded Diaspora with three other New York University students. The group announced their project on April 24, 2010 and sought funds through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter in April. The project raised a total of $200,000 from 6,500 donors in just 39 days, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The site had struggled for funds in recent months, asking for additional donations in October via a company blog. Diaspora is an open-sourced community of social networks, which allows users to own personal data and control how and with whom to share content.

The site included a photo on its home page in remembrance of the late founder, with a caption reading: "Ilya Zhitomirskiy 1989-2011."

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