Co-Founder of Social Networking Site Diaspora Dies at 22

Disapora Logo - H 2011

Disapora Logo - H 2011

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."