Impersonation, Harassment & Abuse On Diaspora


I have recently become aware of someone having used Diaspora to impersonate me and post links to my original content, as well as post other content which was done to harass me. I have contacted several podmins and provided information on the abuse and noted in my emails that it clearly violates their terms and conditions of their servers under the following rules Diaspora pods post:

Content that is libelous, defamatory, bigoted, fraudulent or deceptive;
Content that is illegal or unlawful, that would otherwise create liability;
Content that may infringe or violate any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, right of privacy, right of publicity or other intellectual or other right of any party;

Impersonate or post on behalf of any person or entity or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity

The responses i’ve gotten from some podmins have been positive and they assisted me with the requests to remove the hateful / impersonating accounts and posts.

However, a few podmins have made it clear they allow this conduct despite it being forbidden in the terms of service listed on their servers.

My question is this:

Is Diaspora a Social Network for hate? Is it a network where admins run servers that promote doxxing, hateful conduct, impersonation and targeted harassment of users, or in my case, someone who’s never used this network?

Is this what DIaspora stands for? Is this the face of the FOSS community with this project, this type of behavior? My experience for decades has been a positive one when interacting with other FOSS users and advocates. This however seems like it’s something that exists on Diaspora and with those running these servers.

I’m asking the community for insight here because i don’t know and i’ve tried to contact the appropriate people running these pods and they either ignore the abuse or respond via email telling me they specifically allow it despite their stated server rules.

I wouldn’t allow it on my pod. I wonder if someone set up a pod and just forgot about it because they stopped using diaspora and don’t even see the messages come in? I haven’t even had time to fully set up my pod yet so I bet I’m missing messages and things.
One of the few cons to FOSS is it’s all run by volunteers with day jobs and sometimes due to life forget about the side projects.


We already responded to your email and explained that you should contact the admin of the origin pod where the profile was created. Diaspora is a decentralized system, meaning your profile will be cached on hundreds of pods including ours. Please contact the admin of:

Please check your spam folder, we sent you two emails, yesterday and today.

We deleted the cached profiles and found another profile that was created at

Thats another cached profile from

We delete the cached profile too.

And we found and deleted another two cached profiles from and

And we found and deleted another cached profiles from:

Can you tell me which profile you deleted from nerdpol, so I can delete that too? What was the username? Because non of the messages here contain anything about the problematic profiles, and admins can only delete them if they know which profiles are the ones that should be deleted.

I’ve sent you an email.

Thanks for the email, I actually remember these profiles and I already deleted all of them back in 2017. I even created a script back then for other admins to use to delete all these clones on their pods … but as diaspora is decentralized, each admin needs to run it themselves. But there where a lot of people involved back then trying to get rid of this.

@N1XH34D I can post the script here, if you want (I just updated it to work with the current version of diaspora), but it contains the username (the part before the @ sign) of the profile, because it’s used to find all the clones to delete them, and it looks like you didn’t want to make that public? But if there are still admins who want to run the script, they would need to know it. But if you are happy with the result now, that’s also fine to me.

Podmin of here.
I had removed the post from the mail from a month ago. The content from the current mail is also offline now, as I have taken the Diaspora instance offline. I don’t see a future for Diaspora anyway.
But to make one thing clear. The harassing person here is the author of these requests. Since I didn’t respond this time until 2 days later (yes, sometimes you have other things to do), the person periodically forwarded the request to related projects, the police and my employer. This did not speed up the request. It only showed that even a person affected by harassment is not excluded from spreading it himself.
For simplicity, this answer has been translated.

This public discussion forum is not the right place to work out your personal differences. It’s also not the right place to point fingers at each other and make accusations of whatever, and I’d like to remind y’all of the rules you agreed to when signing up.

As a software project, there is nothing we can do here. We build a piece of software, and we have no control over who runs it and how it’s being run. There is no central place where we, as a project team, could delete users or delete contents - and that’s kinda by design. The rules @N1XH34D quoted in their initial posts are what we as a project have decided upon for our own platforms, and some pods have taken that as an inspiration. It is not, however, enforceable on our end in any way.

The right thing to do in cases of illegal content is to reach out to the pod where the content originates from, not any random pod where the content is visible. If you find any post on diaspora*, simply hovering over the author’s name or profile picture shows you the full diaspora*-ID, something like The part after the @ is the originating pod, and if the account is properly deleted there, the contents will be removed from all other pods. Trying to reach out to other pods that have cached the content is like trying to put out a wildfire by pouring water on burning trees, while ignoring the volcano that’s active in the background.

If the originating pod isn’t responsive to your request, and you are fairly sure that the content is, in fact, violating laws as you indicated, you can file an abuse complaint against that pod, via their server provider (or, alternatively, via their domain provider). They’ll forward that request to the person running it, even if there are no public contact details.

“Emailing law enforcement” is not a thing you should do, ever. That’s wasting both your time and their time. Governments don’t care much for your civil legal issues. It will, however, ensure to burn any bridges that could lead to a productive conversation with a podmin. Instead, talk to a lawyer, who will be able to handle this the proper way.

If you continue to see posts that affect you, reach out to the podmins in private. If you don’t have, and can’t find, contact information for a specific pod, then open a new thread asking for contact information, without going into detail. We might be able to provide a contact.