The cause of death is not publicly known at this time, reports have indicated Zhitomirskiy passed away suddenly on Saturday. TechCrunch reported
last night they confirmed the news of Zhitomirskiy's untimely passing.
In spring of 2010, Zhitomirskiy, a student at New York University, along with fellow students Dan Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg and Raphael Sofaer, launched an idea to create a privacy-friendly social network. The group had posted a fundraiser on Kickstarter hoping to raise $10,000 to build the project, but public response was tremendous and the group raised over $200,000
in a short period of time.
Over the past year the group has been steadily at work building Diaspora* and making progress
. Last night before the sad news of Zhitomirskiy's passing was known, Diaspora* had just sent out a new round of invites
which many enthusiasts had been waiting for with anticipation.
Very sad the world has lost an innovative thinker, and Zhitomirskiy’s vision will be carried forward.
"Though it has lost one of its forward thinking founders, the invites indicate that Diaspora will continue to pursue Zhitomirskiy’s goal to create a decentralized social network that “lets you be yourself and share however you want, with or without your real name.”
RIP Ilya Zhitomirskiy, you will be missed.