The Roman occupation of Judea (Israel) during the first century AD was disrupted in 70 AD when the Jewish people revolted. Rome, being a kick-ass military power, put down this rebellion. However, they couldn’t let the Jews get away with this attempt at self-rule, which might encourage other provinces to do the same. The new, crushing occupation and settlement of Judea led to the beginning of another diaspora of the Jewish people (the Jews had been scattered before, read your Old Testament).
I’ve talked about my idea of the new information diaspora a couple times before. We fill up all these different social networking sites and online services with personal information about our hobbies, preferences, friends, etc. This information is separated by incompatibility between platforms. OpenSocial is a move towards removing these boundaries, but so far it hasn’t caught fire.
In Facebook’s terms of service, you are not allowed to scrape Facebook for content. They don’t want you to gather information about your social graph, since that would potentially undermine their service. Ergo, you can import information into Facebook, but can’t export it out. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook (though whether it was really his idea or software is disputed), seems to be shaping up to be quite a tyrant in this realm. It’s almost daily that some news about his bungling comes over the blagoblag.
The latest fiasco surrounds Robert Scoble, one of the better tech writers out there (in my opinion). He was using Plaxo Pulse, a service that attempts to solve a small part of the information diaspora problem by consolidating your friends’ activities on different sites. Facebook, however, put down this rebellion by disabling Scoble’s account. Robert’s crime? Trying to get the names, email addresses, and birthdays of the 1800 friends he has on both Facebook and Plaxo.