Social Media

Hot New Social Network Ello Knocked Out By Cyber Attack... Already

Former West Coast Editor
3 min read

Just as Ello said hello, it briefly said goodbye.

The ad-free, blatantly anti-Facebook social platform that debuted barely more than a month ago fell victim to a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. The knockout punch, which hit yesterday afternoon, caused an outage that lasted 45 minutes.

Related: Fast-Growing Ello a Facebook Killer? Not So Fast.

The site is up and running now, per its official status page.

The invite-only indie social network, still in beta mode, is rapidly growing in popularity. The recent spike in interest has been fueled in large part due to widespread animosity over Facebook’s controversial new real names only policy, especially within the LGBT community.

Ello co-founder Paul Budnitz, a serial entrepreneur and artist, says some 31,000 requests to join the social platform pour in every hour, as reported late yesterday in USA Today. Invite codes for the fledgling service are so hot they’re being auctioned off on eBay for up to $100 each.

Related: Facebook Rolls Out Site-Wide 'Privacy Checkup,' Revamps Default User Settings

Vermont-based venture capital firm FreshTracks Capital injected Ello with $435,000 in seed funding back in January, according to Ello's CrunchBase profile

The alternative social network's manifesto voices what most of us are thinking anyway: mainstream social media isn't "fun anymore" thanks to rampant advertising and privacy-thrashing data tracking and sharing.

“We built Ello because virtually all of the other social networks were cluttered, ugly, and full of ads,” the mission statement reads. “We came to realize that a social network that has ads is a social network created for advertisers, not for people. Every move we made was tracked and recorded, and every post we made was read and sold to other companies so they could show us more ads.”

Related: Transparency Can Overcome Consumer Resistance to Sharing Data

On principle, Ello doesn’t require real names, sell ads, nor “sell data about you to third parties.” For now at least. It’s also currently free to join and, according to Budnitz, it will “always” be. “But some people want special features -- they will have to pay for that,” he said. “You’re a graphic designer and want to control your personal login and your business profile, we’re going to charge $1.99 for that.”

Related: Protect Your Privacy With These Anti-Surveillance Frocks and Fashions

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