You just nailed my biggest question around the whole project: "With a system like diaspora, paranoid people could have a websocial-life without worrying about Zuckerberg bigbrothering them." I know privacy is the whole raison d'être of Diaspora in the first place, but as long as seeds are on the public internet and can share data between them, I'm not convinced this really cracks that nut. What am I missing? Just the ability to configure which seeds can access your data? But if one of the seeds that you share with allows has a more open policy, wouldn't your data still be vulnerable? Just seems like at the end of the day, social networking is one big pool of herpes. Whatever you expose/share is going to get dirty somehow.
"My assumption is that they ask/force people to take down images and videos that show extremely reckless illegal activity..." Agreed, for the most part. IANA lawyer, but I did just read the T&C's here: http://tickets2.burningman.com/info.php?i=2386 They make it pretty clear that pics/video you take (and even post) for PERSONAL use is all well and good. They don't seem interested at all. It's the NON-personal ($$$) stuff they're getting uptight about. In other words, "don't make money using our name without letting us know so we can wet our beak too." And the third party stuff reads like this: "If you put your stuff on YouTube, and someone grabs it and puts it in a documentary, we're going to sue those people." I dunno...maybe I'm oversimplifying here, but I don't have much of a problem with any of it...?
Well...technically Gmail is still Beta too. Maybe if Google is just going to leave all of their products in Beta, they need to define categories of Beta. Like, "This one is REALLY Beta" vs. "We're going to call this Beta just so you don't sue us, but really it's pretty much done."