Ukraine may soon get its very own social network, Mashable has learned, but its debut is being delayed by ongoing DDoS attacks.
The social network, which will live at WeUA.info (slogan: “We live for Ukraine), was scheduled to go live Monday night, but has not been able to launch due to a sustained attempt to keep it offline.
“We have not opened the website for the public yet, although we are already seeing very strong DDoS attacks,” WeUA’s founder, Bogdan Oliyarchuk, told Mashable via email. “We see deliberate attacks every day.”
Oliyarchuk added that while it is difficult to track where the attacks are coming from, he has information that suggests the attacks are coming from Russia — and elsewhere in Ukraine.
It’s events like these that inspired Oliyarchuk to develop WeUA, get it out of beta and into the hands of everyday Ukrainians. He said his team has been hard at work for more than a year, building a social network that will bring Ukrainians together.
“A year ago, we came up with an idea to [connect] Ukrainians all over the world. There are enough talented Ukrainian programmers who can implement this. We have a number of talented people who work abroad in Facebook, in Google, so it got me wondering — why not make a social network in Ukraine?” Oliyarchuk said. “So we tried and launched the beta version with 1,000 people having subscribed, which made us realize we had to hire people to work on a more serious version of the website.”
“It’s not just for Ukrainians,” he continued. “We hope to become a democratic social network. We have very challenging objectives and ambitious goals.” One of those goals is to introduce an encryption system, so no one can get access to their users’ messages.
The region’s recent events — most notably Russia’s sudden annexation of Crimea — have given the team a renewed purpose, heightening the need for a website for Ukrainians, by Ukrainians and an alternative to the Russian-owned VKontakte.com; the site has been identified as a source of several identity leaks over the past few months, Oliyarchuk said. He’s even helped coordinate a boycott of Russian-owned social networking websites, asking users to delete their pages, leaving only the message, “We are Ukrainian. We are WeUA.info.”
“We even thought of placing our servers abroad because of the previous government. Now we have a new government, although some of the servers are still abroad,” Oliyarchuk said.
Now, they’re fighting to keep those servers online. The team expects to launch Thursday, and they’re hiring for more help.
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