Facebook is suing Mark Zuckerberg. That makes absolutely no sense - right? Wrong. It just might possibly be true. Sort of. Of course Facebook is not suing its own Mark Zuckerberg, but another one in Israel.
Confused yet? Hang on, it gets better.
The new Mark Zuckerberg was born Rotem Guez and legally changed his name on 7th December 2011. Zuckerberg (the second) who is an Israeli entrepreneur and has a website MarkZuckerbergOfficial.com, states that he first filed a lawsuit against Facebook, after the social network refused to give him access to his profile, which it had shut down.
According to Israeli site, www.HolesintheNet.co.il, Rotem Guez, has legally changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg after being hit with a lawsuit by the social networking giant. There must be a lot of people who wish they really were Zuckerberg (or rather, had his money). Now Guez is one of them – the name not the money.
It all supposedly started when Rotem Guez took Facebook to court in January 2011 because “they were unwilling to return his ‘hacked’ Facebook profile without any apparent, legitimate reason.”
It could be that his main goal is to see if Facebook will continue to threaten and sue Mark Zuckerberg in spite of the publicity. He may stand more of a chance as a Zuckerberg than a Guez. "If you want to sue me, you're going to have to sue Mark Zuckerberg," Guez reportedly told Facebook. Is that a publicity stunt?
Seemingly, the dispute started when Mark Zuckerberg, when he was Guez, launched Like Store, which sells advertisers Likes for their Pages.
Like Store promises to give companies a boost in traffic by offering Facebook users free content. Since this is in violation of Facebook's terms of service, the social networking giant wanted to shut it down. The site states (translated), “Are you sad no one’s visiting your Facebook Page? We have a solution! Need 1,000 Likes? We’ll get them for you. Need 5,000 Likes? We’ll get them for you. Need 10,000 Likes? We’ll get them for you.” Facebook kicked him off the service for selling Likes and creating fake accounts.
Zuckerberg, I mean Guez, has acknowledged that the Like Store violates Facebook's TOS but he claims many US companies offer similar services.
On 29th January 2011, Guez, when he was Guez, sued Facebook. The lawsuit was actually filed against Nana10 MASA, Facebook's local affiliate in Israel. He said Facebook was unwilling to return his Facebook profile for no "apparent, legitimate reason."
In September, Facebook responded with a lawsuit of its own. Zuckerberg’s (or should I say Guez’s) site reads:
On September 1, 2011, Facebook, inc. and their law firm ‘Perkins-Coie’, sent Mr. Guez (in return) a revengeful threat of a lawsuit, claiming that Mr. Guez and ‘Like Store’ violated Facebook’s TOS by selling advertisers ‘Fans’ for their ‘Fan Pages’, and stated that only Facebook, Inc. can provide such a service. Facebook, Inc. demanded that Mr. Guez close his company and never access Facebook’s site, services, platform or network for any reason whatsoever.
The letters from Perkins-Coie requested that Guez comply with their demands, first by 15th September 2011, after which they extended the deadline to 19th December 2011. The demands were that Guez and his affiliates confirm that they:
1. Have stopped and will not in the future access Facebook’s site, services, platform, or network for any reason whatsoever.
2. Have stopped and will refrain from developing, promoting, selling, offering, and/or using websites or applications, including but not limited to www.like-store.info and i-share.co.il, that sell “Likes,” incentive Facebook users to “like” any page or website or to use Facebook social channels.
3. Have stopped and will not in the future mislead Facebook users; and
4. Have removed references to Facebook from any websites or other promotional material that You control, including but not limited to www.like-store.info and i-share.co.il.
According to Spanish daily El Mundo, in December Guez is said to have legally changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg, without the knowledge of his family or friends
One week later, Guez (now officially Zuckerberg – are you confused yet?) received yet another letter from Facebook.
On 14th December 2011, just one week after Mr. Guez officialy became Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, Inc. again sent a threat of a lawsuit, not knowing that this time, they are planning on suing Mark Zuckerberg. It gets better!
Perhaps anticipating the media attention he would receive, Zuckerberg has set up an Internet campaign for his new persona, including, in all irony, a Facebook Page and Twitter account, @iMarkZuckerberg, suggesting that he’s ready to hit the world with his new identity. His Facebook page currently has over 3,000 likes (are they all genuine or did he sell some of them to himself), but it remains to be seen whether or not Facebook will take it down.
He has legal documents on it showing that he is, in fact, now Mark Zuckerberg. But, are these documents verified?
It seems that in Israel, Zuckerberg/Guez is only getting local reaction and is being seen as a media stunt and is hurting Israel.
This will make interesting reading.
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