Facebook currently has over 500 million active users and its net value is estimated to be around $15 billion. To most people, Facebook is synchronous with the internet. They log on, check their Facebook, log off. That’s pretty much their entire dealing with the internet on the whole. That’s what Facebook has done to most people. Earlier, people would log on and check their e-mail, sign into an IM application and chat with friends. Facebook now provides that entire package on a single portal with the ability to do so much more. So can you blame these people for becoming like this? Not really. For most people, the internet is more about communicating with one another rather than an information resource.
It would, however, be a little heartening to see these people a little more interested in how Facebook works, who the people behind the service are, and what’s happening with it. Out of Facebook’s 500 million users, how many do you think have heard the name Mark Zuckerberg? For those of you still not in the know, he’s Facebook’s CEO and the young mind behind the entire concept of Facebook. And oh, he’s 25 years old and is the youngest billionaire in the world.
Fantastic then. Isn’t it? The youngest billionaire in the world, the owner of one of the most popular websites on the planet, what more could a person want? Well for starters, I’m sure he wants to be free of controversy. Does controversy follow every success story? Most of us would believe so, for that’s what the media tends to be really good at covering. Ben Mezrich’s ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ is an interesting story about Mark Zuckerberg’s life in Harvard, Facebook’s first financier Eduardo Saverin and a duo who claim that Facebook was originally their idea, the Winklevoss brothers. The book is definitely worth a read, and I posted a review on Facebook saying just that a few weeks ago.
So what’s new? Why this post now? Weren’t the Winklevoss brothers given $65 million as a settlement? Hasn’t Eduaro Saverin’s name been included in the list of people who’ve founded Facebook? True. But now, I give you, Paul Ceglia. Hailing from New York, Paul Ceglia is a wood-pellet vendor who claims to have legal documents stating that he has 84% ownership of Facebook. If you’d like, you can take a look at the legal document here. So how legit is this claim? Is this just another person who did some business with Mark Zuckerberg back in the day and has forged documents to try and swindle some cash out of Facebook?
Facebook says so. Apparently they strongly suspect forgery and that this claim by Ceglia that could potentially allow him to take over the firm is absurd.
Ceglia’s lawyer, Paul Argentieri stated that he found these accusations absolutely hilarious and that his client has more documents to back his claim. So then why wait so long before coming out in the open with these documents? Was Ceglia waiting till Facebook was worth enough so that he could get his share and sell a portion to get a large sum of money? Or is this just another scam that he’s trying to pull? It’s worth noting that these claims are extremely dangerous and in the event that these documents are proved to be forged, Ceglia could face imprisonment for a pretty long time.
No matter what the outcome of the case, I doubt that 84% ownership of Facebook is ever going to be in Ceglia’s name. In the event that the situation does get a little tricky for Facebook, they’ll probably look for a quick settlement. Do you guys think David Fincher’s upcoming film, ‘The Social Network’ will have time to make a quick edit in the end if this lawsuit has a dramatic ending?