The Washington Post

Facebook threatens other Mark Zuckerberg

A photograph illustrating Rotem Guez’s name change to Mark Zuckerberg, from the Israeli businessman’s Web site. (Courtesy of Mizbala)

Facebook had the confusing task of trying to stop the actions of Mark Zuckerberg for violating the social network’s terms of service.

The company isn’t going after its own co-founder and CEO, of course, nor is it pursuing action against one of his unwitting name twins.

Instead, Facebook is trying to stop a man who’s changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg as a publicity stunt. Taking trolling to new heights, businessman Rotem Guez changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg after receiving a cease and desist letter from the social network. Facebook served the man with the letter in September because he was running a service called the “Like Store,” which claimed to sell “Likes” for brand pages. That practice is in explicit violation of Facebook’s terms of service.

“We offer you any amount of Fans your heart desires,” the Like Store’s Web site says. “The Fans are real people that pay us with ‘Likes’ for content they wish to see. So, we can assure you that the Fans are real and legal and that you will receive the exposure you desire.” The Like Store also sells Google +1’s, YouTube Likes and Views and promotion on SoundCloud.

The newly named Zuckerberg has hired an ad agency and acquired a fan page on Facebook with about 4,600 fans. He (or his PR team) is also fielding questions on Twitter from the handle “I’m Mark Zuckerberg.”

Facebook had little to say about the stunt.

“Protecting the people who use Facebook is a top priority and we will take action against those who violate our terms,” said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes.

(Post Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Donald E. Graham sits on Facebook’s board of directors.)

Related stories:

Zuckerberg: Google+ is a ‘little version of Facebook’

Bill Gates beats Mark Zuckerberg in Forbes most powerful list

Facebook restores other Mark Zuckerberg’s profile

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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