Skip to main content

Facebook blasts man who claims to own the social network, may not know what it’s talking about

facebookFacebook returned fire Thursday at Paul Ceglia, a New York wood pellet salesman who claims to own half the social network, calling him “an inveterate scam artist” who is simply trying to con his way into billions of dollars, reports The New York Times. Unfortunately, the company has no idea whether the emails Ceglia used to back up his claims are fake or not.

According to Ceglia, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreed to give him 50 percent of his stake in the company, way back in 2003, for helping to develop the site. If true, that would make him the rightful recipient of about $13.5 billion. Facebook, however, isn’t shelling out its riches without a fight.

“This lawsuit is a brazen and outrageous fraud on the court,” Facebook wrote in its official response to Ceglia’s legal action. “Plaintiff is an inveterate scam artist whose misconduct extends across decades and borders. His latest and most far-reaching fraud is the amended complaint filed in this action, which is based upon a doctored contract and fabricated evidence. Plaintiff alleges that he recently ‘discovered’ a purported contract that now supposedly entitles him to ownership of 50 percent of Zuckerberg’s interest in Facebook. The purported contract was signed in 2003, yet plaintiff waited until 2010 to file this action — a seven-year delay during which plaintiff remained utterly silent while Facebook grew into one of the world’s best-known companies. Plaintiff has now come out of the woodwork seeking billions in damages.

If Facebook could back up its assertions that Ceglia’s case is, in fact, “based upon a doctored contract and fabricated evidence,” that would be one thing. According to Business Insider’s reading of the company’s response, however, Facebook really has no idea whether or not the emails are fake.

“Zuckerberg denies the allegations….  Facebook denies the allegations on the basis that it lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations contained therein,” writes Facebook in its response.

This statement is meant to contradict Ceglia. But what it is really saying is that Zuckerberg says the emails are fake, but Facebook, Zuckerberg’s employer, has no way to prove that they are fake.

Because of this ambiguity, we can say with certainty that this case is far from over.

Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more
Here’s how to delete your YouTube account on any device
How to delete your YouTube account

Wanting to get out of the YouTube business? If you want to delete your YouTube account, all you need to do is go to your YouTube Studio page, go to the Advanced Settings, and follow the section that will guide you to permanently delete your account. If you need help with these steps, or want to do so on a platform that isn't your computer, you can follow the steps below.

Note that the following steps will delete your YouTube channel, not your associated Google account.

Read more