Facebook has lost control of social network, former Zuckerberg classmate claims

Facebook bosses have lost control of the social network and is unlikely to regain it, a former Harvard classmate of Mark Zuckerberg has claimed.

Aaron Greenspan, who knew Mr Zuckerberg during their time at Harvard College in 2003 and 2004, launched a scathing attack on the chief executive’s ability to lead and reiterated previous accusations of fraud.

The pair settled a trademark dispute in 2009 for an undisclosed sum, after Mr Greenspan developed a feature called “The Universal Face Book” on his web based student portal before Mr Zuckerberg launched Facebook in February 2004.

Earlier this year, Mr Greenspan – who has never worked for Facebook – published a report in which he estimated that 50% or more of Facebook’s monthly unique users are fake.

Providing evidence to the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) committee looking into disinformation, Mr Greenspan renewed his claims, suggesting that Facebook has lied to advertisers.

Mr Greenspan speaks to the DCMS committee investigating disinformation (Parliament Live/PA)
Mr Greenspan speaks to the DCMS committee investigating disinformation (Parliament Live/PA)

“I believe Facebook represents the largest fraud in corporate history ever,” he said.

“This is somebody, and as a corporate entity, that has no intention of complying with the law.

“Clearly, Mark has no intention of appearing here or in Canada, or anywhere when serious questions are going to be posed and because there is no legitimate answer in many cases to those questions.

“So I don’t have any faith in Facebook, I don’t think they can be trusted, I don’t think they should be trusted, and I would encourage your committee to do everything you can get independent analysis.”

Mr Greenspan also believes that the social network’s plans to move towards a more private experience by merging messaging elements of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp serve as an “excuse that they can’t regulate it because they can’t see what’s going on”.

“My view is that the discussion that you are hearing from Mark publicly now about privacy and encryption is really just an elaborate dodge given the anti-trust train that is barrelling towards them,” he continued.

“The company has lost its ability to control the platform and I don’t think that’s an ability they can ever truly regain.”

Last month, Facebook said that it estimates that fake accounts represent about 5% of its monthly active users globally.

Facebook declined to comment.

- Press Association

More on this topic

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mix Billie Eilish with a group of Irish classical musicians?

Premier Inn owner Whitbread sees sales drop as Brexit woes bite

Video: This is what a puppy yoga class looks like

Love Island's Joe Garrett taken to ITV 'safehouse' after backlash

More in this Section

Nokia moves phone data centres to Europe to improve security

Instagram tests new ways to reclaim hacked accounts

Facebook to launch cryptocurrency and digital wallet in 2020

Apple's Tim Cook criticises other tech firms for data breaches


Lifestyle

Bake: Michelle Darmody's recipes for the perfect summer picnic

Why Doug and Monique Howlett are moving back home to New Zealand

Learner Dad: 'It’s not unusual for someone to go home in a different pants to the one they arrived in'

What’s the Occasion? What to wear on your next big day out

More From The Irish Examiner