Mark Zuckerberg is rethinking his attempt to force locals in Hawaii to sell him their land after "feedback from the local community." The Facebook CEO had been trying to acquire 14 small plots of land within his 700-acre property on Kauai through a process known as quiet title, but this is now being reconsidered, Zuckerberg said in a statement, per the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. "We want to make sure we are following a process that protects the interests of property owners, respects the traditions of native Hawaiians, and preserves the environment," he said. The attempt to force the sale of the parcels of land, which gave their owners or part-owners access rights, had been denounced as "neo-colonialism," reports the Guardian.
"For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had. No one will be forced off the land," Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post last week, though community leaders were skeptical. "The only reason why somebody would initiate a quiet title action would be to make sure that local people aren't walking through his property—that he had complete unfettered private access," state Rep. Kaniela Ing tells the CBC. "That seems a little unreasonable when you're talking about 700 acres. These people aren't paparazzi ... They just want to get to the beach." Ing says he welcomes Zuckerberg's efforts to reach out, but he thinks the CEO should start by dropping the legal action. (Read more Mark Zuckerberg stories.)