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Duplicitous Zuckerberg Stalled Early Facebook Rival

Founder delayed project he was working on to benefit his site
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2010 1:35 PM CST
Duplicitous Zuckerberg Stalled Early Facebook Rival
Mark Zuckerberg.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from the founders of a rival site and intentionally stalled that site's development so his would prosper. That's the takeaway from an analysis of instant messages Business Insider says it “believes” the Facebook CEO sent while his site was getting off the ground in 2003 and 2004—and he was stonewalling the founders of the site that later became ConnectU, fellow Harvard students who had hired him to to develop their site. Is that “too dick?” he asked a confidant.

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Apparently not. Zuckerberg eventually decided to roll out his site and cut ties with the team behind ConnectU, then called HarvardConnection. “I'm going to f--- them,” he IMed a friend. The details are interesting, but the end result is moot—after a lengthy court battle, ConnectU's founders settled their lawsuit against Facebook for $65 million. That's "a huge sum of money considering that the entire dispute took place over two months in 2004," Business Insider notes, "and that, in the six years since, Mark has built Facebook into a massive global enterprise."
(Read more Mark Zuckerberg stories.)

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