By the way he acts, and by the way he orders that Svengali company of his to act, one imagines that Mark Zuckerberg must have had a miserable time in junior high school. It’s easy to see him in the boys’ locker room, dangling from a coat hook by the waistband of his tighty-whities or being stuffed in a locker during the hallway mayhem between classes. Because the most twisted bullies are often those who were bullied themselves. And let’s face it, as Techcrunch called it today, Facebook is a bully.
It’s ironic that “Zuck” continues to stress his only motive with Facebook is the ultimate in altruism, to bring people together and change the world. Behind the scenes, however, it acts like the KGB, sending its trench-coated lawyers out to rough up and intimidate. Take Teachbook, for example, a small social networking site for teachers (speaking of altruism). The brass knuckles came down hard on their use of the word “book,” forcing the site to change its name. You can almost imagine Zuckerberg high-fiving his hit men and cackling “That’ll teach’em!”
But Facebook has really gone off the reservation with the release of documents that show it is trying to trademark the word “face.” This transcends bullying, sending it more in to the megalomaniac range – especially when you take into consideration their numerous applications for the word “like.” And It will be interesting to see what Steve Jobs has to say when Facebook goes after the iPhone Four’s video calling feature named Facetime. Chances are it’ll involve another four-letter word beginning with “f” and followed by “off.”
So be warned, small, defenseless companies of the web: while that kid was hanging by his underpants he was thinking about more than the wedgie he was getting, he was thinking about revenge.