He doesn’t write his own Facebook posts, or take his own photos, and he’s trying to have native Hawaiian’s thrown off the land he has bought there, so he can build another mansion.
These are just some of a glut of accusations being levelled by the media against possibly the world’s most famous tech start-up billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg. At the beginning of the year, everything seemed rosy in the Facebook founder’s garden, as he announced his intention to visit all 50 states of America in 2017 (a prelude to a run for the presidency, perhaps?), and posted a series of videos about the “digital butler” he had created over the course of last year; Jarvis, and voiced by Morgan Freeman.
He even posted a snap of himself and his family, kitted out Games of Thrones style, in the garden – it’s cutesy, but it seems that Zuck might be taking a leaf out of Tywin Lannister’ book, determined to wreak havoc in faraway lands.
A few months back, Zuck posted that “A few years ago, Priscilla and I visited Kauai and fell in love with the community and the cloudy green mountains.”
Kauai is in Hawaii, and Zuck and his wife Priscilla have indeed gone on to buy a huge chunk of land there, upon which, it is rumoured, they plan to build a billionaire’s mansion. The trouble is, it’s being reported, some pesky native Hawaiian’s are refusing to clear out of their homes so the family Zuck can have all the space they need.
That is the (potentially scurrilous) story that has been doing the rounds, and, true or not, it has gained enough traction to prompt Zuck to post an explanation. He says that it is all to do with property rules around minority ownership from the mid-1800’s and it will all be resolved soon, because “We are working with a professor of native Hawaiian studies and long-time member of this community, who is participating in this quiet title process with us. It is important to us that we respect Hawaiian history and traditions.”
The “quiet title” process, is more familiarly known in American parlance as “suing their asses”, and judging by some of the responses to the posts, it seems many Hawaiians aren’t convinced by Zuck’s explanation. We’re no experts, but we suspect that Zuck would be extra-careful to develop his land ina way that wins praise, not derision.
But then, rumour also has it that Zuck employs top Facebook staff to write his posts for him, a professional photographer to take his photos, and a team of helpers to go through the responses to his posts and remove the negative ones.
Now, that sounds pretty presidential to us – Donald Trump, eat your heart out – Zuck could eyeing up your Iron Throne.