It’s amazing how many people come out of the woodwork when you’re billion-dollar cool and have a major motion picture made about your life. Today, Aaron Greenspan, who was an Zuckerberg collaborator at Harvard and is currently promoting his book about–you guessed it, Facebook at Harvard–released a cache of alleged emails and IM conversations spanning the early days of Facebook. There’s nothing close to a smoking gun or anything that would change the Winklevoss trial, but the alleged conversations document Zuckerberg’s early struggles with claiming his idea.
zberg02 (Mark Zuckerberg): i guess basically it’s a souped of version of one thing housesystem does
zberg02: which i think didn’t do as well as it could have as a stand-alone site
ThinkComp (Aaron Greenspan): ok
zberg02: but it’s not like i took the idea from you
ThinkComp: sure, i understand
zberg02: so i guess the basic jist is that i feel as if it may compete with the facebook you’re trying
There are a couple of things that complicate Zuck’s claim that the idea for Facebook was his: first, the idea of a social network is almost as old as the internet. Second, the word ‘facebook’ was already in use at Harvard before computers even existed. Still, nothing in the documents really damns Zuckerberg, even if he does seem a little defensive even before the site launched. Aaron Greenspan was developing some similar software for social clubs and fraternities when Zuckerberg was a freshman, and many of the conversations show that Zuckerberg was geniunely interested in partnering with Greenspan. Regardless, Greenspan is upset with Zuckerberg, even accusing him of breaking federal law by breaking into Harvard Crimson email accounts.
It’s crazy how many former collaborators have been coming out of the woodwork and criticizing Zuckerberg. People trying to gain publicity or money from famous moguls is nothing new, but Zuckerberg left a long digital trail before he realized he should watch his words. A lot of people log all chats, and they’ve realized now that Facebook is huge, even banal IM conversations with Zuckerberg can go viral.RELATED
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