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Facebook has ‘lost control’ of the social network, Zuckerberg classmate says

Rob Waugh
Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg leaves after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Mark Zuckerberg has ‘lost control’ of his creation, and bosses at the social network are no longer able to control the site’s users, a former classmate of Zuckerberg has claimed.

Aaron Greenspan, who knew Mr Zuckerberg during their time at Harvard College in 2003 and 2004, said that Facebook’s recent moves towards ‘more privacy’ are a smokescreen.

Greenspan says the social network's plans to move towards a more private experience by merging messaging elements of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp serve as an 'excuse that they can't regulate it because they can't see what's going on'.

Greenspan said, ‘My view is that the discussion that you are hearing from Mark publicly now about privacy and encryption is really just an elaborate dodge given the anti-trust train that is barrelling towards them,' he continued.

'The company has lost its ability to control the platform and I don't think that's an ability they can ever truly regain.'

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Greenspan and Zuckerberg settled a trademark dispute in 2009 for an undisclosed sum, after Mr Greenspan developed a feature called 'The Universal Face Book' on his web based student portal before Mr Zuckerberg launched Facebook in February 2004.

Greenspan - who has never worked for Facebook - previously published a report in which he estimated that 50% or more of Facebook's monthly unique users are fake.

Greenspan claims Zuckerberg has lost control of his creation

Providing evidence to the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) committee looking into disinformation, Mr Greenspan renewed his claims, suggesting that Facebook has lied to advertisers.

'I believe Facebook represents the largest fraud in corporate history ever,' he said.

'This is somebody, and as a corporate entity, that has no intention of complying with the law.

'Clearly, Mark has no intention of appearing here or in Canada, or anywhere when serious questions are going to be posed and because there is no legitimate answer in many cases to those questions.

'So I don't have any faith in Facebook, I don't think they can be trusted, I don't think they should be trusted, and I would encourage your committee to do everything you can get independent analysis.'

Last month, Facebook said that it estimates that fake accounts represent about 5% of its monthly active users globally.

Facebook declined to comment.