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Facebook shuts out attorney who has the same name as website founder Mark Zuckerberg

Indianapolis bankruptcy attorney Mark S. Zuckerberg said Facebook closed his personal account because it thought he was lying about his name, even though he supplied proof when he signed up for Facebook two years ago.

May 12, 2011|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times

Indianapolis bankruptcy attorney Mark S. Zuckerberg might not consider Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to be a friend.

That's because the world's largest social networking website has closed the lawyer's personal Facebook account.

The attorney told WISH-TV in Indianapolis that Facebook recently removed his personal page because the company thought he was lying about his name, a problem he's run into before with the Palo Alto company.

"I was originally denied an account with Facebook two years ago because of my name, and I had to send them copies of my driver's license, birth certificate and Indianapolis Bar Assn. license just to get them to believe that I exist and to allow me to set up my page," Zuckerberg told the TV station in a statement.

The identity confusion also isn't limited to social networking troubles for the attorney, who was unavailable for comment to The Times.

As the Indianapolis Star reported in October, the lawyer owns iammarkzuckerberg.com, a site dedicated to explaining that while he has the same name, he is indeed a different person than the Facebook creator.

"If you had Googled Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, you would have found me," the attorney writes on his website. "No one else. Mark S. Zuckerberg, bankruptcy attorney. If you had repeated the search two years later, you wouldn't have found me at all.

"Now my name isn't mine anymore. The website HowManyofMe.com claims that only one Mark Zuckerberg exists in the entire United States. Which one do you think they're counting?"

While Facebook has removed the lawyer's personal page, his Like page on the site, which is titled "Mark Zuckerberg | Bankruptcy Attorney Indianapolis" remains active, with more than 480 Facebook users having liked its business listing, which is also linked to the attorney's website, Zucklaw.com.

However, having a business page isn't the same as having a personal account, and Zuckerberg told WISH-TV he's working to get his personal page restored.

"We haven't gotten an answer from Facebook yet, and I hope it's all just a misunderstanding on their part," Zuckerberg told the station.

nathan.olivarezgiles@latimes.com

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