Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Facebook Businesses

Mark Zuckerberg 'Reconsidering' Lawsuits To Force Property Sales in Hawaii (cnbc.com) 152

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he is "reconsidering" a set of lawsuits that he recently filed to compel hundreds of Hawaiians to sell him small plots of land they own that lie within the boundaries of 700-acre beachfront property on the island of Kauai. From a report on CNBC: The billionaire's potential about-face came after widespread publicity last week about the suits, which target a dozen plots comprising slightly more than eight acres of land strewn throughout the acreage that Zuckerberg bought for $100 million two years ago. Currently, owners of the lots, which have been in their families for generations, have the rights to travel across Zuckerberg's property. But many of the owners likely are unaware of their ownership interest in the plots. Last week, Zuckerberg said, "For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had. No one will be forced off the land."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mark Zuckerberg 'Reconsidering' Lawsuits To Force Property Sales in Hawaii

Comments Filter:
  • Thanks for reminding us all of this story we didn't care about the first time.
    • by Quakeulf ( 2650167 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @02:29PM (#53737209)
      I care deeply about this because it's about someone wealthy from some social "platform"'s VC and stock-inflation value that decided to force natives out of their lands just because he has the money to do it. It proves he really hate everyone that isn't him, and uses everyone for his own personal gain.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by chispito ( 1870390 )

        it's about someone wealthy from some social "platform"'s VC and stock-inflation value that decided to force natives out of their lands just because he has the money to do it. It proves he really hate everyone that isn't him, and uses everyone for his own personal gain.

        Where is the angle that distinguishes this from any other rich-person-behaving-badly story, and warrants inclusion on Slashdot?

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Quakeulf ( 2650167 )
          What do you get in return for defending him?
          • by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @02:38PM (#53737287)

            What do you get in return for defending him?

            What the hell are you talking about? I just called it a

            rich-person-behaving-badly story

            What I hope to achieve is less crap on the front page of Slashdot and more "news for nerds."

            • by sinij ( 911942 )
              You didn't act sufficiently outraged about displacing natives, therefore you were flagged for wrongthink by SJW police.
            • I agree. Being CEO of a social media company no longer makes one a tech leader. Maybe it was one day in the past when social media was new and nerds were still impressed by someone having a web site. Zuckerberg makes his money through advertising, period.

              • Zuckerberg makes his money through advertising, period.

                One can say the same thing about Google's Brin and Page, no?

          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            What do you get for attacking him without a single reason? No, you personally have no reason to, you have a vague notion of some sort of "social injustice" based on half truths, lies and propaganda.

            Most of the people don't even know they own the land. Most of it is in arrears for taxes. The Suit was less about anything and more about trying to make the land contiguous one piece. But that is a measured thoughtful look, even though i was predisposed to hate Zuckerberg with all my guts.

            But hey, Kneejerking is

            • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @02:54PM (#53737443)

              Most of the people don't even know they own the land

              Bullshit conjecture. That rarely happens in Hawaii. A lot of the owners tried to contact Zuckerberg and his lawyers to settle the issue long before the lawsuits happened. Both him and his lawyers ignored them entirely until after the lawsuits were filed and the press got a hold of it.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                More bullshit conjecture.

                Do you really think a Hawaii state judge is going to tolerate hundreds of quiet title lawsuits when the landowners are readily identifiable? If anybody tried to contact Zuck or his lawyers, they'd be quite right to ignore them, because the odds that they have sufficient proof of ownership is virtually zero.

                Nice try, though.

            • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
              Zuckerberg sure as hell knows he DOESN'T own it. And is willing to spend money on lawyers to sue in order to own it. Because the chunk he already bought is just not enough, he needs more. That's called "greed". There are plenty of other islands he could buy, but he'd rather force people to comply with what HE wants.
            • by Boronx ( 228853 )

              Or he could find the owners and offer them enough so that they sell.

            • Most of the people don't even know they own the land.

              I would be surprised if they even have the same concept of ownership as us Europeans (and Americans are, when you get down to it, still Europeans, culturally speaking, however much you hate it). The idea that a person can own land and have the right to exclude others from it, is very often completely alien to traditional, native populations; land usually belongs to the whole of the community, and the idea that you can sell it to somebody else is absurd - you might as well sell your ancestors; even if you si

              • Yeah, that whole "I own this property" thing is really evil. I mean could you imagine what it would be like to be homeless and live in tents and shit, that would be way cool! And when you find something you can take it, and use it all up because nobody owns anything. Yeah That sound FANTASTIC!!!

        • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2017q4@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @02:53PM (#53737421) Homepage Journal

          Where is the angle

          Maybe, the angle is, Zuckerberg is among the Trump-haters? In particular, he is opposed to Trump's efforts to regain control of immigration:

          Facebook founder, chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also a co-founder of the immigration reform group FWD.us, which has criticized Donald Trump's immigration policies. At Facebook's F78 developer conference on April 12, 2016, Zuckerberg referenced Trump's position, saying, "I'm starting to see people and nations turning inward, against this idea of a connected world and a global community," he said. "I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as others."

          His stated desire for ever more immigrants (like myself) to come here to live next to you and me seems at odds with his manifested desire to live away from the "unwashed" masses... And hypocrisy — or even appearance of hypocrisy — is always newsworthy.

          inclusion on Slashdot?

          Because Facebook?

          • by Boronx ( 228853 )

            Never been to Kauai, eh.

          • But he's sure as hell on board with Trump's history of support of imminent domain.

            That aside, being a proponent of legal immigration and being a proponent of securing the borders are not mutually exclusive.
          • by NateTech ( 50881 )

            Most of the screaming hissy fit Hollywood types also live behind large walls that they built around their mansions...

        • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, that's why.

          Hey, if it was some Oil Magnate or Gun Runner, it wouldn't be here. On the other hand, if you're talking about Zuckerberg, or Gates, or Jobs, or Ellison, then yeah, it's going to be here. They aren't just some rich guys, they're the movers and shakers with big money of the tech fields, even if one of them is dead.

          You do know how tech isn't some isolated bubble with a fancy motherboard, right?
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @03:34PM (#53737823)

          Where is the angle that distinguishes this from any other rich-person-behaving-badly story, and warrants inclusion on Slashdot?

          Probably the fact Zuckerberg is probably the single most vile person currently alive. He created a fortune by stealing a product from some people he claimed to be developing for them while getting paid to do so, then he leveraged said platform to spy on his own countrymen, then he adjusted said platform to fit the fascist policies of every nation he felt he could get a hand into, while continuing to sell out. His entire scheme is comprised of suckering people into giving him information on themselves, their friends and their families to hand over to governments around the world for nefarious purposes while manipulating the community both online and off for his own sociopathically-derived sociological experiments. The fact he's now actively oppressing several hundred people wouldn't even be worth a footnote in his long list of crimes against Humanity, save for the fact that he also leverages a perception of social justice to claim the moral highground in all his misdeeds, demonstrating exactly what he and those like him at the top consider social justice to be - a tool to control morons. He has extreme influence over the direction of technology and in turn his misdeeds are of extreme interest to nerds - who make their livelihoods and hobbies out of the things he and those like him are corrupting.

        • it's about someone wealthy from some social "platform"'s VC and stock-inflation value that decided to force natives out of their lands just because he has the money to do it. It proves he really hate everyone that isn't him, and uses everyone for his own personal gain.

          Where is the angle that distinguishes this from any other rich-person-behaving-badly story, and warrants inclusion on Slashdot?

          If you can't distinguish, you're not in a position to question it, so the question simply doesn't come up.

          Ask more intelligent questions, please.

        • Where is the angle that distinguishes this from any other rich-person-behaving-badly story, and warrants inclusion on Slashdot?

          This is a tech site, he is one of the top tech leaders in the world. Sounded simple to me but you never can tell these days...

        • It matters because he and his people are floating the proverbial Presidential 2020 campaign balloon. Do we need another egomaniacal despot?
          • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

            It matters because he and his people are floating the proverbial Presidential 2020 campaign balloon. Do we need another egomaniacal despot?

            Yeah, kindof hard to imagine that. He's too weasley to get far -- he doesn't have the bombastic "I can lie in your face and get away with it" presence that Trump has. He still has the "nerd that jocks love to beat up" aura around him, that's blood in the water when it comes to politics.

            "The Social Network" was a somewhat-untrue hit piece, classic Aaron Sorkin, but enough people will buy into it that's it's killed any of his likeability. The poor white man who Trump suckered so effectively will have zero rea

      • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @03:14PM (#53737641) Homepage

        I care deeply about this because it's about someone wealthy from some social "platform"'s VC and stock-inflation value that decided to force natives out of their lands just because he has the money to do it. It proves he really hate everyone that isn't him, and uses everyone for his own personal gain.

        From what I understand, only one person has been found so far and he's a professor that was willing to sell. We're talking 8 acres out of 700 and most of those 300 people who share it don't even know they own the land. He's not forcing anyone off any land. The lawsuit is to give people who might have ownership rights time to step forward and otherwise assume that they are all dead and proceed. This is standard procedure in hawaii. He's not doing anything that anyone else who buys land in hawaii doesn't have to do and what exactly are 300 people going to do with 8 acres. I'm sure Zuckerberg would be more than willing to give them the choice of any 8 acres on the edge of his tract if they really want it. This is all just propaganda to make him look like an evil rich guy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Aighearach ( 97333 )

          We're talking 8 acres

          If you believe in property rights, then those 8 acres are 8 acres and it doesn't matter who the neighbors are, the neighbors don't own those 8 acres and can't pretend they do and close off access. End of issue.

          Also, if you don't know who has interest in a property, that's fine. You might not actually have a right to know who has an interest in any property you want to acquire. If it is information you might simply not have access to, then there is no argument that they don't exist or in fact don't have an i

          • by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @03:57PM (#53738001)
            None of what you said makes any sense. You cannot enforce property rights if you cannot establish ownership. There is no right to secret land ownership. There is no right to not have someone make you an offer.

            If you believe in property rights, then those 8 acres are 8 acres and it doesn't matter who the neighbors are, the neighbors don't own those 8 acres and can't pretend they do and close off access. End of issue.

            Also, if you don't know who has interest in a property, that's fine. You might not actually have a right to know who has an interest in any property you want to acquire. If it is information you might simply not have access to, then there is no argument that they don't exist or in fact don't have an interest. In that case it just is their own business and their own land and piss off, right?

            If you want to buy a private area to close off, my advice is to find one that is for sale, instead of a bunch of smaller plots next to each other with other plots in between that are not for sale. Seems obvious to me.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Modding PP offtopic? Seriously?

              > You might not actually have a right to know who has an interest in any property you want to acquire.

              When property is abandoned, its ownership reverts to The State in pretty much every jurisdiction. AFAIK, you cannot own land in the US without publicly listing the owner of the land. The owner need not be a person -it can be a front company whose purpose is to shield your identity- but the owner _must_ be publicly known.

              The purpose of Zuck's legal action is to determine whi

          • Also, if you don't know who has interest in a property, that's fine. You might not actually have a right to know who has an interest in any property you want to acquire.

            I don't know if that's the case in any state in the United States. I think property ownership is a matter of public record.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I have partial ownership in several plots of land that I can't even find. I have no idea where they are located. If I got a legal notice saying that someone was interested in them, why the fuck would I care? I'd be happy, maybe I could make some good money from something I'm not using and can't even find.

            You can't secretly own land. If I die, does all my land become "lost" and we're supposed to block it off from all ownership for the future of civilization?

        • This is all just propaganda to make him look like an evil rich guy.

          Well......he is an evil rich guy.

          • Well......he is an evil rich guy.

            I'm not arguing that one way or the other but if you're going to call someone out on something then call them out on something they actually are doing that is wrong. There are plenty of evil rich guys doing plenty of evil things. Requesting that some unclaimed land with no clear owner be sold to the highest bidder in a public auction is not one of them.

        • We're talking 8 acres out of 700

          That's over 1%. Your bank account's balance is less than 1% of your bank's assets (or liabilities), yet I think you would object to them just keeping it.

          • That's over 1%. Your bank account's balance is less than 1% of your bank's assets (or liabilities), yet I think you would object to them just keeping it.

            Actually, it's closer to 1/200 of a percent. Each of those 200+ people are owed around $5700 dollars for theirs shares (100000000/700*8/200) and presumably that once those 8 acres are sold at a public auction that that money would still go into a "lost money" fund where they could still potentially claim it so they aren't really even losing anything. This is a non-story created by hype. This is the way things have worked in Hawaii forever. Zuckerberg might be evil but not for this.

            • Each of those 200+ people are owed around $5700 dollars for theirs shares

              Alternatively, they could want to keep it. The people most okay with this are the people who are most upset when, for example, the government takes private land, bulldozes the house, and sells it to a developer to build a mall.

      • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @03:15PM (#53737647)
        Obviously you don't care that much about it because otherwise you would have read a bit about the story and realized the story is complete click bait. Zuckerberg isn't suing to force people to sell. Zuckerberg doesn't even know who the people are. They don't know who they are! There are 8 acres of land inside his land. He owes these people the right to cross his land and if he builds on his land something like a fence he has to consult with them. These owners owe property taxes on the land. He is asking the local government to find the people who own the land and tell them they own the land. If the owners decide they don't want the land (very likely) then the land will be sold and if it is sold for more than the back taxes the owners might get some money.
      • Don't blame the victor, Zuckerburg won at life, and to the victor go the spoils.
      • Indeed, he's a diabolical narcissist if there ever was one.
      • The Hawaiians were forced from their land a long time ago. Originally, their culture didn't value private land ownership. Later, King Kamehameha essentially sought to give the land away to sugar cane farmers in return for jobs and other favors.

        The whole story is quite sad. If you travel to the islands nowadays, wealthy white folk own most of the good land near the coast. Locals are huddled up inland in relatively downtrodden neighborhoods.

        Zuckerberg is just following through with the precedent that was

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It is ironic that the owner of Facebook is suing for privacy.

    • Hey brainreader, rub two brain cells together and discover we do care.

      Look at your user id, you've been a user here for like, what, a week? Hey new kid, get off my lawn!!!

  • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @02:25PM (#53737173) Journal

    For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had. No one will be forced off the land.

    No one will be forced off the land, except for the ones who will...

  • Peasants! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @02:25PM (#53737179)

    I, high king of the Social Network, hereby decree that I have more money than thou! With this money comes great responsibility and power and the desire to own 700 acres of beachfront property in one of the most beautiful parts of the world! Unfortunately, many of you lowly peons also own bits and pieces of the property and because I am a just, and OCD, king, I must have ALL of the lands with no filthy natives scurrying across my property to access their own, so I shall be generous. Fight my lawsuits and I will bankrupt you. Accept my offers or you shall find yourself the poorer. I am king, I hereby decree it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    For editors to put the link to the actual story in the most non-obvious place.

    In this case, the link appears to actually be a link to an older story.

    Perhaps the word '"reconsidering"' would be a better link to the current story? Or, even better, '"reconsidering" a set of lawsuits'

  • by Anonymous Coward

    He should Facebook Live stream the moment when he steals the property they've owned for generations. The reactions will be LOLZ

  • How about a swap? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grungeman ( 590547 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @02:36PM (#53737273)
    If their properties is surrounded by Zuckerberg's property, why not offer them a swap? Offer them part of the outer part of his property for theirs, same size, same quality (or of course money if they prefer). That feels like sensible way to solve this without being evil.
    • without being evil.

      You're confusing Facebook with Google.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If their properties is surrounded by Zuckerberg's property, why not offer them a swap? Offer them part of the outer part of his property for theirs, same size, same quality (or of course money if they prefer). That feels like sensible way to solve this without being evil.

      Offer who? The owners are unknown and likely unaware they own the land. That's the point of the lawsuit. To locate the owners. The rest is just bullshit spin to make the story more exciting.

    • Re:How about a swap? (Score:5, Informative)

      by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @03:10PM (#53737605)
      This is just click bait to bash Zuckerberg. He isn't suing to force people to sell.

      Zuckerberg doesn't even know who the people are. They don't know who they are! There are 8 acres of land inside his land. He owes these people the right to cross his land and if he builds on his land something like a fence he has to consult with them.

      No one has been paying property taxes on the land. He is asking the local government to:
      1) find out who owns the land
      2) collect the property taxes or auction the land to pay the taxes
      3) if the land is auctioned to pay any money over the owed taxes to the owners of the land

      To complicate things the land was bought by Portuguese workers (not native Hawaiians) 4 or 5 generations ago. So each of these plots could now have over 100 owners.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Several families that own the land in question have come out and said that they have attempted to contact both Zuckerberg and his lawyers and have been promptly ignored by both. I know you desperately want to believe scum like Zuckerberg and his lawyers but it appears that they might not have been completely honest with you. This "nobody knows who owns the land" is a complete fabrication and is an extremely rare occurrence.

    • by Ken McE ( 599217 )
      grungeman: If their properties is surrounded by Zuckerberg's property, why not offer them a swap? Offer them part of the outer part of his property for theirs, same size, same quality... Problem is that these are(?) may be(?) old family graveyards. Kind of cold to ask them to dig up granny and haul her away because she's become a nuisance...
  • It this is the situation, then why shouldn't the steps be
    1. Public records to find the owners
    2. Send certified letters letting them know they own it and you'd like to buy it
    3. Buy it, since "they'd be getting money for something they didn't know they had"
    4. Avoid assholeriness
    5. Enjoy!!!

    • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @02:50PM (#53737405) Journal

      1) is the actual problem. There is no owner of record because the deed is held in a name that has long since passed away, and no heirs can be discovered without going through probate. Which is a long, expensive and often tears families a part. Yes, I've looked into this a bit, and it seems a "lawsuit" is required to discover the rightful owners. And with it, Zuckerberg will likely also have to pay all the back taxes on the land.

      Makes Mark seem less like a douche when you stop kneejerking reactions. (He's still a douche, but for other reasons)

    • It wouldn't surprise me if the lawsuits were primarily intended for (a) cases where the owners could not be found and (b) cases where the owners keep ignoring messages that seemed to be from fraudsters. (If you randomly received a call that somebody wanted to offer you money to sign over a piece of land that you never knew you owned, would you really believe it to not to be a scam of some sort?). There are also likely a few cases of (c) owners that have zero interest in ever using the land, but knowing wh

    • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Wednesday January 25, 2017 @03:21PM (#53737711) Homepage

      It this is the situation, then why shouldn't the steps be
      1. Public records to find the owners
      2. Send certified letters letting them know they own it and you'd like to buy it
      3. Buy it, since "they'd be getting money for something they didn't know they had"
      4. Avoid assholeriness
      5. Enjoy!!!

      This is EXACTLY what he is doing. This "lawsuit" is notifying the 300 next of kin who might own property to make a claim. The lawsuit basically says that if noone steps forward in 21 days that the court will give the property free and clear to Zuckerberg. He's not being an asshole, he's following standard procedure in Hawaii. This is how it is always done there.

      • by guruevi ( 827432 )

        The same can happen in the US and EU, especially around the sale of a house or if certain properties have been abandoned although the time periods involved vary wildly based on circumstance and location.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If none of the people who own this land know about their ownership rights or actually use the land, then that means nobody is exercising their right to cross Zuckerburg's land. Why is he even bothering with the land acquisition? He can pay less in property tax by NOT buying the land, and he still gets full, exclusive use of his own current property.

    Something doesn't quite add up here.

    • Maybe he just wants to build a security wall but can't while he still has to allow border con.. i mean access to those plots

  • Last week, Zuckerberg said, "For most of these folks, they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had. No one will be forced off the land."
    Does that still apply after accounting for the fees for the lawyers they were forced to hire?

    It is still a douchebag, asshat move. If he had actually attempted to determine ownership of the land, and then approached the owners with offers to buy, that would have been the proper opening move.

    • If he had actually attempted to determine ownership of the land, and then approached the owners with offers to buy, that would have been the proper opening move.

      That is exactly what he is doing. He's spent a ton of money researching genealogy and has managed to locate around 300 potential heirs to the 8 acres in question. He managed to locate 1 person. The lawsuit basically is saying that attempts to contact the other 200+ has failed and is asking the court for permission to clear the title and proceed. This is a non-story. This is standard procedure in Hawaii. It's similar to why you buy Title Insurance in the continental USA.

    • His choice of the word "most" shows that he believes there are also others would be affected more negatively. His statement is actually rather damning, if you understand the language he's using. Most people don't speak Business English and hear something totally different than what he said.

    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      You are assuming he has not done that. I am 100% certain the first thing that was done was a title search. Its not nearly as uncommon as you might think for plat maps to be inaccurate and incomplete.

      Its not unusual for property to be titled to someone long dead or long missing who has not paid taxes in forever and nobody know who the rightful owners might be. This would be impossible to discover if the person is in fact dead and probate was closed without dealing with said property. Which if the probate

      • What is he supposed to do otherwise, do a complete genealogy work up on everyone who ever had a title and personally ask their prodigy if they would like to make a claim of ownership?

        How about he accepts the fact that he bought 700 acres with an 8 acre part in the middle that he did NOT buy, and that he has no more claim to that land than anyone else, and has no right to tell anyone, either directly or through a court, "either step up and claim it or I get it by default"?

        Buying 700 acres and then taking the part you didn't buy through legal action is sleazy.

        Or are you claiming that he didn't know there was this 8 acre part of land he didn't actually buy?

        And yes, I find the legal pr

  • You can reconsider lawsuits all you want but in the mean time your lawyers are still going forward. Tell me when he makes up his mind.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    With so few people able to actually understand what's going on, and a bunch of journalists more interested in clicks than taking the 5 minutes to call a lawyer and educate themselves on this, I feel a lot of sympathy for Zuckerberg. There's simply no reason to abuse or think poorly of him over this.

    Zuckerberg files a quiet title action. Such a suit would be titled something like "In re: .025 acres of land." Here, he's asking the court (a Hawaii state court) to identify the owner of a tract of land, nothi

  • He hasn't realized people already thought he was a jerk.

  • So this guy's only going to be a jerk in private basically.

  • Like the farmers who sold their farms to oil barons for a fraction of the true worth because they didn't understand oil and drilling, these owners stand to be cheated out of the true value of their land... which carries with it rights no one else in the whole world has.

  • Lawsuit to press money onto someone? Another doublespeak? Why not say it as it looks like - I want their land and have enough money to not care about anything. Generations or natives, I don't give a rats tail. I want that land. Period.
  • I know; this isn't news, yet I do feel the need to bring to attention that potential 'Fake News' is finding outlet here on Slashdot!

    Does it not seem important to verify a story, and at the least post a link to the original source(s), so as to actually provide meaningful service to fellow readers, rather than jumping to some conclusion that you likely had supposed running around in your head without justification?

    Please, fellow Slashdot-ians - take the time to take full responsibility for your re-posts

A formal parsing algorithm should not always be used. -- D. Gries

Working...