Will the real Mark Zuckerberg please stand up

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2011

An Israeli has changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg in the hope that it will discourage Facebook from suing him.

The man, formerly known as Rotem Guez, took the dramatic action after he received letters from Facebook’s lawyers warning him that he was in breach of the company’s terms and conditions.

Mr Guez, an entrepreneur, had been selling Facebook "likes" to external companies. Facebook does not allow businesses to profit in this way, and told Mr Guez he had to stop.

Mr Guez decided to take on the social networking giant by taking on the name of its 27-year-old founder. His passport has been changed and – at least for the next seven years – he will be known to the world as Mark Zuckerberg.

"I thought it would be funny and ironic if Facebook were to sue Mark Zuckerberg," he said.

So far, it has not paid off, and Mr Guez's new Facebook profile has been deleted. However a prankster has built a new Facebook profile for a "Rotem Guez".

"If I were paranoid, I’d guess it was Mark," he told the Daily Beast.

Facebook has vowed to take "whatever measures it believes are necessary to enforce [Facebook’s] rights". Mr Guez said he did not think the company had a case and denied that he was breaking any laws in Israel or California, where Facebook is based.

Right now he is enjoying his newfound notoriety. "From what I hear, I’m 2011’s biggest troll," he joked.

Mr Guez is not the first Israeli to use Facebook for inspiration when choosing a name. Earlier this year a couple named their newborn baby "like".

Last updated: 11:16am, December 22 2011