Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has filed a lawsuit against some Hawaiian families to safeguard privacy of his recently-purchased land in Hawaii, sparking criticism from various circles.
The young billionaire bought estate in Kauai in 2014 for about $100 million. More than a hundred local landowners are involved in the case, which allegedly forces them to sell off the land that has been kept and distributed in their families for ages.
Kauai, located in the Hawaiian archipelago, is a far-off island in the North Pacific Ocean, and has tropical rainforest on most of its surface, earning it nickname of ‘The Garden Isle’. Zuckerberg’s land is situated in such a way that a small pass-through route is available to the Hawaiians.
It is in this regard that the social media juggernaut’s top executive has opted for “quiet title and partition,” a legal move that would coerce the families to sell their land at the highest bid, USA Today reported.
In order to do so, Zuckerberg has researched ownership through decades, back to the time when ‘land parcels’ were handed out in 1850s. The rationale behind this was the fact that there were no legal documents for the locals’ family assets, and many in the existing generation do not know they legally possess such lands.
Zuckerberg updated his Facebook profile to clear up “confusions” arising due to this development. He wrote, “[Priscilla and I] want to create a home on the island, and help preserve the wildlife and natural beauty.”
The CEO further commented, “In Hawaii, […] in the mid-1800s, small parcels were granted to families, which after generations might now be split among hundreds of descendants. There aren’t always clear records, and in many cases descendants who own 1/4% or 1% of a property don’t even know they are entitled to anything.”
The Facebook chief intends to offer the descendants their “fair share,” so that “they will now receive money for something they never even knew they had. No one will be forced off the land.”
USA Today mentioned, “One of the owners of the land in question, Carlos Andrade, is helping Zuckerberg as co-plaintiff. [Andrade is] supporting Zuckerberg to make sure that [Andrade’s] family property isn’t lost to the county.”