Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has today been served a cease and desist order issued on behalf of the Egyptian government who claim that he stole the idea of sharing photos and status updates from the hieroglyphs found on the walls of ancient pyramids.
‘What were hieroglyphs if not an early version of social networking?’ asked Egyptian prime minister, Essam Sharaf, today. ‘If a pharaoh wanted to let his friends know how he was and what he’d been up to, he’d just instant message them by carving a status update like ‘wavy line, owl, big eye, smiley face’ onto his wall, and they’d read it the instant they walked past. Facebook is exploiting our ancient culture – the Egyptian government doesn’t like this.’
Archaeologists claim that despite the popularity of hieroglyphics, many ancient Egyptians also had concerns about such modern forms of communication. ‘Some pharaohs had their whole lives laid out on their pyramid walls,’ said one. ‘The lax privacy settings meant that anyone wandering past could find out everything about them. But hieroglyphs were still used to chart key events. Who can forget where they were when Cleopatra’s relationship status changed from ‘in a relationship with Mark Anthony’ to ‘It’s complicated’?’
With Egypt hoping to win a legal challenge against Facebook, other countries have also come forward to claim an influence on the development of the website. ‘The Magna Carta is now recognised as the first-known documented set of security settings and user preferences, though the British public complained that they weren’t consulted about subsequent updates which were just adopted and implemented against their will,’ said historian David Starkey. ‘In fact the English Civil War was caused by unrest at further changes to the Facebook user interface, with the Cavaliers in favour and the Roundheads opposed.’
And France, too, has launched a claim against Zuckerberg, insisting that the Bayeux Tapestry was a beta version of Facebook’s online photo sharing facility. ‘Facebook owes everything to our tapestry. Not only does it introduce the concept of pictures being tagged, it also contains the first-recorded instance of a user (Harold1) being ‘poked’ in the eye by an acquaintance (Will_C).’