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Facebook sued for Timeline feature

21 Aug 2012

A Chinese social networking company claims that Facebook stole the idea for its timeline feature.

Facebook launched the timeline feature in 2011. The feature allows for users to chronologically order status updates and media in their profile. Chinese firm Cubic Networks claims that it launched a similar social style timeline in 2008.

"As everybody can see, our Timeline function was available on the Internet," Cubic Network chief executive Xiong Wanli said in a recent interview with a local Chinese newspaper.

"I especially introduced it in my speech at Stanford University, and Mark Zuckerberg was among the audience. Some American law firms are approaching us to ask if we would like to sue Facebook. If so, they would provide services."

Xiong told the newspaper China Youth Daily that he has video evidence that proves Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was at the Stanford presentation for the timeline feature.

The Cubic Networks chief executive says he was considering litigation as far back as last year but took his time investigating his legal options before finally moving ahead with the suit.

Cubic Networks runs the Chinese social networking site As Facebook isn't available in China, the social networking realm is much more diversified when compared to the UK.

Facebook's Timeline feature has been much maligned since its debut late last year.

The feature, which is mandatory in the UK, was the focus of a scam which tricked users into downloading a malware maligned plug-in that promised to remove the un-liked feature.

Facebook has also had to fight ongoing privacy battles. The company was recently ordered by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to revamp its privacy policy.

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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