Facebook Stole U.S. Veteran’s Ideas and Tried to Kill His Business

Here’s the crux of the story.

Voxer founder, Tom Katis, started developing the patents in question in 2006 as a way to solve battlefield communications problems he encountered while serving a Special Forces Communications Sergeant in Afghanistan. Katis and the Voxer team developed technology that enabled the transmission of live voice and video communications and launched the Walkie Talkie app in 2011.

He then made the mistake of sharing details with Facebook in 2013, because they shamelessly stole his ideas and then tried to act like a monopoly platform and starve Voxer of Facebook users.

Voxer launched the app in 2011, which was named Best Overall App in the First Annual Silicon Valley Business App Awards in 2013. In 2012, Facebook approached Voxer about a potential collaboration that led to Voxer sharing its patents and proprietary information with the company. “When early meetings did not result in an agreement, Facebook identified Voxer as a competitor although Facebook had no live video or voice product at the time,” court filings read. “Facebook revoked Voxer’s access to key components of the Facebook platform and launched Facebook Live in 2015 followed by Instagram Live in 2016. Both products incorporate Voxer’s technologies and infringe its patents.”

A jury figured this out and just awarded Katis $175m, which seems like about 1/7 of what he deserves.

Facebook, like the wealthy and dumb bully they are, tried to argue that 2015 development efforts weren’t later than Voxer’s 2013 presentation, let alone later than patent development back in 2006.

Their court filings literally stated “Facebook has prioritized live video messaging since the launch of Facebook Live and Instagram Live”, which just made them look like they can’t tell time.

The launch of Facebook Live had been clearly recorded as abrupt and personal, rushed in 2016 as a reaction to some kind of CEO injury (e.g. falling out with Voxer) and specifically to kill competition.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to prioritize the video product after a February 2016 meeting, according to the WSJ. …Zuckerberg decided to put more than 100 employees under “lockdown” for two months in order to roll out Facebook Live to everyone, sources told the paper.

At the end of the day, everyone knows Facebook was started by a guy who thought he could use the Internet to hurt and manipulate vulnerable populations. His platform has been a fountain of toxic abuse and low integrity ever since Harvard decided not to press charges against him.

Is it any surprise that awful guy had to “lockdown” 100 mercenaries in an attempt to attack a Green Beret veteran.

I say this not just because the CEO has always been a ruthless immoral jerk, which is true, but because a single U.S. Green Beret veteran (on top of being trained to liberate the oppressed from places like Facebook) has more talent and skill than 100 of Facebook’s mercenaries.

Food for thought next time you see someone list Facebook on their resume.

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