Inside the mind of Mark Zuckerberg's alleged stalker
The man accused of stalking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he never meant any harm and only wanted "advice."
Far more rare, however, is a privacy concern involving Facebook's own founder.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines when his personal Facebook fan page fell under the control of a hacker. Now, Zuck says someone is using his own social network to stalk him -- in a literal and rather unsettling sense.
Mark Zuckerberg's Stalker Investigation
Facebook has confirmed that Zuckerberg recently filed a stalking-related restraining order against a man in California. Court records indicate that man is a 31-year-old named Pradeep Manukonda.
According to TMZ, Manukonda repeatedly attempted to contact Zuckerberg, both via Facebook and in person -- and reached out to his girlfriend and sister, too. Manukonda is accused of going to Facebook's offices and even Zuckerberg's home to try to see the high-profile tech exec. Some sources say he attempted to reach Zuckerberg as many as 20 times in a single day.
One message said to have been written by Manukonda begs for Zuckerberg's attention. "I really need your help," the message, published by TMZ, proclaims. "Please respond in time...before it is too late for us."
Manukonda reportedly received a verbal warning from police in January but continued to contact Zuckerberg nevertheless.
Zuckerberg's Alleged Stalker: What We Know
So what's really going on in this guy's head? The TMZ crew's coverage -- which in and of itself shows you how much of a mainstream celebrity Zuckerberg has become -- includes a new interview said to be with Manukonda himself. In the story, Manukonda claims he was seeking some sort of personal "advice" from Zuckerberg.
"I'm a peaceful guy," Manukonda is quoted as saying. "I'm sorry he thought I was trying to harm him."
Other documents suggest Manukonda may have been trying to get money to help cover the costs of medical treatments for his mother.
Manukonda, according to TMZ, has "promised" never to disturb Zuckerberg again, saying he'll "respect his privacy."
A court hearing is scheduled for later this month. In the meantime, a judge has ordered Manukonda to stay away from Zuckerberg and avoid any contact with him or his family.