Forbes - - The Blank Of Blank Midas Meter Celebrities -

STOP US IF you’ve heard this before: A col­lege stu­dent starts a so­cial net­work, grows wealthy and pro­ceeds to anger a lot of pow­er­ful peo­ple. Only this ver­sion is set in Rus­sia.

In 2006 Pavel Durov founded Vkon­takte (now known as VK), the largest Europe-based so­cial net­work, with more than 350 mil­lion reg­is­tered users. Durov claimed to have been ousted from the com­pany in 2014 af­ter tan­gling with Vladimir Putin’s gov­ern­ment over cen­sor­ship is­sues. By then he was al­ready at work on his next so­cial me­dia cre­ation, the en­crypted mes­sag­ing app Tele­gram, which has north of 100 mil­lion users—in­clud­ing mem­bers of ISIS, who have set up count­less se­cret chan­nels and a help desk for how to avoid sur­veil­lance.

Now an ex­ile from Rus­sia, the 31-year-old Durov, who is worth an es­ti­mated $300 mil­lion, con­sid­ers him­self “a le­gal cit­i­zen of the world.”

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