The Social Network

As if my life isn’t already consumed by Facebook, tonight Catie, Stephanie and I decided to go to The Social Network.

I’m not going to go into detail about the movie or even write a review. The plot’s simple; it’s about the creation of Facebook and as far as reviews go, just run one google search and take your pick from the hundreds of opinions out there. I’m sure you can find at least one that correlates with your movie likes and dislikes.

If you really want an opinion, here’s my two cents: I loved it and thought it was exceptionally well done. Not only did it keep my attention, but I found it highly entertaining and extremely interesting. I’d recommend it to anyone.

But, after leaving the theater, I realized I wasn’t completely satisfied. I walked away from the movie wanting to know how much of The Social Network is actually true? Does this site, which I find myself on multiple times a day, have a backstabbing, unethical, money-grubbing story behind it’s blue and white facade?

While it wouldn’t surprise me, and I doubt I would use it any less, I was still curious.

Running several searches I found articles such as this one, which writes around copies of actual IM’s between Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker and Eduardo Saverin.

I also found a few websites that list the ‘top ten interesting facts’ from the movie. Three of which I’ve copied and pasted below:

-Although Zuckerberg is against the movie, he still allows it to have a Facebook fan page.
– Jesse Eisenberg’s (who portrayed Mark Zuckerberg) cousin was a Facebook product designer.
– The reason Facebook is blue? Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind.

Finally, I came across one article that interested me and actually had some journalistic basis backing it up. David Kirkpatrick, who states he’s been researching the real story behind Facebook for a year and a half and has interviewed Zuckerberg several times, wrote this article for the Daily Beast. In it, he describes parts of the movie which he finds to be true, as well as some parts that are, well, made for Hollywood.

I really encourage you to read the entire article, as it’s both interesting and informative, but if you just want a quick read, I’ve highlighted some of Kirkpatrick’s discoveries here (Please bear in mind, I’m only relaying this information from what I have read):

-Unlike how they’re portrayed in the movie, Zuckerberg and Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) aren’t really that mean or angry in person. (Don’t worry, there’s more depth to the rest of this blog). Kirkpatrick goes on to write ‘Zuckerberg is one of the least angry people I’ve ever met. He is even-tempered, generally upbeat, if prone to silence, and highly self-confident.’

-Throughout the movie Zuckerberg is trying to get over Erica Albright, who breaks up with him in the first scene. In reality, Zuckerberg was rarely without a girlfriend and right after Facebook launched, began seriously dating Priscilla Chan, whom he now lives with.

-According to Zuckerberg, Dustin Mokowitz was actually more important to Facebook’s success than Eduardo Saverin.

-Parker’s influence was actually extremely beneficial to the company. Not only did he advise the boys on company finance and structure, but he also negotiated with the financiers, guaranteeing that the company could never be taken from Zuckerberg.

-Eduardo Saverin was Zuckerberg’s best friend and, in the movie, is portrayed the most accurately. Saverin’s commitment to the company lasted only 6 months. Today, he owns enough stock to give him 5 percent of the company, approximately worth $1.4 billion.

-The story behind the Winklevoss twins is true and they did sue Zuckerberg. However, their role in the creation of Facebook isn’t as important as the movie makes it out to be. While Zuckerberg did mislead them about his intentions, it doesn’t appear Zuckerberg stole their ideas.

-And, last but not least, I read Zuckerberg really does seem to have a humorous side to him (although I’m not sure if it’s as dry a humor as he displayed in The Social Network.) The boys did attach a zip line to the roof of their house in Palo Alto, allowing them to fly into their pool and Zuckerberg really did create a business card reading: “I’m CEO…bitch.”

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