The Social Network




According to The Statistics Portal: “As of the fourth quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.32 billion users.” Mark Zuckerberg, the go-to computer programmer on Harvard’s campus, worked with friends to create a social networking site that allowed Harvard students to connect with each other. It was an idea that started within the four walls of a beer littered dorm room, the algorithm for the site drunkenly scrawled across a window. Named ‘The Facebook’, the site would become what billions know today as Facebook (“Drop the “the”, it’s cleaner”). Having launched the site in 2004 and running it from his dorm room , Zuckerberg then relocated to California, by the end of the year the site had already gained 1 million users. This, the incredible story behind the site’s inception, was turned into biopic ‘The Social Network’, directed by the incomparable David Fincher. The main cause for drama surrounding Facebook was that of its authenticity in terms of whether Zuckerberg was actually the one to come up with the initial idea of Facebook. This is where ideas of truth and morality of character come into play as we watch Zuckerberg (played by an astute Jesse Eisenberg) get sued by four different people. Divya Narendra, along with twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss all sued Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea. The twins claimed that they approached Zuckerberg to programme a site for them called ‘HarvardConnection’ that had a very similar layout and proposal to ‘The Facebook’. Despite creating the algorithm for the site, the CFO of ‘The Facebook’ and Zuckerberg’s only friend, Eduardo Saverin, also sued Zuckerberg on account of his shares in the company being diluted to just 0.03%. In this way, The Social Network interrogates the very notion of the lone genius creator. As we have seen time and time again, acts of creation such as this rarely come from just one person’s brain or skillset. Many people, discussions and skillsets are usually needed in order to bring an idea to life. The greatest irony of the film is that Facebook is a site based around friends, yet in claiming to be the site’s sole creator, Zuckerberg lost the only one he had.

Natasha Perkin

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