Earlier this year, we published a series of posts featuring instant messages written by Facebook CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg.Today, the New Yorker quoted two of them in a profile of Zuckerberg. Jose Antonio Vargas, who wrote the profile, says he’s also “obtained and confirmed” the IMs.
In Vargas’s story, Zuckerberg admits he wrote the IMs and says he “absolutely” regrets them.
We give Mark tons of credit for going on the record and talking about his youthful foibles.
Here’s the part of the story where Vargas quotes the IMs:
The technology site Silicon Alley Insider got hold of some of the messages and, this past spring, posted the transcript of a conversation between Zuckerberg and a friend, outlining how he was planning to deal with Harvard Connect:
FRIEND: so have you decided what you are going to do about the websites?
ZUCK: yea i’m going to fuck them
ZUCK: probably in the year
In another exchange leaked to Silicon Alley Insider, Zuckerberg explained to a friend that his control of Facebook gave him access to any information he wanted on any Harvard student:
ZUCK: yea so if you ever need info about anyone at harvard
ZUCK: just ask
ZUCK: i have over 4000 emails, pictures, addresses, sns
FRIEND: what!? how’d you manage that one?
ZUCK: people just submitted it
ZUCK: i don’t know why
ZUCK: they “trust me”
ZUCK: dumb fucks
According to two knowledgeable sources, there are more unpublished IMs that are just as embarrassing and damaging to Zuckerberg. But, in an interview, Breyer told me, “Based on everything I saw in 2006, and after having a great deal of time with Mark, my confidence in him as C.E.O. of Facebook was in no way shaken.” Breyer, who sits on Facebook’s board, added, “He is a brilliant individual who, like all of us, has made mistakes.” When I asked Zuckerberg about the IMs that have already been published online, and that I have also obtained and confirmed, he said that he “absolutely” regretted them. “If you’re going to go on to build a service that is influential and that a lot of people rely on, then you need to be mature, right?” he said. “I think I’ve grown and learned a lot.”
Zuckerberg’s sophomoric former self, he insists, shouldn’t define who he is now. But he knows that it does, and that, because of the upcoming release of “The Social Network,” it will surely continue to do so. The movie is a scathing portrait, and the image of an unsmiling, insecure, and sexed-up young man will be hard to overcome. Zuckerberg said, “I think a lot people will look at that stuff, you know, when I was nineteen, and say, ‘Oh, well, he was like that. . . . He must still be like that, right?’ “
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