David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s new film about the founding of Facebook, The Social Network, is an entertaining movie that anybody who cares about power, business, and the human need to matter should go see right now.It’s also fiction.
We’ve done a lot of reporting on Facebook – we’ve even read some of Mark Zuckerberg‘s instant message conversations from the era of the company’s founding – so when we watched The Social Network it was hard not to be the nerd keeping track of the inaccuracies.
(Yes, this made us feel like 13-year-old worried that the Twilight movies would not adhere to the books. Oh well.)
The biggest lie the movie tells is that Eduardo Saverin is a complete victim and Mark Zuckerberg is a villain. Mark behaved badly when he was 19, but he had his reasons to cut Eduardo out of the company.
But as they say in the movie – in a line stolen from Facebook’s top spokesman – “every creation tale needs it’s devil.”
Painting Eduardo as a victim and Zuckerberg as a villian, the film neglects to mention that Facebook began to be starved for cash while Eduardo Saverin was in New York. It got so bad, Zuckerberg's family took out loans for servers.
Nor does the movie mention how Eduardo put up free ads for his own startup on Facebook without telling anybody first
The movie also portrays Eduardo Saverin as Mark Zuckerberg's BFF and original collaborator on Facebook. Nope. That was Adam D'Angelo, Mark's Exeter classmate and Facebook's first CTO. We've seen the chatty IMs.
The movie starts with a falsehood: that Mark Zuckerberg never rowed for a crew team. Actually he did, back at Exeter, the super elite boarding school he went to.
The movie makes the Winklevosses' business partner, Divvya Narendra, out to be the hard-charger in the case against Zuckerberg. In reality, Divvya is the one who's moved on.
Sean Parker WAS arrested for cocaine possession, but not in California and not during the Fall of 2004.
The movie suggests the Winklevoss brothers didn't go to the Crimson with their complaints about Mark Zuckerberg. False. They actually tipped off the Crimson in late spring 2004.
Lucky for Zuckerberg, the movie also leaves out the story about how he used Facebook data to break into a Facebook user's private email
BONUS: Sorry, the real Mark Zuckerberg just isn't nearly as cool as Jesse Eisenberg's Mark Zuckerberg
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