Mark Zuckerberg Is A Great Non-Villain In "The Social Network"

-The Social Network Poster Icon-In what was probably one of the best non-non-fictions that I watched on the big screen in recent memory, “The Social Network” depicts Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and Co-Founder of the company, as the genius founder of a startup that’s growing faster than any of the initial founders can handle. It also illustrates the torn friendship of Eduardo Saeverin and Zuckerberg who jointly co-founded the site. Despite the ongoing coverage that says the movie is deeply damaging for Mark Zuckerberg, I didn’t find that to be the case.

While it was no doubt a sensationalized retelling of the company’s founding, you couldn’t help but feel somewhat sympathetic for Mark. While the movie also makes you feel bad for Eduardo, you can get the slightest glimpse into how Zuckerberg might have felt as the site surged in popularity. The movie also regularly references the few public transcripts of instant messages and other public documents published by Zuckerberg when he was first creating the site.

Is the move completely fabricated? Not at all, it’s regularly interspersed with factual information which has leaked out piece by piece to the press over the years. However there are clearly segments of the movie which are sensationalized. There’s also a large chunk of information that only Mark, Eduardo, and a few others could know about. The role of Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, two of the early co-founders, is relatively downplayed, each person having only a line or two.

While the movie also centers around Mark’s anger over a girl as the motivation behind launching the site, a concept which has been dismissed by Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly, it surely makes for a great movie. It also effectively depicts some of the social aspects of Facebook that define what the site is today. For example, when Eduardo Saeverin doesn’t change his relationship status on Facebook, the girl he’s dating goes crazy and burns stuff in his dorm room prior to storming out.

While the movie is far from reality, there is a weak attempt at shooting for the truth. Granted, the only people who can determine how the founding of the site took place are the people who founded it, but there’s definitely the effective development of a character who we actually want to win (Mark Zuckerberg). While it may not be fact, The Social Network is a great tale of the founding of one company that has had an unmeasurable impact on our culture in the 6 years since it was founded.

As for any damage being done by the movie, I honestly don’t think this will be all that damaging to Mark Zuckerberg’s reputation. Instead, he has had his position as one of the leading cultural figures of our time formalized through the sensationalized adaptation of the company’s founding retold on the big screen. While people who don’t know Mark personally will be left wondering, “Is that how it really happened?”, it’s only the founders of the company and a small inner circle who will ever know.

That level of mystery is in my opinion an attractive one, and it’s exactly the way it should remain. Nobody ever said making billions of dollars was easy.