|The Social Network (2010)
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake
based on the book "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich
October 5, 1983
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Born: May 14, 1984
Birthplace: White Plains, New York, USA
August 20, 1983
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
January 31, 1981
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Born: December 3, 1979
September 21, 1983
Birthplace: Rhinebeck, New York, USA
August 28, 1986
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
||Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss
Born: August 21, 1981
Birthplace: Southampton, New York, USA
September 16, 1985
Birthplace: Hampstead, London, England, UK
Born: March 18, 1982
...they had two choices of books to base it [The Social Network movie] on and they based it on the fiction book. - Mark Zuckerberg (Computer History Museum Interview, July 21, 2010)
Questioning the Story:
How does Mark Zuckerberg feel about the Facebook movie and books?
Mark revealed his opinion of The Social Network movie and the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich on which the film was based by saying, "The reason why we didn't participate is because it was very clear that it was fiction from the beginning. We talked to [Mezrich] about that and he basically told us, 'what I'm most interested in is telling the most interesting story.' We want to make sure that we never participate in something like that, so then someone can take something that's really fictional and say, 'We talked to Mark Zuckerberg for this.' So, I think it's clear that it's fiction. All the book reviews of that book from people who know it say that it's fiction. The movie is based on the book. I don't really know how much else there is to say about it.” - Computer History Museum Mark Zuckerberg Interview
Contrarily, Mark feels that the book The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick is more in line with the Facebook true story, “You know, honestly, I wish that when people tried to do journalism or write stuff about Facebook that they at least tried to get it right. So, I mean that's why having not read all of your book (speaking to author David Kirkpatrick), and I read a part of it when you sent it to me, I at least appreciate the effort that you put in, in terms of spending all those hours and days talking to dozens of people in the ecosystem around us, at least trying to understand what's going on. If I read your book, I probably wouldn't agree with everything, but at least there's the sense that it's serious journalism.” - Computer History Museum Mark Zuckerberg Interview
Did Zuckerberg drop out of Harvard University?
Yes. Our research into the real story behind the Facebook movie confirmed that in June 2004, after completing his sophomore year, Mark moved to Palo Alto, California and never returned to Harvard as a student.
Was the movie The Social Network filmed at Harvard?
No. Filming occurred at a variety of places, including Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus in Baltimore (The Baltimore Sun, Oct 28, 2009), Wheelock College in Boston (Wheelock.edu), Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts (Andover.edu) and Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts (The Milton Measure, November 13, 2009). As for the bar in the first scene, that is the Thirsty Scholar Pub located in Somerville, Massachusetts (CBS4).
Did Mark really upload his high school project Synapse for free rather than selling it for over a million dollars?
Mark almost became a
millionaire in high school,
years before this cover.
Yes. Synapse was a plug-in for the MP3 player Winamp that Mark and his friend Adam D’Angelo created for their final project at Phillips Exeter Academy. The software looked at what music you enjoyed listening to and then suggested more music that it thought you would like. Despite being offered as much as $2 million for their creation from companies like Microsoft, AOL and Winamp, they instead decided to put Synapse up on the internet for free. Later, they decided to try to make a deal, but the offers were no longer the same since their software was already readily available. -The Harvard Crimson
Where did Zuckerberg and his roommates live at Harvard?
After researching the Facebook true story, it was confirmed that they resided in Suite H33 of the Kirkland House.
Did Mark create a website called Facemash.com after a fight with his girlfriend?
Yes, and he blogged about it. “I need to think of something to make to take my mind off her…” Mark came up with the idea of comparing classmates to farm animals and letting people vote on who was more attractive. Luckily, one of his roommates, Billy Olson, said that they should compare classmates to each other rather than to animals and only occasionally add in animals for amusement. Ultimately, Facemash was created with no animals involved. Mark was put on probation by the Administrative Board and sent to see a counselor. He apologized to women’s groups offended by the site, including the Association of Harvard Black Women whom he eventually helped build a website of their own. No other people involved were punished. It is this project that inspired Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to approach Zuckerberg for help with their Harvard Connection website idea. - The Facebook Effect book
Did Harvard shutdown Facemash or was it overloaded?
After four hours of being live, Harvard’s computer services department noticed the surge in traffic and shut down Zuckerberg’s web access. Overall, it reached approximately 450 students, logging 22,000 votes. - The Facebook Effect
What was Course Match?
Course Match was an application Mark Zuckerberg created for Harvard students in the fall of 2003. The program allowed students to determine which classes they wanted to take by informing them of who was already signed up for a particular class. You could also see a list of the classes that an individual was taking. - The Facebook Effect
Does Mark Zuckerberg have a girlfriend?
Mark Zuckerberg and girlfriend
Priscilla Chan (also shown inset).
Yes. In July of 2010 he said, “The truth is I've been dating the same girl since before I built Facebook.” According to the book The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, Mark Zuckerberg’s girlfriend Priscilla Chan attended the meeting with Sean Parker at 66 in New York. - Computer History Museum Mark Zuckerberg Interview
Who were the founders of Facebook and what were their roles?
The founding of Facebook is attributed to four individuals. Mark Zuckerberg set it up with two of his roommates, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz, as well as his friend and fraternity brother (Alpha Epsilon Pi) Eduardo Saverin. Zuckerberg led with the overall idea and initial development of the site.
Moskovitz was hired to help expand it to more campuses. He researched the schools and made adjustments to the code so new students were able to register. Hughes was their spokesman and handled interview requests. Eduardo Saverin provided the initial investment needed to launch the site and managed the business side of the operation. -Facebook Pressroom
Zuckerberg (right) during his Harvard days
with roommates and Facebook co-founders
Dustin Moskovitz (left) and Chris Hughes.
When was the Facebook website launched?
On January 11, 2004, Mark registered Thefacebook.com for a year for $35 through Register.com. It went live for Harvard students on February 4, 2004. When the decision was made to remove the “the”, Facebook.com was acquired from AboutFace for $200,000 and debuted on September 20, 2005. - The Facebook Effect
I heard that actor Jesse Eisenberg’s cousin works at Facebook, is that true?
Yes. Eisenberg’s first cousin, Eric Fisher, is a Product Designer at Facebook. Mark acknowledged their business relationship by stating, “You know, the guy who is playing me, his cousin works at Facebook. He is currently the lead designer on News Feed. And I meet with him every week to go through the next version of what we're building. He's a cool guy. He's really talented.” - Computer History Museum Mark Zuckerberg Interview
Eric Fisher helped his cousin build the web site OneUpMe.com. It is based on an idea Jesse Eisenberg came up with to have a wordplay game site where players try to outdo each other’s witty response to a daily simile. - OneUpMe.com
. Students at
Columbia, Stanford and Yale were
able to "Add Friends" after Harvard.
Which schools received access to TheFacebook after Harvard?
Columbia (February 25th), Stanford (February 26th) and Yale (February 29th) were next because they all had their own social networks; it was a test of sorts. According to Zuckerberg, “If TheFacebook still took off at those schools and displaced those [other networks] then I would know it would go really well at all the other ones.” - The Facebook Effect book
How long did it take to create the social network Facebook?
Soon after the release of Facemash, the Winklevoss twins and Divya Narendra approached Mark for help on their Harvard dating website idea. They believed he was working on it for most of that time (there was a three month time span between the release of Facemash and Facebook) but in Mark Zuckerberg’s own words, “The Facebook literally took me a week to make.” - The Harvard Crimson
Was Mark Zuckerberg’s picture featured on the original Facebook design?
Original design of thefacebook.com
showing the Al Pacino silhouette.
No. According to The Social Network true story, a picture of Al Pacino was on the top left corner. The bottom of the pages did however read, ‘A Mark Zuckerberg Production’. - The Facebook Effect book
How much money did Eduardo Saverin invest in Facebook?
Saverin’s original investment to help start the company was $1,000. Zuckerberg himself also contributed $1,000. Soon after, they both agreed to invest an additional $10,000 each to cover the quickly growing server costs. A few months later, Eduardo opened a bank account to cover business expenses and to deposit advertising revenues, at which point he added an additional $10,000 of his own money. - The Facebook Effect
What was the original pay agreement regarding Facebook?
The first agreement made was a 70 – 30 split between Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin. About a month after Thefacebook was released to Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg’s roommate Dustin Moskovitz asked to work on the project as well. He was given 5%, reducing Mark’s cut to 65%. When Sean Parker entered the picture, the company was reincorporated and new corporate bylaws were written up. As a result, Zuckerberg was entitled to 51%, Saverin 34.4%, Moskovitz 6.81% and Parker 6.47%, with the remaining allotted to their law firm. - The Facebook Effect
Did Eduardo Saverin really freeze the Facebook bank account?
Yes. In researching the real story behind the Facebook movie The Social Network, it was discovered that Saverin did in fact freeze the bank account he had set up to pay the business expenses. Zuckerberg was forced to pay for the Palo Alto house expenses, the site’s running costs and new servers out of pocket. - The Facebook Effect
Was there an article published about Eduardo Saverin being involved with chicken cannibalism?
No. When investigating the Facebook true story, it was discovered that in December of 2003, The Harvard Crimson published an article that addressed accusations of animal cruelty as part of the Phoenix, S. K. Club initiations, an organization which Saverin was involved in. There was no mention of him or cannibalism in the article, but claims were made that they were “ordered to torture and kill live chickens”. No one has admitted or been charged with animal cruelty. However, it is common knowledge that chickens are a part of the Phoenix initiation process, as potential members have been seen carrying around chickens and taking them to classes in cages in prior years. - The Harvard Crimson
Did Mark really go to a meeting wearing pajamas?
Yes, but he wishes he hadn’t. Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital had been on Plaxo’s board (one of Sean Parker’s former companies) when Sean worked there, and Sean considered him a primary reason he was ousted from his own company. To get back at them, he convinced Zuckerberg to essentially throw a meeting. Aside from showing up late and in pajamas, he proceeded to give a presentation on why Sequoia should not invest in their venture. Needless to say, they never did. Now Zuckerberg states, “I assume we really offended them and now I feel really bad about that because they’re serious people trying to do good stuff and we wasted their time. It’s not a story I’m very proud of.” - The Facebook Effect book
Did Mark and his friends run a zip-line from the chimney of their rented Palo Alto house to the pool?
Yes. Researching The Social Network true story confirmed that a zip-line ran from the chimney of their rented house at 819 La Jennifer Way to a telephone pole across from the pool. The chimney was damaged in the process. - The Facebook Effect
Were Eduardo Saverin’s shares diluted down to .03%?
No. They weren't diluted down that low, but they were still diluted significantly. After the corporation was restructured and Facebook gained more investors, his 34.4% share of the company was diluted down to below 10%, in turn ending their business relationship. - The Facebook Effect
Did Zuckerberg really have business cards that said, “I’m CEO…bitch”?
Yes. According to the book The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, Mark had two sets of business cards. One read, ‘CEO’ while the other read, "I’m CEO…bitch". - The Facebook Effect
Did Mark work with Napster co-founder Sean Parker?
Sean Parker sought
Yes. Sean Parker actively sought out Mark Zuckerberg and e-mailed him. Eduardo Saverin responded to the email and they arranged for a meeting in New York at an upscale Chinese restaurant in Tribeca called 66. Like in the Facebook movie The Social Network, the two hit it off immediately, in part because Parker understood Mark’s vision for the site. Parker picked up the tab despite it breaking his bank. However, the two lost touch. Two months later when they unexpectedly met on the streets of Palo Alto, Mark invited Sean to move into the house with them and soon after he was considered president of the company. - The Facebook Effect
Did Sean Parker really introduce Mark to his first angel investor?
Yes. Parker called his friend Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn and tried to get him to invest. Hoffman concluded he shouldn’t lead in the investment because of his relations to LinkedIn, but he did set up a meeting for them with Peter Thiel. He was a co-founder of Paypal (which was sold to eBay in October 2002 for $1.5 billion) who Parker also knew from Plaxo. Within a week, Thiel agreed to loan them $500,000. - The Facebook Effect book
Was Sean Parker charged with cocaine possession during the raid of a party like in The Social Network movie?
Not exactly. During our exploration of the Facebook true story, we discovered that in August 2005, Sean Parker was arrested for felony possession of cocaine in North Carolina at a house party he was throwing for some new beach friends. Despite being arrested, he was never formerly charged. After pressure from board members, he voluntarily resigned from Facebook. - The Facebook Effect
Did the Winklevoss twins and Divya Narendra win their lawsuit?
Yes. In early 2008, the ConnectU vs. Facebook lawsuit was settled, awarding Tyler Winklevoss, Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra $65 million in a combination of stock and cash. They later contended that the stock valuation presented was incorrect,
bringing down the true value of their settlement. It was ruled that they had adequate representation during the case and it was not reopened. - Wall Street Journal
The Winklevoss twins went on
to compete in the Olympics.
Did Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss make it to the Olympics?
Yes. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss rowed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics men’s Coxless pair event and placed sixth.
What do other former Facebook employees think of The Social Network movie?
Dustin Moskovitz wrote, “It is interesting to see my past rewritten in a way that emphasizes things that didn’t matter (like the Winklevosses, who I’ve still never even met and had no part in the work we did to create the site over the past 6 years) and leaves out things that really did (like the many other people in our lives at the time, who supported us in innumerable ways). Other than that, it’s just cool to see a dramatization of history. A lot of exciting things happened in 2004, but mostly we just worked a lot and stressed out about things; the version in the trailer seems a lot more exciting, so I’m just going to choose to remember that we drank ourselves silly and had a lot of sex with coeds.” - Venturebeat.com
According to author Ben Mezrich, Eduardo Saverin "…was in the midst of a legal battle with Mark when he came to me. He was feeling very angry. Of course, once Mark heard about the book, he settled and I heard Eduardo got $1 billion. I don't think he'll ever speak publicly about what happened again." - Guardian.co.uk
Sean Parker, who is portrayed by Justin Timberlake in the movie, met briefly with the actor. “He said he wanted to get to know me, but I said, ‘That isn’t going to help you play the part Sorkin has written. That character really isn’t me.’ ” - Vanity Fair
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes responded to the differences between the Facebook movie and the Facebook real story by saying, "It's crazy because all of a sudden Mark becomes this person who created Facebook to get girls or to gain power. That's not what was going on. It was a little more boring and quotidian than that." - IFC
As for the author of The Accidental Billionaires, Ben Mezrich believes that his book and the subsequent movie have exposed a darker side of the company's history, "I think Mark Zuckerberg wants to run the world and these are the stories he never wanted told." - Guardian.co.uk
What are the Facebook founders doing today?
Mark Zuckerberg is still working as the CEO of Facebook.
Dustin Moskovitz left Facebook in late 2008 and co-founded Asana, a company that creates collaborative task and management software to help keep a project’s team
members apprised on the progress of their fellow teammates, thus eliminating the need for frequent progress meetings.
Chris Hughes left Facebook in early 2007 to work as the director of Barack Obama’s online campaign. In 2010, he is launching Jumo.com, a website designed to connect people to nonprofit organizations related to their interests. He is largely left out of David Fincher's Facebook movie The Social Network.
Eduardo Saverin settled his lawsuit against Facebook in 2009 for an undisclosed amount and was again listed as a co-founder on the site.
What are Sean Parker, Divya Narendra and the Winklevoss twins doing today?
Sean Parker resigned in late 2005 after his arrest. In 2007 he co-founded Causes, a site where anyone can create an advocacy group and post related information or fundraise. Most recently he has been linked to Chatroulette.com, which randomly links users from around the world via webcam conversations.
Divya Narendra went on to co-found SumZero.com, an online community where investment professionals can share their knowledge. He is currently the company's CEO. In addition, he is completing Northwestern’s JD-MBA program.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss both attended the University of Oxford and received their MBAs. Tyler finished in 2009 and Cameron in 2010. Cameron is now the publisher for GuestofaGuest.com.
Who sings the The Social Network trailer song?
Scala & Kolacny
Brothers - Creep
The Social Network trailer music is a cover of the song "Creep", origninally recorded by the band Radiohead. The Social Network's Creep cover is sung by Scala & Kolacny Brothers, which is actually a Belgian girls' choir. The classically trained Kolacny brothers lead the choir, with Stijn Kolacny conducting and Steven Kolacny on piano. The choir has turned into an international sensation, as the result of both creating their own music and performing stellar covers of Radiohead, U2, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana, to name a few. The Social Network Creep song heard in the movie's trailer is available on Amazon (Download the Social Network Trailer Song).
The Social Network Interviews & Related Video
Watch interviews and other video exploring the true story behind The Social Network Facebook movie. Highlights include an hour long Mark Zuckerberg interview in which he offers his feelings on the film and Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaires book.