Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and “The Social Network”

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Unless you have been ignoring the use of the internet completely, you either have a Facebook profile or at least have seen someone else’s profile whether it be a friend’s or a stranger’s. With over 500 million users throughout the world, Facebook has become a huge social influence on today’s generation. It has changed the way people interact with each other whether it be keeping in touch with family and friends or employers deciding who to hire based on a person’s interests and status updates found on their account. With such a phenomenon comes a natural curiosity about the man that created such a significant network.

By now, most people know that one of the main founders and the current CEO of Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg. But other than that, little is known of the Harvard dropout who became one of the youngest billionaires in the world at the age of only 23 years old. People have been amazed at the success story of this young man and have been clamoring for more information about his life story. Zuckerberg has had a book written about him and the early beginnings of Facebook called “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich released in 2009 with a movie based on that book coming out this Friday, October 1 called “The Social Network.”

The book, whose source was Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and the movie both seem to paint Mark Zuckerberg as a power hungry man. The movie shows the flaws in Zuckerberg’s character with his betrayal of his friends as well as his immense levels of greed. Writers and directors of the book and movie have commented about certain liberties they’ve taken with the portrayal of Zuckerberg. And one must approach them both with an understood bias due to the nature of Saverin and Zuckerberg’s relationship.

The actor in the movie who plays Zuckerberg, Jesse Eisenberg, defends Zuckerberg in an interview saying that he did things to “occasionally hurt other characters” but that the intentions were “always coming from the right place.” Eisenberg also says that Zuckerberg “prioritizes Facebook over his personal relationships” but that Eisenberg did not think that the mixed up in priorities were always a bad thing.

The film itself has prompted Zuckerberg to respond to the media, claiming that the image portrayed is false. Zuckerberg has even gone so far as to donate $100 million dollars to the Newark, New Jersey public school system. His announcement was made on Oprah’s talk show last Friday. Some skeptics also claim that this recent donation was solely a publicity stunt to prove that he is in fact a good meaning man.

Aside from the book and movie, word is that there is also a 48-page saga comic book titled Mark Zuckerberg: Creator of Facebook being released by the Canadian-based Bluewater Productions. The author, Jerome Maida, intended to shine some more light on the character and personality of Mark Zuckerberg through his illustrations. Readers will have to wait and see how Mark is portrayed by yet another source trying to tap the mystery of his life.

Opinions of who Mark Zuckerberg is seems to be up to each individuals interpretation. So whether one believes the CEO of Facebook is a caring philanthropist or a greedy businessman, there is no denying that Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most interesting men of this decade.

Photo from deneyterrio via Flickr

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