The Social Network, Dir. Fincher, David. Perf. Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake. Columbia Pictures. 2010. Film.
The Social Network is a film made in 2010 about the rise and creation of Facebook. This film is loosely based on the 2009 book written by Ben Mezrich called The Accidental Billionaires. The film is set in a court hearing room and displays a series of flashbacks to important events during the creation of Facebook. Throughout the whole film there is a dispute over the creation and ownership of Facebook resulting in 2 enormous lawsuits against Mark Zuckerburg (Jesse Eisenberg). This move is not entirely accurate and is not considered to be a completely true story.
In one lawsuit Zuckerburg is accused of stealing the idea that resulted in the making of Facebook from Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (Armie Hammer) and also Divya Narendra (Max Minghella). In the movie, the trio asked Zuckerburg to be a part of their social network called “Harvard Connection” by working with the coding and creation of the website. Zuckerburg agreed but never ended up working the Winklevoss’s and Narendra. He instead thought of a different and better idea and created Facebook using none of the coding from Harvard Connection. It was similar in the fact that it was a social networking site centered around Harvard students. In the end Zuckerburg settles with the Winklevoss’s and Narendra for $65 Million.
The other lawsuit was Zuckerburg against his best friend in the movie Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). This lawsuit resulted because Saverin was tricked into signing documents in which he didn’t read the fine print. Saverin thought that he owned a third of the company, but when other investors got involved his stake was diluted. The movie implicitly implies that the influence of Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) on Zuckerburg is the reason why Zuckerburg turns his back on Saverin and essentially kicks him out of the business that they built together from the ground up. In the end it is explained that Saverin and Zuckerburg settled for an undisclosed amount. It can be assumed that this settlement is more than the $65 million settlement in the other lawsuit.
There are many examples of media from class that are used in this movie. There are examples of cyber bullying by Zuckerburg himself. He makes a site called facemash.com, which displays females’ pictures from Harvard, and allows the user to click on whichever one they think is more attractive. He also uses his blog Zuckonit to verbally assault his ex-girlfriend Erica Albright (Rooney Mara) by calling her a “bitch” and making fun of her last name and breast size. This part of the movie is 100% true because Zuckerburg's blog Zuckonit was able to be archived, and so were his IM conversations.
Another example of media is the idea of a social network and social media. Zuckerburg’s vision is constantly displayed throughout this movie. Zuckerburg wants to translate social structure and relationships in an online setting. Some of his motivations to make Facebook according to the movie are for his own personal popularity, exclusivity, to get girls, and to have the next “cool thing”. A re-occurring theme throughout the film is Sean Parker’s influence on Zuckerburg. Zuckerburg readily adapts Parker’s attitude toward the world in the way he runs Facebook. There was a belief of exceptionalism, that systems and structure were holding Zuckerburg and Facebook back. A couple of examples of this mindset are Zuckerburg’s business card that says “I’m CEO bitch” and the logic of making a billion dollars instead of a million dollars.