Mark Zuckerberg had made a name for himself by becoming the youngest billionaire in history when he created the social media phenomenon known as Facebook. However, the release of “The Social Network” may have added a few extra names to the list. Raking in an estimated $23 million during opening week, viewers all over the world formed their own opinions about the social media guru. This attention did not sit so well with Zuckerberg.
Facebook redefined the way we socialize and stay connected. The film portrays its creator as a selfish, conniving manipulator who co-developed the site and later ditched his partner to fully reap the benefits. Facebook may not have wanted this image painted for its 500 million users.
Zuckerberg has reacted nonchalantly to the film and encourages viewers not to take it too seriously. Bulldogreporter.com quotes the CEO as saying, “They do a wonderful job of telling a good story… of course, the reality probably wouldn’t make for a very fun or interesting movie.”
Clearly, Zuckerberg is trying to play it cool in a situation that he realizes may have a strong negative impact on his career. In the weeks leading up to the movie’s premiere, he made a bold PR move during the taping of his Oprah interview. Zuckerberg founded the “Start Up Education Foundation” and pledged $100 million to New York and New Jersey public schools. A donation that could have conveniently countered the unfavorable depiction of him in “The Social Network.”
Was this a smart move for Zuckerberg? It looks like he may be trying to make up for traits he didn’t care for thousands of viewers to know he possessed. This PR strategy potentially could have backfired and tarnished his image even further. Luckily for him, it didn’t. But the stunt still hasn’t kept the public from voicing their harsh opinions of his character, and the film’s tagline “you don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies” seems to hold true once again.
By Jessica West