On October 1, The Social Network, commonly referred to as The Facebook Movie, comes out in theaters. Screened at the New York Film Festival and reviewed by hundreds of journals, including the New York Times, it looks to be highly entertaining. So as you get ready to go spend a week’s salary to see The Social Network, I’d like you to take a question to The Facebook Movie with you.
Does Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, deserve to have his identity redefined by a storyline whose screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin, admits is fictionalized?
In other words, how would you feel if a movie were made about you that exaggerated the very best and worst traits of your character in order to bump ticket sales? Does Zuckerberg deserve to be re-defined because he is so wealthy and those of us who aren’t suffer acute closet-envy for the rich? Does it come with the territory he inhabits, so young, so smart, maybe ruthless and definitely powerful? Does he deserve it because he frequently comes off as a pompous ass?
On October 1, it no longer matters who Mark Zuckerberg is as a person, because in our minds, he will be replaced by Mark Zuckerberg, the guy in the movie. I spend a great deal of time questioning Facebook’s privacy policies and practices, because they seem to be numbing our powers of discretion and increasing our willingness to share what used to be private. To some degree, by flaunting his opinion that privacy is dead, Zuckerberg is begging for his private life to be scrutinized. As the movie premiers with his fictionalized life on the big screen, we wonder how much he really believes in Facebook’s mission to share more personal info, even when it moves beyond the control of the owner of that information?
Zuckerberg no longer controls his public identity. Sorkin does. Hollywood does. Information is power, even when it’s just inaccurate information expertly publicized. You won’t know Zuckerberg any better after this movie than before, but you’ll think you do when you walk out those theater doors, thanking your creator that no one has made a movie about you.
I’d love your thoughts on this topic. Is it unfair what Zuckerberg is going through? Unjust? Just and deserved? Chime in.
Information Survival Expert John Sileo trains corporations and coaches individuals on topics of identity theft prevention, social meadia fraud, corporate espionage, cyber crime, human manipulation and information control. His clients include the Department of Defense, Fortune 1000s and businesses of every size and industry. Learn more at www.ThinkLikeASpy.com.