One of the chief justifications for Facebook's $15 billion valuation is that it traffics in real identities. To prove that you belong to a college or workplace, you must give the social network a matching email address. Unless, that is, you're an early employee and major shareholder. Sean Parker reportedly never even made it to college. But on Facebook, he lives out the fantasy of having simultaneously graduated from Columbia, Sarah Lawrence, Pepperdine, USC, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, New York University, and Stanford. All this in 2002, when he was also working on Plaxo. He's also the member of several regional networks; Facebook allows most users to only join one. So why would Parker, of all people, need so many fake IDs?
He could simply be showing off, of course. But membership in a network gives you privileges on Facebook not extended to ordinary users; you can view the profiles of people in those networks, even if they don't list you as a friend. What Parker is doing, in other words, isn't just boastful; it's a little bit creepy. (Parker is currently dating Kate Jurkiewicz, a member of Facebook's UCLA network. One wonders how she and Parker met. And if Parker enjoys reading up on her college friends' antics.)
By all rights, Parker should have his Facebook account terminated. The site's terms of service are clear on this point: No user may
... impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entitySomehow, though, I think his Facebook holdings, and his ties to Facebook board member Peter Thiel, for whom he works at the Founders Fund, will keep his account safe for now.