The Social Network, still number one at the box office, tells a tale of Facebook's founding that's slanted against the company's founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. But even so, the movie is missing at least one minor scandal.
During the summer of 2004, months after the Winklevoss brothers first accused Mark of stealing their idea for a social network, Mark Zuckerberg hacked into—or at least, bragged about hacking into—the Winklevosses' answer to Facebook, a social network called ConnectU.
Once inside, Mark exploited a flaw in ConnectU's code to create a fake profile for one of the brothers, tampered with real user accounts, and deleted some accounts entirely. We've told parts of this story before, but this version includes new details.
"ConnectU," you may recall, was the social network that the Winklevoss brothers hired Mark Zuckerberg to build in the fall of 2003. While telling the brothers he was working on the project, Mark immediately set about building Facebook instead. When Mark launched Facebook in January, 2004, he had a several-month headstart over the Winklevosses. The brothers did not manage to launch their own social network, ConnectU, until later that spring.
At one point during the summer of 2004, according to documents viewed by Business Insider, Mark told friends he had exploited a flaw in ConnectU's account verification process to create a fake Cameron Winklevoss account with a fake Harvard.edu email address.
Zuckerberg showed off the new, fake profile, he said he created. Here's what he said it looked like:
Hometown: "I'm f—-ing privileged…where do you think I'm from?"
High School: You're not even allowed to speak its name. Personal info.
I'm looking for: Women.
Interested in: Action tonight.
Ethnicity: Better than you.
Body type: Athletic.
Hair color: Aryan Blond.
Eye Color: Sky blue.
Favorite music: The sound of myself masturbating.
Favorite Movie: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
Favorite quote: "Homeless people are worth their weight in paper clips – I hate black people."
Athletics: I can pull a 2K in 2 minutes and 36 seconds.
Instruments: Music gets in the way of hearing my voice.
Clubs: My dad got me into the porcelain.
Interests: Trying to find my penis. Squandering my father's money. Looking like a douchebag.
About me: Gotta love my shit-eating grin.
Next, Mark told a friend he logged into the accounts of some ConnectU users and changed their privacy settings to invisible. In an IM, Mark explained his idea was to make it harder for ConnectU users to find their friends on the site, thus reducing its utility. Later, Mark told a friend he'd gone a step further, deactivating about 20 ConnectU accounts entirely.
It is not clear how Mark accessed these accounts. (In an earlier hack of the email accounts of two Harvard Crimson editors, he used login information stored in Facebook's servers.) It does appear that he retained access to ConnectU's servers for quite some time.
The Social Network generally paints Zuckerberg negatively – casting him as a villain and Eduardo Saverin as a victim. We think this paints a skewed picture of what actually happened. But there certainly were some scandals during Facebook's founding.