Facebook Creator Opens Up to New Yorker

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's creator, avidly uses the service he has turned into a multi-million dollar venture. But for someone who shares so much on a superficial level, he has never been very receptive towards journalists. The New Yorker recently secured a series of interviews with him to create a much fuller picture of who Zuckerberg is and what exactly motivates him.

His timing on the interviews is hardly coincidental. 'The Social Network', a highly-acclaimed movie on Facebook's origins and its enigmatic creator, was just recently released. This story, released shortly before the release of the movie, seems to be Zuckerberg's attempt to fight the negative perception that the movie could create about him. "A lot people will look at that stuff, you know, when I was nineteen, and say, 'Oh, well, he was like that. . . . He must still be like that, right?'" Zuckerberg said.

He has legitimate reason for alarm at the exposure of his past. The story, laid black and white, points towards serious ethical misconduct on Zuckerberg's part. IM conversations unearthed from around the era of Facebook's creations only seem to strengthen the case against him. I won't belabor the story of its inception any further when it can be accessed in many different forms of media with ease, but suffice to say that, had Zuckerberg known the kind of prestige he would reach he might have chosen his words a little more carefully.

Most importantly to him, it seems, Zuckerberg says he is determined to keep the company under his control. Terry Semel, former C.E.O. of Yahoo!, told the New Yorker that when he offered Zuckerberg one billion dollars for Facebook in 2006, Zuckerberg said, "It's not about the price. This is my baby, and I want to keep running it, I want to keep growing it."

The past aside, Facebook's future is almost impossible to divine at this point. The privacy policy in place on the website has drawn fire as being deceptive and deviating from the site's original goals, the ACLU and Electronic Privacy Information Center told the New Yorker.

Even still, Zuckerberg imagines a world with even deeper integration, taking Facebook from the platform it is at current to an almost constant presence in daily life. "Zuckerberg imagines Facebook as, eventually, a layer underneath almost every electronic device," the New Yorker said.

What remains to be seen at this point is how Zuckerberg comes out from this latest assault on his character and business. If he is successful in his dream, Facebook will be inescapable as a daily presence. From buying groceries to watching television to media consumption, the privacy we enjoy now will be a thing of the past.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris Cooper published on November 20, 2010 4:13 PM.

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