Just as he hoped to clean up his image, Mark Zuckerberg, the inventor of Facebook, is to be portrayed in a Hollywood film as a ruthless and untrustworthy sex maniac. The website and its 400 million users have been beset in the past week by rows over changes to its privacy settings.
The timing could not be worse. In the middle of a privacy crisis which has seen countless users delete their accounts, a script for an upcoming movie based on the youthful exploits of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has leaked out. Produced by Kevin Spacey, “The Social Network” portrays Zuckerberg (played by 26-year old Jesse Eisenberg) as a drunk satyriatic whose creation of the popular social networking site was spurred on by heartbreak after his girlfriend dumped him at the age of 19. The film also alleges that Zuckerberg was heavily motived by sexual insecurity. After hitting rock bottom and dropping out of Harvard, the film sees Zuckerberg move to the Silicon Valley with where he “indulge his fantasies with a stream of ‘groupies’” while his partner and Napster co-founder Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) watches after the site. The Social Network is scheduled for release this October.
In the film Zuckerberg retreats to his college dormitory where, in a drunken fever, he writes the computer code turning Harvard’s annual collection of student photographs and biographies into a website where he and his male friends rank Harvard women as barnyard animals. Thirty minutes after “Thefacebook” goes live, it is so popular that it crashes Harvard’s computer network.
Critics who have seen the draft script for the film say it portrays Zuckerberg as a “borderline-autistic conniver”.