A slew of new movies and shows is always rotating on and off Netflix — and among them is The Social Network. The biographical drama is more timely than ever, showing readers how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg "got" the idea for the social networking platform, who he screwed over in the process, and what motivated him. Unsurprisingly, The Social Network, directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin, paints Mark pretty darn negatively.
Not only is Mark status-obsessed, misogynistic (one of his first internet projects was something called "Facemash," a type of "hot or not" tool, which lets people rate if one college girl is hotter than the other,) but viewers may notice that he seems to have a lack of regard for how people feel and doesn't really take in social cues. This behavior is not only portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg (who plays Mark in The Social Network,) but the real Mark himself.
Some wonder if Mark Zuckerberg is autistic.
It hasn't been confirmed if Mark has autism (or is on the spectrum,) but it's certainly possible. Those who are on the autism spectrum may show difficulties interacting in social situations, and there are varying symptoms and degrees. One of the most popular stereotypes is an individual with super high IQ but who isn't able to understand social cues or adjust to social situations. Watching Mark's mannerisms in real life as well as Jesse's in The Social Network, one might assume the Facebook CEO is autistic — but is that really the case?
We'll never know unless Mark himself addresses it, and we're not doctors. But we did do some digging to see what former Facebook employees had to say about their interactions with Mark.
In a Quora post titled, "Is Mark Zuckerberg hard to work with?" former Facebook employee Yishan Wong answers, "He does have a touch of Asperger's [one of the autism spectrum disorders]; in my experience this is primarily manifested in that he does not provide much active feedback or confirmation that he is listening to you."
A site called Autism Support Network also seems to agree that Mark has some form of autism. According to ASN, "The founder of Facebook has a desperate deficit when it comes to human interaction. It quickly becomes clear that the character has something on the autistic spectrum, most likely Aspergers syndrome."
While that observation isn't made by a doctor, one medical professional did write about Mark on Psychology Today, stating, "It seemed perfectly clear to me that when I saw the movie that Zuckerberg, again, as portrayed, was a classic case of Asperger's."
Is Erica Albright real or was Mark dating Priscilla Chan in Harvard?
According to Mark, Erica Alright isn't real. He stated, "The whole framing of the movie is I'm with this girl (who doesn't exist in real life)." The Social Network's first scene is with Erica and Mark sitting at a pub. As they're talking, it becomes clear that he has no regard for her and doesn't seem to understand that what he's telling her is extremely rude. She breaks up with him and lets him know that he may think girls don't like him because he's a nerd, but it's really because he's an a--hole.
The movie then shows Mark basically creating Facebook to get back at her and to look important to other people. The thing is, there's a blog by someone named Erica Albright who claims she was Mark's girlfriend at school. We did more digging and found that instead of writing "Erica Albright is a b*tch" on Mark's Livejournal, he actually wrote "Jessica Alona is a b*tch," and The Social Network creators changed the name to Erica. (So, chances are, that Erica Albright page is fake.)
Who's Jessica Alona? Possibly she was actually Mark's ex-girlfriend. There's a site called jessicaalona.com which claims Jessica Alona is not only real, but that Mark's original Facebook logo was supposedly a secret homage to her. Oh, and to make things even more complicated, Jessica Alona is an alias for Jade Angela. Was Jade Angela real? Did she date Mark? Again, we don't know the truth here, but we do know that Mark definitely wrote those things in his Livejournal.
As for Priscilla Chan: The couple has always maintained that the two met standing in line at a frat party and they started dating before Mark started working on Facebook during his sophomore year at Harvard. However, some state that Priscilla and Mark didn't actually start dating until a year later, when she was working for him.
So. Much. Drama. Then again, what else can you expect from the co-creator of the biggest social networking/media platforms in the world?
If you didn't catch it back when it first came out, The Social Network is now streaming on Netflix.