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Hollywood has made an uncomfortably excellent movie about the company, and Facebook’s image makers want to ensure that partially fictional account doesn’t become the real way the world sees Facebook and its precocious leader. They’re doing their job well. But having finally seen the movie myself — no free screening for me — I can tell you that they should stop worrying. I don’t know if Zuckerberg stole the idea behind Facebook from the Winklevosses. I don’t know if he cheated Eduardo Saverin. What I do know is that it doesn’t matter. They didn’t build the company, Zuckerberg did, and in Silicon Valley, at least, that’s all that matters.
The Social Network is more than just a movie about Facebook. It’s the first movie about Silicon Valley.
To me, what’s important about The Social Network isn’t how it well it hews to the truth about Facebook or Zuckerberg. What’s important is that such a good movie about Silicon Valley got made at all. Silicon Valley has been changing the world for more than a generation. But Hollywood’s stance has been “Who wants to see a movie about geeks and nerds making things few can understand?” Directors and screenwriters love movies about Wall Street and the media. But movies like The Social Network that have the main character doing riffs about Apache servers, Linux boxes, and computer code? Not a chance.