Mark Zuckerberg is well known as the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, a social networking site that has grown to include multiple products, including Instagram and WhatsApp. More than a decade since its founding, Facebook has been plagued by privacy scandals and concerns over its increasing size and market share.
Here are three things to know about Zuckerberg:
He launched a “prank website” before Facebook
In his sophomore year at Harvard University in 2003, Zuckerberg, who was then 19, created what has since been considered a vindictive website called Facemash.com.
According to a 2008 Rolling Stone profile, Zuckerberg was rejected by a girl and began drinking and blogging. He planned to hack into Harvard’s directory and download images of his classmates and post them next to pictures of farm animals, allowing others to rate who was more attractive.
The site took off, and logged 22,000 page views. The school tracked the site to Zuckerberg hours later and his web access was turned off. He was later accused in a hearing before the Harvard Administrative Board of violating student privacy and downloading school property without permission, but it gave him a reputation as a computer programmer.
Years later, in 2018, Zuckerberg would testify before a joint session of two Senate committees and get asked about the website. He referred to the site as “a prank website” that he launched in college.
He’s not a fan of “The Social Network”
Jesse Eisenberg portrated the Facebook co-founder in the 2010 movie, “The Social Network.” At the time of its release, Zuckerberg wasn’t very critical of the movie, telling Oprah Winfrey that it was fun for what it was.
“A lot of it is fiction, but even the filmmakers will say that,” he said. “They’re trying to build a good story, but I’m going to promise you. This is my life, so I know it’s not so dramatic.”
Four years later, he spoke more candidly about the film at the first public Q&A at Facebook headquarters.
“They went out of their way in the movie to try to get some interesting details correct, like the design of the office, but on the overarching plot, in terms of why we’re building Facebook to help connect the world, or how we did it, they just kind of made up a bunch of stuff that I found kind of hurtful,” he said.
“There were pretty glaring things that were just made up about the movie that made it pretty hard to take seriously, but, I mean, we had fun with it.”
He’s a billionaire who won’t leave his fortune to his kids
Zuckerberg has been married to his college sweetheart, Priscilla Chan, since 2012, and the couple are parents to two children -- Maxima Chan Zuckerberg, born in 2015, and August Chan Zuckerberg, born in 2017.
But Max and August won’t be getting their father’s estimated $63.5 billion net worth in an inheritance. In a letter to their firstborn published in 2015, Zuckerberg wrote that he and Chan would donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares toward causes they care about through their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. That initiative, he said, was created to “join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.”
“We will give 99% of our Facebook shares -- currently about $45 billion -- during our lives to advance this mission,” he wrote. “We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.”
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.