It’s been 10 years since Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher released their film The Social Network.
I still haven’t watched the movie beyond the first 15 mins. I really don’t know much about it other than what I briefly seen in the first 15 mins and a few clips and comments that I have came across online.
So why am I writting this blog on the 10th anniversary of the Social Network’s release?
I was inspired to write this blog after a reporter by the name of Katie Baker from theringer.com had reached out to ask me a few questions regarding The Social Network and Mark Zuckerberg.
I just wanted to share what I had to say.
Katie Baker: The book THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES (upon which the film is based) mentions Mark’s “…is a bitch” LiveJournal entry, but uses **** instead of the name Jessica Alona. Did the writer Ben Mezrich reach out to you at all when he was writing that book?
My response: No Ben Mezrich did not reach out to me.
Nobody really knew how to reach me, because I remained pretty anonymous for years.
I can only assume that Ben Mezrich used ***** to mask the name Mark originally published October 28 2003 in his LiveJournal because someone must have told him the name was actually a made up alias to hide my true identity and most likely knew that I didn’t want my real name publicized or just simply felt the need to censor it for whatever other reason.
From day one I told Mark Zuckerberg that I didn’t want my real identity out there, I wanted to remain anonymous. I did not want my privacy compromised for various reasons. Mark didn’t understand at first… we both had very different opinions on the matter… Mark was about making a big name for himself he’d always put his whole name on everything online, I could never do that and he didn’t understand why. I told him some of the reasons why privacy was very important to me… but I didn’t get to tell him exactally everything. There were things I said I would tell him one day… but I never got the chance to and if I had fully explained everything to him in depth. I think he would have been more understanding to my situation and things would have been very different.
Katie Baker: When did Mark use the <! tag to hide that portion of the entry? I think on your website you say it was in 2005, but just wanted to ask.
My response: I’m not exactly sure when Mark decided to hide the name in the HTML code. I just remember shortly afterwards I told him to delete that Livejournal entry because I was completely embarrassed by it even though my real name was not mentioned.
I didn’t pay attention to his Livejournal at all, I worked a lot I was cleaning up to 13 commercial and city buildings a day 6-7 days a week and in between that when I had free time I spent my time learning HTML code. I used MySpace at the time to experiment with various HTML codes and in between that I was also focused on collaborating with Mark on ideas and etc. for facebook. So I was unaware of when the change exactly occurred. Mark and I remained friends that wasn’t were our friendship stopped. It wasn’t until 2005 that a disagreement lead to a heated argument that lead to our partnership and friendship ending. I do not wish to disclose exactly what we argued about but I can honestly say that I was sincere and I stood strongly on my beliefs and concerns because I genuinely cared about Mark and facebook’s future.
Even though Mark and I had our disagreements and our partnership and friendship dissolved into nothing… He ultimately always respected my need for privacy even when he really didn’t understand the whole reason… but in the end the consequences of it all resulted in me being completely Alienated, and forgotten…
Mark’s choice to keep me unacknowledged all of these years has allowed me to be erased from facebook’s history…
Leaving me to fend for myself as others openly disrespected and bullied me out of having any association with facebook through the years as I tried to reach out and reconnect.
I’ve reached out to several individuals through the years to reconnect me with Mark only to be entirely ignored, or disrespected and Mark has chosen not to step forward to defend me and my sincerity and it’s very hurtful because… all I ever did was care deeply about Mark and the fate of facebook. I wanted nothing but the best for them both… and as our partnership and friendship ended I tried to reassure him about how much I actually cared, I tried to be clear about it.
But it obviously didn’t matter…
So you see a little of why I remained silent all these years… it hurts to care so much about a friendship and something you were a part of and be forgotten … disrespected and cheated out of a life’s story that involves being a part of the history of a large innovative American Company that has made a huge impact on the world.
It’s something any Canadian/Métis woman should be proud of telling people around her…
But instead it’s a secret burden that I have carried all of these years because Mark hasn’t publicly validated anything.
It’s unfortunate that this happened to me.
Nobody’s ever going to fully understand or get the negative impact this has had on my life.
When it’s been made clear that you don’t matter especially publicly… It’s very difficult mentally and emotionally…
In today’s world issues of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion are often raised and discussed … Mark Zuckerberg and facebook have supported and addressed many of these issues over the years…
But after all these years…
Here I am…
a woman… a mixed race Métis woman… from an impoverished background… raised by a single mother with a serious Mental illness… never obtained a proper education… and unlike the Erica Albright character I’m overweight… unknown for
Having been an early inspiration and partner to facebook… that has zero recognition in Facebook’s history other than being referred to as a “Bitch” under a made up alias… that has been later said to have never existed…
These are major facts about me that nobody really knows.
Hard not to feel some form of discrimination has been involved in how I’ve been treated not only by Mark but others around him.
… Mark has had all the power in his hands for years to put a stop to all of this… and make things right… but he hasn’t.
Nobody that has had some form of knowledge of my existence and my involvement/ original role with facebook has stepped forward to support me… not one person.
What’s that say? What kind of message is that?… it’s a loud statement that says I do not matter despite being a very influential person in facebook’s History.
… the fact that I do not matter has been made very clear.
But why don’t I matter?…
The only people that can honestly answer this is every single person who knows my true identity, and my early involvement with facebook… but has purposely looked the other way, aided in discrediting me and attacked my integrity.
I’m a real person that has been very hurt by all of this for years… and most people are completely unaware of this.
I have a real story to tell… but it doesn’t fit into the false narrative that has been created.
Katie Baker: You said you watched the first 15 min or so of THE SOCIAL NETWORK then had no desire to see more. In the opening scene where they are at the bar, did you suspect or already know that the character of “Erica Albright” was ultimately going to be the subject of the LiveJournal post? Was it the moment of MZ sitting down to write that post that spurred you to stop watching? I’d love to hear any memories of what you remember from watching those 15 minutes. (Also curious what you thought of Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of MZ in the brief parts you saw.)
My response: When I attempted to watch The Social Network, right away I did not like Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg, That was the first thing that bothered me. He made Mark seem more awkward than he really was… I didn’t like seeing that.
There was no bar scene between Mark and I in real life… I didn’t sleep with a door man as stated in the movie and to change the name to Erica Albright from Jessica Alona an already made up alias added more confusion to the world.
There was a part were Erica Albright said “Dating you is like dating a stairmaster.”… In real life we weren’t dating and I was overweight… so the mention of a stairmaster seemed like an obvious inside fat joke about me being fat.
So I found myself very offended within the first few minutes and couldn’t find it in me to watch the whole thing…
Don’t get me wrong I am not criticizing Jesse Eisenberg as an actor or Aaron Sorkin, and David Fincher’s work. Obviously they produced an Epic movie loved by many.
It’s just on a personal level of having an inside perspective of what really happened… even though it’s just a movie… it resurfaced a lot of hurt and brought forth the realization that… because of my choices of putting my privacy first and insisting on remaining anonymous in a sense allowed my life’s story to be stolen and altered to fit a somewhat fictional narrative.
… and now as I try to tell my story, and shed a little light on some of the actual truth and facts It’s difficult for others to believe me.
Katie Baker: I can only imagine how taxing it must be to have been treated this way, and worse, to have no clear path toward resolution.
The end scene of The Social Network
… seeing this clip is really sad for me…
Because in reality it wasn’t like that at all… and the depiction of the scene shows that he still cared or missed Erica But as you see in reality many years have past… I haven’t gotten another friend request.
From a personal perspective it’s really weird how there would be a scene that kind of highlights the fact that The Erica Albright character didn’t accept the friend request because there really was a time where I wouldn’t accept Mark’s friend request… and the choosen song was actually a song that Mark liked… I have a funny memory about Mark and that song. Mark liked The Beatles, I remember he told me the Beatles reminded him of his dad, growing up they listened to the Beatles a lot together.
On early versions of facebook I was always on Mark’s friend list, but under an anonymous account. When I had created a real account with my real name, I did not accept Mark’s friend request. I didn’t accept because I didn’t want my privacy compromised… Mark was fully aware of this. I explained that I didn’t want to be publicly linked to him and facebook to maintain my privacy after he had asked why I was ignoring his friend request… that’s what really happened. He actually left the friend request there just incase I would change my mind… but then my account was deleted and when I created a new account Mark never bothered to send me another friend request. To this day I haven’t received a friend request from him or anyone else that knew about me.