The social network writer, Aaron Sorkin, writes an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg



In 2010 I wrote & # 39; The social network & # 39; and I know you wish I hadn't done that. You protested that the film was inaccurate and that Hollywood did not understand that some people build things just to build them. (We understand that – we do it every day.)

I have not pushed back on your public accusation that the film was a lie because I had a say in the theaters, but you and I both know that the scenario was screened down to an inch of his life by a team of studio lawyers with one client and one goal: don't be sued by Mark Zuckerberg.

It was hard not to feel the irony as I read excerpts from your recent speech at Georgetown University in which you – on the basis of free speech – defended Facebook's practice of placing demonstrably false advertisements of political candidates. I admire your deep belief in free speech. I get a lot out of the first amendment. The most important thing is that it is a foundation of our democracy and that it must be kept strong.

But this cannot possibly be the outcome that you and I want, that crazy lies are pumped into the water supply that corrupt the most important decisions we make together. Lies that have a very real and incredibly dangerous effect on our elections and our lives and that of our children.

Don't say Larry Flynt. Even Larry Flynt wouldn't say Larry Flynt. This is not the same as pornography, which people do not rely on for information. Last year, more than 40 percent of Americans said they received news from Facebook. Of course the problem can be solved by those people going to another news source, or you could decide to make Facebook a reliable source of public information.


The slogan on the artwork for & # 39; The Social Network & # 39; read in 2010: & # 39; You won't get 500 million friends without making a few enemies. & # 39; That number only sounds strange nine years later because a third of the planet is now using your website.

And now, on your website, there's an ad claiming that Joe Biden gave the Ukrainian Attorney General a billion dollars not to investigate his son. Every square centimeter of that is a lie and it's under your logo. That is not a defense of freedom of speech, Mark, that is an attack on the truth.

You and I want speech protection to ensure that no one is locked up or killed because he says or writes something unpopular, and not that lies have unrestricted access to American voters.

Even after the scenario for & # 39; The Social Network & # 39; met the standards of the Sony Legal Department, we sent the script – as promised after a handshake – to a group of senior lieutenants in your company and invited them to take notes. (I was asked if I would change the name of Harvard University to something else and whether Facebook should be called Facebook.)

After we recorded the movie, we arranged for a private screening of an early version for your lead officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Mrs. Sandberg stood up in the middle of the screening, turned to the producers at the back of the room and said: & # 39; How can you do this to a child? & # 39; (You were 27 years old at the time, but okay, I get it.)

I hope you are C.O.O. walk into your office, lean forward (as she suggested in her best-selling book) and say: & # 39; How can we do this with tens of millions of children? Are we really going to place an advertisement claiming that Kamala Harris has kept dogfighting from the basement of a pizzeria, while Elizabeth Warren has destroyed the evidence that climate change is a hoax and the deep state of meth has been sold to Rashida Tlaib and Colin Kaepernick? & # 39;

The law is not yet written – but that keeps users of internet-generated content responsible for the user-generated content that they have, as well as film studios, television networks, and publishing of books, magazines, and newspapers. Ask Peter Thiel, who funded a series of lawsuits against Gawker, including an invasion of privacy that forced the site to fail and was forced to close. (You should have Mr. Thiel's number in your phone because he was an early investor in Facebook.)


Most people do not have the means to hire a battalion of fact checkers. Nevertheless, while two weeks ago representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez testified before a conference committee, you asked the following: & Do you see a potential problem here with a complete lack of control of facts on political ads? & # 39; When she pushed you further and asked if Facebook would take away any lies, you answered: & Congressman, in most cases, in a democracy, I think people should be able to see for themselves which politicians they can or may not do vote for and judge their character for themselves. & # 39;

Just tell me now. If I had known you felt that way, I would have had the Winklevoss twin Facebook invented.

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