Figure 1 college boys gather around their computers

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Figure 1: College boys gather around their computers to rate their female peers. The Social Network . Dir. David Fincher. Perf. Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield. Columbia, 2010. Film. The female students of the University are outraged, but overall Facemash is such a big hit that it overloads the servers of Harvard. The film shows how the invention of Facemash is initiated by Mark after being dumped by Erica. He starts blogging and needs ‘something to take his mind o ff of her’ . The film wants to suggest that the site is based on a personal grudge that quickly turned into hurting the whole female student population of Harvard. Facemash was taken down by the Administrative Board of Harvard, because he hacked in to Harvard’s network and violated privacy laws. At this hearing, Mark makes clear that he does not really care about the ideological upheaval his site caused. He ‘apologized to the feminist groups of Harvard’ while not being sure what he apologized for. Mark actually boasts about the crash his site made possible and argues that he has done Harvard Security a favor, since he showed a mayor privacy leak in the system. The shots of Zuckerberg’s coding for Facemash are juxtaposed with an elaborate party at the Phoenix Final Club, the most elite fraternity at Harvard. The film gives us two versions of networks; on the one hand the very much anti-social, illegal, online network which makes Zuckerberg very (un) popular with a lot of people on campus, and on the other hand the network that the ‘frats’ built up through their Final Club, which makes them very popular - literally busses full of women are
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43 lined up in front of the Club. The party gets in full swing and we see half-naked girls kissing each other while being watched by (fully clothed) frat boys and one girl (see fig. 2). What do we have to make of this juxtaposition in the film? Is the comparison of Facemash to the Phoenix Club foreshadowing the oncoming popularity the online social network Facebook? Are we to think that the online network as well as a fraternity are both networks that are inherently evil and degrading towards women? Are social networks of young men always built on a demeaning attitude towards women? Is virtual degrading of women more harmful than objectivism in the real world? Or must the ‘frat’ network add nuance to the online network? Figure 2: The Phoenix Club party. The Social Network . Dir. David Fincher. Perf. Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield. Columbia, 2010. Film. The shots in the film of Zuckerberg programming on his computer are often juxtaposed by scene of the Winklevoss twins, played by Armie Hammer and Josh Pence, rowing their boat on the river or training in the gym (see fig.3 and 4). 10 The image of Zuckerberg hunched behind his computer in a sticky and semi-dark dorm room, offer a stark contrast with the mostly green scenes of the twins in their rowing boats on a quiet river in a forest. It becomes clear that the film likes to juxtapose Zuckerberg’s mental effort into the online network he is building
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