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- Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes explained what “The Social Network,” a movie about the company’s early years, got right and wrong in a Reddit AMA.
- Hughes said while the movie got some “big picture” elements right, lots of the details about life at Harvard were embellished.
- He added that he doesn’t regret founding Facebook.
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes said the “The Social Network,” a popular film about the tech company’s origin story, “missed the mark” on a lot of key details.
In a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything session on Tuesday, Hughes was asked about the Oscar-award winning, Aaron Sorkin-written film.
“You will not be surprised to know that Hollywood took all kinds of liberties – our dorm room did not in fact look like a luxury condo and (to my knowledge!) there was no sex in the bathroom,” Hughes said of “The Social Network.”
Hughes is in the midst of promoting his new book, “Fair Shot,” which describes his rise from a bookish Harvard freshman to a multimillionaire Facebook executive, and outlines his proposal for a universal basic income to solve the problem of income inequality.
Though the movie embellishes parts of the story, Hughes did say “The Social Network” got some of the “big picture” elements of Facebook’s founding story right.
“But it is true that the idea was hatched as a kind of experiment, and then exploded,” Hughes said. “Facebook’s rise was fueled by powerful economic and tech trends – globalization, automation, the rise of finance.”
Hughes added that Facebook’s rise is a “historical anomaly” based on a perfect storm of the rise of venture capital-backed companies and the proliferation of smartphones.
Now, as Facebook has come under fire for its role in allegedly spreading Russian propaganda during the contentious 2016 election, Hughes said he doesn’t regret founding the company.
“Facebook has been a force for a lot of good in the world, and some bad,” Hughes said. “The 2016 election, Russian hacking, filter bubbles, and the rise of fake news have shown the world that Facebook isn’t just a place where we go for entertainment or to share photos of our kids; it’s increasingly the primary source of news and political discourse in our country.”
“That brings a lot of responsibility,” he added.