The Social Network

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Name: The Social Network
Abbreviation(s): TSN
Creator: Aaron Sorkin
Date(s): 2010
Medium: film
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: Wikipedia:The_Social_Network
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.


The Social Network is a 2010 film about the creation of Facebook. Written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher (Fight Club), the film looks at the trial of two simultaneous lawsuits brought against Mark Zuckerberg, using flashbacks to tell a fictionalized version of events during the period in 2004 when Mark, then a sophomore at Harvard, coded Facebook's initial interface and began to grow its userbase. The relationship between Mark and his friend and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is the film's primary narrative focus.


Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is a computer programmer with a knack for anticipating the wants of his peers. While still in high school, he created a pattern-matching media player Microsoft offered to buy; he turned them down and refused a job offer from AOL to attend Harvard. In the film, he is depicted as a misanthropic genius who is uninterested in meaningful social interaction and close relationships. He hopes to be inducted into one of Harvard's elite social clubs but lacks the necessary influence or charm.

Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) studied economics at Harvard and met Mark in their freshman year. The son of a wealthy industrialist, Eduardo-in-the-film is easy-going and well-connected, friendly with many people and already invited to join the club Mark wishes he could be a part of. He is a loyal friend to Mark, providing the cash needed to get Facebook off the ground.

Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) created Napster in the mid-nineties, while still a high school student himself. In the film, he is a cocky, high-rolling rockstar figure who tries to act as a mentor to Mark, usurping Eduardo's position as closest confidant.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are twin brothers who are suing Mark for having stolen their idea when he created Facebook, along with their business partner Divya Narendra.

Erica Albright is Mark's ex-girlfriend. She isn't onscreen very often in the film, but Mark spends time thinking about her.

Dustin Moskovitz is one of Mark's roommates at Harvard and later goes on to work with him on Facebook.

Chris Hughes is another Harvard roommate of Mark's; he also worked with Mark on Facebook.

Christy is an early Facebook fan who becomes Eduardo's girlfriend in the film.


Because there was already an established fandom around Aaron Sorkin's other works (The West Wing, Sports Night), there was considerable fannish buzz abound the film even before it was released. This, along with the fact that the film's focus on the fraught relationship of its male leads lends itself easily to a slash interpretation, has resulted in a quickly-growing fandom surrounding the film and its actors.

The movie's English-speaking fandom was active from 2011 to 2014, though since 2011 was the wake of Tumblr fandom whilst LiveJournal fandom still remained intact before its 2012 upheaval, the fans seemed to exist in two separate planes, the fandom on Tumblr being much more short-lived than the one on LJ. This is likely due to the Tumblr fannish output being mostly graphics which is harder to sustain in terms of activity for a movie fandom, while LJ's runs primarily on fanfiction, which is more or less neverending in terms of unique content.[1]

The Social Network fandom also consisted of many fanwork events, most significantly the kinkmeme, as well as the big bang, the secret santa exchange, a fanwork-a-thon, and a springfest during its heyday. It has noticeably died down since. However, as of 2017 there is still an impressively active Chinese-speaking fandom on Lofter and MTSlash.

Fan communities and resources

Fanwork Examples


There has been much argument about the nature of this movie: is it historically true? Evidently not. Does that make it professionally produced RPF? If so, what is fandom's responsibility towards separating the movie characters from their real life versions and can you write a fic about the real life Zuckerberg's reaction to the movie? Rabbit holes!

To add to the convolution, there is a large overlap between fans of the film's characters (themselves fictionalized versions of real life, contemporary people) and fans of RPF about the actors portraying these characters. Rabbit holes within rabbit holes!

Other Resources