If you believe Ben Mezrich’s reporting, young Mark Zuckerberg was a huge asshole. Like, the make a fake and racist social media profile for someone you don’t like kind of asshole.
The author of The Accidental Billionaires, the 2009 basis for Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network, is back at it again with some wild claims about the Facebook CEO’s early days. Specifically, while promoting his latest book on The Jim Rome Show, Mezrich alleged that Zuckerberg once made a fake online profile for Cameron Winklevoss that just so happened to be sexist and racist.
The book, Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption, focuses on both Bitcoin and the Winklevoss twins. In it, Mezrich claims he documents an episode where Zuckerberg hacked the Winklevoss’ ConnectU website (previously known as , and the supposed inspiration for Facebook) in order to make a fake account for Cameron. He bases the accusation on Instant Messages that were shared after The Social Network was written.
“Zuckerberg lied to [the Winklevoss twins], he planned on screwing them over,” Mezrich explains. “He actually hacked into their program and made a fake profile of Cameron Winklevoss through of all this racist, like sexist, crazy stuff. And all this stuff never came out.”
Importantly, while there’s no doubt that young Zuckerberg was a piece of work, it’s worth taking Mezrich’s latest reporting with a grain of salt. While Mashable has not had a chance to review the book ourselves, the New York Times has — and one specific line from said review sticks out.
“And then there is Mezrich’s jarring disclosure at the outset that some details and settings described in the book are ‘imagined,'” writes the Times‘ David Enrich. “It is hard to overcome the impression that large swaths of the book fall into that fictional zone.”
So, yeah. We don’t know if this little tidbit falls into that “imagined” category or not. We do, however, have one definitely not imagined piece of evidence that Zuckerberg was contemptuous of his collegiate contemporaries. In blunt IMs he sent to a friend during the early days of Facebook, which were published by a Silicon Valley gossip blog, he wrote about the personal information Harvard students’ provided him.
“People just submitted it,” he wrote. “I don’t know why. They ‘trust me.’ Dumb fucks.”