Aaron Sorkin: Social Network is True. Also False. It’s Complicated.

The irony of MySpace hosting a screening and Q&A for the upcoming Facebook film, The Social Network, was not lost on the teenage audience in Union Square last night.

“This must be really weird for them, cause MySpace is like a social network too” said Amy, a 14 year old from the Upper East Side. “But I guess Mark Zuckerberg just had the same idea first.” 

Or did he? The film traces the founding of Facebook and accusations that Zuckerberg stole the idea. Writer Aaron Sorkin, who was in attendance last night, expounded on his view of crafting accurate historical fiction. “If the same story was behind the invention of MySpace or Friendster, I would have written that,” Sorkin said.

It was the ambiguities that really turned him on. “Two seperate lawsuits were brought against Facebook at roughly the same time. Rather than pick pick one and decide that’s the truth, or pick one and say that’s the sexist, I like the idea that there are three confliciting stories.” 

Host Olivia Munn pried Sorkin on future web related films. “What’s next, the Farmville story? Twitter?”

“I wouldn’t want to write all my dialouge in 160 words snippets,” replied Sorkin.

“140,” corrected Munn (LOLZ).

Sorkin said last night that the team behind the film aggresively pursued Mark Zuckerberg, but that he declined to participate. “Frankly I was relieved,” said Sorkin, “because I didn’t want this to be perceived as a Facebook production.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Facebook Inc. executives have sought to discredit a new film’s unflattering portrayal of Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, even as they worked behind the scenes to influence the movie. Those efforts range from attempting to massage the script, according to one of the film’s producers, to promoting an alternative corporate history.”

The film, directed by David Fincher, cuts back and forth between the story of Facebook’s founding and the lawsuits brought by Mark Zuckerberg’s former classmates and co-founders. “Rashomon is one of my favorite movies,” Sorkin declared, and The Social Network is sort of his Rashomon for the internet age. “After taking oaths in a deposition room, there were three different versions of the truth, so at any given moment at least two of them are going to be wrong.”


Aaron Sorkin: Social Network is True. Also False. It’s Complicated.