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Oscars: Aaron Sorkin says after Egypt, he's come around on Facebook

February 27, 2011 |  8:19 pm

Sorkintimber Maybe Facebook is useful after all. That was the message at the Oscars from "The Social Network" scribe Aaron Sorkin, who this season was quoted numerous times as saying he doesn't use Facebook and doesn't know much about it, despite writing a film about its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

"I've been cranky about the Internet," Sorkin told reporters backstage at the Academy Awards after winning the prize for adapted screenplay. "Somewhere along the way I've turned into my grandfather. And I've got some good reasons. But when you see what happened in Cairo and other examples of social-network tools mobilizing people for great causes, you want to thank the Mark Zuckerbergs that are out there for doing that." (Facebook was used by some key organizers of the Egyptian uprising that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak.)

Sorkin has in the past compared Facebook to a carburetor -- he has said he knows it's in there but "wouldn't know the first thing about finding it."

But Sorkin also says that writing a movie like this has upped the ante for him personally. "I'll be very candid with you. Since the movie came out and got the cultural and critical reaction, I've been hyper-aware the thing I write next is the movie I write after 'The Social Network.' "

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Aaron Sorkin, left, embraces "Social Network" actor Justin Timberlake as they arrive for the Academy Awards. Credit: Andrew Gombert/EPA

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He didnt totally blow it, the messages are in the film and they are the right ones, very applicable, the winklevoss thing got way too much publicity in my view, I doubt Mark ever thinks about those clowns. They should have mentioned Fanning btw, for Parker and mark , eduardo etc, to say over and over how parker invented napster,well, all of us that were on the net and downloaded napster when it came online knew very quickly about one guy and his name was shawn FANNING!!! kids, dont do things cuz you can make money at it, do it because you know how to do it better than anyone else and because you enjoy the challenge. Oh and dont partner with anyone even remotely until you have things stitched up. Zuck owns 27% or somehting and has 3 permamnent board seats, unheard of. But he could have had more like 50-80% if he could go back and do it all over again. Eg. Bill Gates only owns like 7% of MS stock.

Sorkin frustration with social networks is understandable, the whole social experience we have today is overwhelmingly dedicated to short, quick, status updates and pictures sharing. While this makes it a heck of a lot easier to fulfill our need to keep up with our friends, it doesn't do a lot - and sometimes even hinders - our need to keep up with our personal goals and interests.
Ironically, somehow the "network" part of "social network" is lost. Being able to bridge the chasm between our hedonistic past-present oriented attitudes when using social networks and move towards a goal-driven, future oriented type of social interactions is key.


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