The writer of ‘The Social Network’ rails on Zuckerberg in open letter


Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter of The Social Network, has become the latest high-profile individual to criticize Facebook for its policy on political ads. In a new open letter addressed to Mark Zuckerberg and published in The New York Times, Sorkin relates how sensitive Facebook was about the biopic when he wrote it almost 10 years ago.

“In 2010, I wrote The Social Network and I know you wish I hadn’t,” Sorkin writes by way of introduction. “You protested that the film was inaccurate and that Hollywood didn’t understand that some people build things just for the sake of building them. (We do understand that — we do it every day.)”

Sorkin uses the movie as a way to highlight the irony of Facebook’s refusal to fact-check political ads. “I didn’t push back on your public accusation that the movie was a lie because I’d had my say in the theaters,” he says. “But you and I both know that the screenplay was vetted to within an inch of its life by a team of studio lawyers with one client and one goal: Don’t get sued by Mark Zuckerberg.”

He then does the same with Zuckerberg’s stated commitment to free speech. “And right now, on your website, is an ad claiming that Joe Biden gave the Ukrainian attorney general a billion dollars not to investigate his son. Every square inch of that is a lie and it’s under your logo. That’s not defending free speech, Mark, that’s assaulting truth.”

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