Zuckerberg took the company public in May with majority shares. Since , Time magazine has named Zuckerberg among the wealthiest and most influential people in the world as a part of its Person of the Year award. At Ardsley High School , Zuckerberg excelled in classes. He transferred to the private school Phillips Exeter Academy , in New Hampshire, in his junior year, where he won prizes in science mathematics, astronomy, and physics and classical studies.
On his college application, Zuckerberg stated that he could read and write French, Hebrew, Latin, and ancient Greek. He was captain of the fencing team. Zuckerberg began using computers and writing software in middle school.
Zuckerberg took a graduate course in the subject at Mercy College near his home while still in high school. In one program, since his father's dental practice was operated from their home, he built a software program he called "ZuckNet" that allowed all the computers between the house and dental office to communicate with each other. It is considered a "primitive" version of AOL 's Instant Messenger , which came out the following year. According to writer Jose Antonio Vargas , "some kids played computer games.
They'd come over, draw stuff, and I'd build a game out of it. Napster co-founder Sean Parker , a close friend, notes that Zuckerberg was "really into Greek odysseys and all that stuff", recalling how he once quoted lines from the Roman epic poem Aeneid , by Virgil , during a Facebook product conference.
During Zuckerberg's high school years, he worked under the company name Intelligent Media Group to build a music player called the Synapse Media Player. The device used machine learning to learn the user's listening habits, which was posted to Slashdot  and received a rating of 3 out of 5 from PC Magazine. Vargas noted that by the time Zuckerberg began classes at Harvard , he had already achieved a "reputation as a programming prodigy".
A short time later, he created a different program he initially called Facemash that let students select the best looking person from a choice of photos. According to Arie Hasit, Zuckerberg's roommate at the time, "he built the site for fun". We had books called Face Books, which included the names and pictures of everyone who lived in the student dorms.
At first, he built a site and placed two pictures, or pictures of two males and two females. Visitors to the site had to choose who was "hotter" and according to the votes there would be a ranking. The site went up over a weekend, but by Monday morning, the college shut it down, because its popularity had overwhelmed one of Harvard's network switches and prevented students from accessing the Internet.
In addition, many students complained that their photos were being used without permission. Zuckerberg apologized publicly, and the student paper ran articles stating that his site was "completely improper. The following semester, in January , Zuckerberg began writing code for a new Web site. Six days after the site launched, three Harvard seniors, Cameron Winklevoss , Tyler Winklevoss , and Divya Narendra , accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleading them into believing he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.
Following the official launch of the Facebook social media platform, the three filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg that resulted in a settlement. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard in his sophomore year in order to complete his project. I remember really vividly, you know, having pizza with my friends a day or two after—I opened up the first version of Facebook at the time I thought, "You know, someone needs to build a service like this for the world.
And I think a lot of what it comes down to is we just cared more. On May 28, , Zuckerberg received an honorary degree from Harvard. On February 4, , Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room. Such photo directories were an important part of the student social experience at many private schools. With them, students were able to list attributes such as their class years, their friends, and their telephone numbers. Once at college, Zuckerberg's Facebook started off as just a "Harvard thing" until Zuckerberg decided to spread it to other schools, enlisting the help of roommate Dustin Moskovitz.
Zuckerberg, Moskovitz and some friends moved to Palo Alto, California in Silicon Valley where they leased a small house that served as an office. Over the summer, Zuckerberg met Peter Thiel , who invested in the company. They got their first office in mid According to Zuckerberg, the group planned to return to Harvard, but eventually decided to remain in California.
In an interview in , Zuckerberg explained his reasoning: For me and my colleagues, the most important thing is that we create an open information flow for people. Having media corporations owned by conglomerates is just not an attractive idea to me. He restated these goals to Wired magazine in I guess we could If you look at how much of our page is taken up with ads compared to the average search query. The average for us is a little less than 10 percent of the pages and the average for search is about 20 percent taken up with ads That's the simplest thing we could do.
But we aren't like that. We make enough money. Right, I mean, we are keeping things running; we are growing at the rate we want to. In , Steven Levy , who wrote the book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution , wrote that Zuckerberg "clearly thinks of himself as a hacker ". Zuckerberg said that "it's OK to break things" "to make them better". It's definitely very core to my personality. Vanity Fair magazine named Zuckerberg number 1 on its list of the Top "most influential people of the Information Age ".
In a interview with PBS shortly after the death of Steve Jobs , Zuckerberg said that Jobs had advised him on how to create a management team at Facebook that was "focused on building as high quality and good things as you are".
In , Facebook had roughly 9 million users in Russia, while domestic clone VK had around 34 million. On August 19, , The Washington Post reported that Zuckerberg's Facebook profile was hacked by an unemployed web developer.
At the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, held in September, Zuckerberg stated that he is working towards registering the 5 billion humans who were not connected to the Internet as of the conference on Facebook. Zuckerberg then explained that this is intertwined with the aim of the Internet. Various media sources highlighted the connection between Facebook's focus on mobile technology and Zuckerberg's speech, claiming that mobile represents the future of the company.
Alongside other American technology figures like Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook , Zuckerberg hosted visiting Chinese politician Lu Wei , known as the "Internet czar" for his influence in the enforcement of China's online policy, at Facebook's headquarters on December 8, The founder and CEO explained that he does not believe Facebook is a waste of time, because it facilitates social engagement, and participating in a public session was so that he could "learn how to better serve the community".
Zuckerberg receives a one-dollar salary as CEO of Facebook. A month after Zuckerberg launched Facebook in February , i2hub , another campus-only service, created by Wayne Chang , was launched. At the time, both i2hub and Facebook were gaining the attention of the press and growing rapidly in users and publicity.
On May 24, , Zuckerberg announced Facebook Platform , a development platform for programmers to create social applications within Facebook. Within weeks, many applications had been built and some already had millions of users. It grew to more than , developers around the world building applications for Facebook Platform.
On November 6, , Zuckerberg announced Beacon, a social advertising system that enabled people to share information with their Facebook friends based on their browsing activities on other sites. For example, eBay sellers could let friends know automatically what they have for sale via the Facebook news feed as they listed items for sale. The program came under scrutiny because of privacy concerns from groups and individual users.
Zuckerberg and Facebook failed to respond to the concerns quickly, and on December 5, , Zuckerberg wrote a blog post on Facebook,  taking responsibility for the concerns about Beacon and offering an easier way for users to opt out of the service. In a public Facebook post, Zuckerberg launched the Internet. He explained that the primary aim of the initiative is to provide Internet access to the five billion people who are not connected as of the launch date. Using a three-tier strategy, Internet.
He stated in his post:. The world economy is going through a massive transition right now. The knowledge economy is the future. By bringing everyone online, we'll not only improve billions of lives, but we'll also improve our own as we benefit from the ideas and productivity they contribute to the world. Giving everyone the opportunity to connect is the foundation for enabling the knowledge economy.
It is not the only thing we need to do, but it's a fundamental and necessary step. To stay proven on the efforts of bringing in the concept of net neutrality , Zuckerberg met Narendra Modi , Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai at Silicon Valley, to discuss on how to effectively establish affordable internet access to the less developed countries.
Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss , Tyler Winklevoss , and Divya Narendra accused Zuckerberg of intentionally making them believe he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection. It was refiled soon thereafter in federal court in Boston. Facebook countersued in regards to Social Butterfly, a project put out by The Winklevoss Chang Group , an alleged partnership between ConnectU and i2hub.
On June 25, , the case settled and Facebook agreed to transfer over 1. In November , confidential court documents were posted on the website of , a magazine that catered to Harvard alumni.
They included Zuckerberg's Social Security number, his parents' home address, and his girlfriend's address. Facebook filed to have the documents removed, but the judge ruled in favor of A lawsuit filed by Eduardo Saverin against Facebook and Zuckerberg was settled out of court. Though terms of the settlement were sealed, the company affirmed Saverin's title as co-founder of Facebook.
Saverin signed a non-disclosure contract after the settlement. The investigation named the anonymous German woman who created the contest. Sidiqque asked the country's police to contact Interpol to have Zuckerberg and the three others arrested for blasphemy. On May 19, , Facebook's website was temporarily blocked in Pakistan until Facebook removed the contest from its website at the end of May.
In June , Paul Ceglia, the owner of a wood pellet fuel company in Allegany County, upstate New York , filed suit against Zuckerberg, claiming 84 percent ownership of Facebook and seeking monetary damages. Zuckerberg was developing other projects at the time, among which was Facemash , the predecessor of Facebook, but did not register the domain name thefacebook.
Facebook management dismissed the lawsuit as "completely frivolous". Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt told a reporter that Ceglia's counsel had unsuccessfully sought an out-of-court settlement. On October 26, , federal authorities arrested Ceglia, charging him with mail and wire fraud and of "tampering with, destroying and fabricating evidence in a scheme to defraud the Facebook founder of billions of dollars. On July 2, , Israeli cabinet minister Gilad Erdan accused Zuckerberg of having some responsibility for deadly attacks by Palestinians against Israelis.
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