Donated to newark schools!! #thumbsup
Zuckerberg, described as a "wary and private" person in a recent New Yorker profile, has been forced to tear down some of the barriers between his life and the public. This new plunge into civic-minded activity seems designed in part to fend off bad publicity generated by the film and accusations that as a student, he hacked into private emails and stole the original idea for the site from fellow students. The movie is loosely based on an equally unflattering book by Ben Mezrich, who used a burned former Facebook investor (and former Harvard colleague of Zuckerberg) as his primary source.
According to the movie, Zuckerberg created the site to get admitted to exclusive parties and to meet girls. (Rebecca O'Brien has a more nuanced take on Zuckerberg's college years here.)
"I think a lot people will look at that stuff, you know, when I was 19, and say, 'Oh, well, he was like that. ... He must still be like that, right?" Zuckerberg told the New Yorker. He added that he does not plan to see the movie, though he was spotted by at least two people at a Seattle screening Wednesday.
Whatever the motive for the gift, the money will translate into big changes for Newark schools. Under the terms of Zuckerberg's donation, Christie will give the reform-minded mayor more control over schools. There's speculation he may hire hard-charging D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee to head up schools now that Rhee's prime supporter, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, has been voted out of office. Meanwhile, the nation's education reformers -- who emphasize teacher evaluations tied to student test scores and independent charter schools -- are sure to welcome another billionaire recruit to their cause.
(Photo of Zuckerberg: AP)