Rule 2: See Rule 1.
Case in point, Zuckerberg’s claim that Facebook was inspired by Iraq war protests, which was almost immediately contradicted by a Congressman from Harvard who was among its first users:
Like most college campuses in early 2003, Harvard University was atwitter over one issue in particular: the imminent Iraq invasion. The Bush administration’s push to overthrow Saddam Hussein was debated and picked over in dorm rooms, argued about in lecture halls, and scrutinized in term papers.
Mark Zuckerberg was paying attention. So was future lawmaker Ruben Gallego, watching the debate unfold as he activated to go to war. In contrast, Zuckerberg was nine months away from creating a website where students could vote on the attractiveness of women on campus. It was an idea that eventually led to Facebook.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg — under scrutiny for how misinformation is harnessed and is now protected by Facebook — bridged the debate over Iraq and the nexus of his company, even at one point suggesting the social network could have stopped the war entirely.
“I remember feeling that if more people had a voice to share their experiences, maybe things would have gone differently,” Zuckerberg said at Georgetown University. “Those early years shaped my belief that giving everyone a voice empowers the powerless and pushes society to be better over time.”
Gallego blasted Zuckerberg’s recollection as an attempt to redraw the company’s image as altruistic in the face of growing scrutiny, as it defends its decision to allow lies in political ads.
“He’s rewriting history so it gives him an excuse to regulate himself,” Rep. Gallego (D-Ariz.) told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “It’s false. It’s completely false.”
Some bits of Zuckerberg’s recollection were telling, said Gallego, who claims to be one of the first 2,000 users of Facebook, which in its earliest iterations was open only to Harvard students.