Zuckerberg muses on clothing, messaging apps and 'hurtful' movie portrayal

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent an hour answering questions from users of his popular social network.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read

"They made up a lot of stuff that's really kind of hurtful," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said when asked about the movie about his social network. James Martin/CNET

Mark Zuckerberg doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about "The Social Network," the Oscar-winning movie about Facebook. He has other things on his mind.

"I kind of blocked that one out," Zuckerberg said during an hour-long question-and-answer session Thursday at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Zuckerberg held the session because he wanted feedback from Facebook users, and modeled the meeting after the weekly town-hall sessions the company holds internally.

The 2010 movie -- written by Aaron Sorkin, who is at work on a film about the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- focused on the company's formative years, following Zuckerberg from his days at Harvard University room to Silicon Valley. Zuckerberg said much of the movie is fiction.

"They made up a lot of stuff that's really kind of hurtful," he said. In the past, he'd joked that at least the filmmakers got his wardrobe right.

Zuckerberg answered questions posted by users on Facebook, as well as from local community members and guests in the room with him.

Hosting an ask-me-anything(AMA) session isn't new. President Barack Obama went on the website Reddit in 2012 to answer questions on topics ranging from space exploration to the openness of the Internet. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and comedian Louis CK have done AMAs as well.

Zuckerberg has become a technology celebrity -- and a billionaire. Facebook is the world's largest social network, with more than 1.3 billion users a month. Last week, Facebook reported more than $3 billion in revenue for the last quarter, making it one of Silicon Valley's most successful companies. Two-thirds of its advertising sales came from Facebook users "liking" things on their mobile devices.

That's helped make the 30-year-old Zuckerberg both an icon for young entrepreneurs and a symbol of the many cultural and political issues the tech industry faces. Last month, well-known tech investor Marc Andreessen described Zuckerberg as "the best CEO in America" in an interview with CNET.

During today's session, Zuckerberg fielded questions from frustrated users. One questioner in Ethiopia asked why Facebook recently began requiring mobile users to download a separate app called Messenger to send private messages. Previously, people could use that function in the main Facebook app.

"We realize asking everyone in the community to install a new app is a big ask," he admitted, saying the move was driven by the popularity of apps created for specific purposes. "These apps are fast and just focused on messaging."

Zuckerberg also revealed why he is almost always seen in the same clothes: a gray T-shirt and jeans. The short answer? Spending time thinking about what you're going to wear or eat for breakfast is an unnecessary use of energy. He cited other leaders with similar reasoning, including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who was famous for his signature black turtleneck and jeans.

"I really want to make sure all of my energy goes to serving this community," he said.