On 28 October 2003, while trying to distract himself from the fact that he'd just been dumped, Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerburg, created a type of “Hot or Not”. Website for Harvard Students which he named Facemash. The site showed two random pictures of Harvard undergraduates. Allowed users to vote on who was better looking. Harvard quickly shut down the site. It emerged that Zuckerburg had hacked into secure parts of the Harvard computer network in order to find these photos. He was subject to a disciplinary hearing. Narrowly managed to escape expulsion.
Later that year, Zuckerburg created a site where he uploaded pictures of 500 paintings he was studying for his art history final. Allowed other people to comment on each picture. (According to Wikipedia, the art history professor later said, that that year, Zuckerburg received the highest marks he'd ever awarded). The success of this site, together with the success of Facemash, inspired him to start creating “Thefacebook”.
Zuckerburg enlisted the help of fellow Harvard students Andrew McCollom, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Mokovitz. Chris Hughes. On 4 February 2004, they release their new site for Harvard students, Thefacebook.
Word spread quickly. The creators were stunned as they realised that within 24 hrs nearly 1500 students had signed up. By March that year, half of Harvard undergraduates had accounts. Thefacebook allowed entry to students from Columbia, Yale and Stanford Universities. This was quickly followed by opening up the site to other Ivy League universities.
One of the biggest controversies surrounding Facebook, comes from the lawsuit filed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, founders of rival social network site ConnectU. They claimed that Mark Zuckerburg used source code and ideas he got while working on their site for Facebook. The lawsuit was filed on 2 September 2004. Was settled for US$65 million in early 2008.
In 2005, Thefacebook purchased the domain name “facebook.com”. On 5 August 2005, Thefacebook officially changed it’s name to simply, “Facebook“.
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