Excerpt from The PC Pioneers
On this day in 2004 Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin launched Facebook
Yet it all started so inauspiciously…
At Harvard Zuckerberg studied psychology and computer science. In October 2003 he hacked in to the college computer system to acquire the college administration’s photos of students. These files of photos were known as Face Books.
He used these garnered photos to develop Facemash; he placed two pictures on the site and asked students to decide which was the fitter and hotter. A friend’s chess algorithm was used as the ranking software.
Within four hours of launch Facemash had 450 visitors and 22,000 viewings of the vying images; it spread quickly to other campuses. This high level of traffic soon interfered with the Harvard network.
Not only the selected students were annoyed, the college also took a dim view and took down the site, putting him ‘on probation’ for breaching security and invading privacy; the charges were ultimately dropped. The daily student paper The Harvard Crimson wrote up the Facemash event which gave Zuckerberg some notoriety.