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Business, Diversity & Inclusion

Haters Gonna Hate

The Social Network Theater Poster

The Social Network Theater Poster

About a month ago I watched The Social Network on television. The Social Network is a 2010 drama film that traces the creation of Facebook and the legal issues that followed the launch of one of the most talked about companies today. The movie follows activities of a college student, Mark Zuckerberg, who creates a social network that evolves into what we know today as Facebook.

While I was able to follow the movie without getting distracted or falling asleep, what really got my attention was the last 15 minutes of this story. Periodically, scenes would capture a deposition that is occurring between Zuckerberg, the Winklevoss twins who claim that Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social media website, and Eduardo Saverin, a good friend of Zuckerberg’s at the time and a co-founder of Facebook who put up his own money for many of the company’s earlier projects. Of course the legal teams of each are involved. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Eduardo Saverin are the plaintiffs against Mark Zuckerberg. The four first met each other while students at Harvard University in 2003.

Towards the end of the movie, the junior attorney who was working with Zuckerberg’s attorney asked him these two questions (paraphrasing): Why do you hate the Winklevoss twins so much? Zuckerberg’s response: I don’t have a problem with the Winklevosses. The next question from the attorney is: Then why do they hate you? Zuckerberg’s response: The biggest problem with the Winklevosses is that for the first time in their lives things aren’t working out the way that they had planned, and that is what is so upsetting to them. Bingo!

While a number of folks including Mark Zuckerberg himself question a number of the facts that were portrayed in the film, my takeaway from the movie is haters gonna hate! This is the subject of today’s post.

Interesting the phrase, haters gonna hate, is very popular with young millennials today. About.com explains the phrase as an expression of personal pride and individuality. [Ref 1] It means “I’m just going to ignore the cruel and hateful comments of other people.” If you haven’t already figured this out, haters can’t stand to see you happy. And they never want to see you succeed. This is apparently true with the Winklevoss twins. They were attempting to woo Zuckerberg to work for their company and help them create a dating website. They had one or two conversations about some computer and coding related projects, and here we go.

Once the Winklevoss twins learn of the success of Facebook, they alleged that Zuckerberg stole their idea. Most would argue that he did not because their discussions were too general at the time. The Winklevosses came from a family of privilege and money and were not happy to hear that Zuckerberg was putting his project before theirs. Now, had the initial Facebook website not gone viral and or had the success that it did, would the Winklevosses have reason or cause or even be interested in bringing a lawsuit?

Here are some of the lines from the poem, Haters, by an unknown* author:

They [haters] are very negative people to say the least. Nothing is ever good enough!
When you make your mark, you will always attract some haters.
That’s why you have to be careful with whom you share your blessings and your dreams, because some folk can’t handle seeing you blessed.
You never know what people have gone through to get what they have.
The problem I have with haters is that they see my glory, but they don’t know my story.
If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, you can rest assured that the water bill is higher there too!

IDon'tTrustWordsITrustActionsYou can be the best person, and someone will be upset or angry. You can do the best work, and someone will not like it. In spite of what you may do or not do, say or not say, haters gonna hate!

When hating goes beyond dislikes to character assassination, physical aggression, theft, etc., intervention is required. The form of intervention is obviously dependent upon the person(s) and the situation. Confronting your hater(s) may be warranted in some cases, and filing a civil suit may be an appropriate action in others.

Like BAITERs (see BAITERs, Haters, and Social Climbers), haters leave lots of clues to who they are and what they are about. Some haters will smile in your face and greet you with kind words. However, what you really need to know is what they are saying and doing when they are not in your presence. Successfully dealing with haters requires that you know who you are. Second, you must know who your friends are. I have few genuine friends, although I am friendly with a countless number of persons.

While Mark Zuckerberg is not known for his bubbly personality or social skills, the words on the poster for the movie gets it right. You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies. The other thing that he got right was the Winklevosses. Their hatred towards him was more about power and control than anything else. They wanted him to play in their sandbox and he chose not to. Now they were going to show him who was in charge!

To those of you who are spiritual, when God gives you favor, you can tell your haters, “Don’t look at me…look at who is in charge of me”.

Whatever you do, don’t buy into the hater’s mindset, and don’t let them steal your dreams, your joy, or your peace!

*Note: Some sources quote Maya Angelou as the author; however, this is not listed as one of her poem by several websites that list her publications.

1. What is “Haters Gonna Hate?”, by Paul Gil, http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/readerpicks/fl/What-Is-Haters-Gonna-Hate.htm



About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


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