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The origins of the social networking website known as Facebook begins with the formation of a webpage known as “Facemash.” On October 28th, 2003, Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and fellow classmates Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz all decided to create an online game for students that would compare physical attributes side-by-side in selected photographs to determine attractiveness.

Accessing the “facebooks,” or student identity databases of the different school dormitories, Zuckerberg spread this web-based game to the entire Harvard campus and beyond, making the first major network of its kind. However, this prototype would be shut down in a matter of days due to several school regulation violations. FaceMash.com would later be auctioned off by banker Rahul Jain to an unknown buyer for $30,201.

In January of 2004, Zuckerberg realized the potential of the Facemash program, and began work on creating a new website, now dubbed “thefacebook.com.” His vision was to create a site where universal connection between students and faculty would be possible, stating that what the university could do in a few years, he could do “in a week.”

Shortly after the website went online, three students who attended Harvard with Mr. Zuckerberg, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, accused him of stealing the ideas for a previous project that he had agreed to help them with (HarvardConnection.com) to make his own project instead. The trio then filed a complaint to the school newspaper “The Crimson” and later resorted to a lawsuit. This was settled later on.

By October 1, 2005, ‘the’ had been dropped from the website title and so “Facebook.com” was born. The social network had expanded globally, reaching the United Kingdom, Mexico, and various regions in South America. Mr. Zuckerberg decided to expand membership to high-placing members of the internet and technology community such as Apple Inc. and Microsoft. Soon thousands of high schools were added to the network, and so Facebook became available to everyone ages 13 and older with an email address on September 26, 2006. In 2007, business pages were added for advertisement. In 2008, the international headquarters were set up in Dublin, Ireland, and by 2011, Facebook had become the top photo host on the internet. Facebook mobile became available in October of that same year, drawing in over 350 million users.

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