For Sale on eBay: Facebook's 'Illuminati' Hoodie

For Sale: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's 'Illuminati' Hoodie
For Sale: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's 'Illuminati' Hoodie

The oddest moment of Mark Zuckerberg's D8 conference performance last week came when the 26-year-old Facebook CEO heeded his interviewer's offer to remove his prized hooded sweatshirt. Revealed sewn inside was an elaborate, never-before-seen Facebook insignia which prompted interviewer Kara Swisher to joke, "Oh my God, you're a cult."

"Zuckerberg takes off hoodie. Inside the lining is an Illuminati kind of insignia with Open Sharing motto. Now I'm freaked out," wrote Steven Levy of Wired. Reuters described it as a "mystical-looking symbol."

SFWeekly reconstructed the design, and offered an analysis of it.

The bi-directional arrows indicate that each part generates inbound and outbound sharing;

The labels on the arrows -- GRAPH, here represented by the "friend requests" icon, STREAM, represented by the "messages" icon and PLATFORM, represented by the "notifications" icon -- represent the three prongs of Facebook's strategy for 2010, as revealed at F8 conference;

The blue ring is the interface or Facebook's wall around user data -- the permeability of which remains a major point of controversy;

The motto on the upper half of the blue ring,"Making the world open and connected" is, according to Zuckerberg, Facebook's obviously unofficial "Mission Statement."

More outlandish theories abounded. Is it a tilted Star of David? No, it's the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs logo! How about some overgrown fraternity thing? You be the judge.

Inside Mission

"It's a company hoodie," Zuckerberg explained. "We print our mission on the inside."

We print our mission on the inside

To be fair, there's nothing that unusual about internal corporate logos, strategy charts, mission diagrams and the like. CNET chided the tech blogosphere for going overboard on hoodie hysteria. "The only magical, mystical power of Zuckerberg's hooded sweatshirt and the pattern inscribed within appears to be its ability to make a press frenzy out of just about nothing."

But who can resist a CEO who rhapsodizes about openness and transparency, and whose company's success rests upon users sharing more and more information, concealing his company's secret mission on the inner lining of his gym clothes?

One of the hoodies appeared on eBay (EBAY) over the weekend and by Monday morning, 16 bidders had pushed the price north of $4,000 and counting.