This semester, we are using the founding of Facebook, as depicted in the book “The Accidental Billionaires” and the film “The Social Network,” as an in-depth case study to learn about business law and ethics. Lesson 1 of the course will focus on Facemash. In brief, before he started Facebook, Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerburg decided to start Facemash. For those of you who haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet, Facemash presented the user with two randomly selected pictures of Harvard students–Harvard I.D. photos that Zuckerberg had downloaded on his dorm room computer without formal authorization–and then let the user vote on which one was “hotter.” (You can read more about this infamous incident here.) So, here is the question we will address in Lesson 1: Did Mark Zuckerberg breach any legal or moral duties or violate any laws when he created Facemash?
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