Lesson 2: The Ad Board

This semester, we are using the founding of Facebook as an in-depth case study to explore various aspects of business law and ethics. In Lesson 1, for example, we discussed the legal and moral dimensions of “Facemash,” a short-lived website Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg had created in the fall of 2003—a few months before he created the first version of Facebook in early 2004. In this lesson, we will focus on the procedural side of law. Specifically, what type of process did Harvard College use to discover and corroborate the relevant facts regarding Facemash, i.e. the fact that Zuckerberg downloaded student I.D. photos without authorization? We will also consider if there are any legal limits on the form of punishment that the Ad Board could have imposed in this case. More broadly, what legal rights does a student (or a professor, for that matter) have when he is accused of wrongdoing or misconduct by a fellow student or faculty member. (Think about the Jameis Winston case at Florida State University, for example.) In addition, who has the burden of proof in these cases, and what burden of proof must the accusing party meet in order to prove his or her case?

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One Response to Lesson 2: The Ad Board

  1. Pingback: Lesson 3: “The Harvard Connection” | prior probability

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