Facebook 101

This fall, we are teaching a large undergraduate survey course (n > 800) on “the legal and ethical environment of business.” Instead of trying to cover everything, we will focus instead on the founding and subsequent explosive growth of Facebook–as depicted in the bestseller “The Accidental Billionaires” by Ben Mezrich (pictured below) and the movie “The Social Network”–in order to explore various areas of the legal and ethical environments of business, including such areas as the law of contracts (think of Facebook’s “terms of use”), intellectual property (think of Facebook’s logos, brand, and “Like” symbols), choice of business entity (think of Facebook’s evolution from a two-man partnership into a Florida limited liability company before incorporating in the State of Delaware), and many other relevant legal and ethical topics, such as the ethics of Facebook’s privacy policies. Although the Professor is not a big fan of Facebook, we think our focus on the founding of Facebook makes good sense for several reasons. First of all, our target audience consists of undergraduates, most of whom use some form of social media to connect with the wider world, and furthermore, it was a motley crew of college students who ended up creating one of the most successful Internet platforms in the world today. Mark Zuckerberg literally changed the world, so why not learn from his successes … and from some of his mistakes?

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One Response to Facebook 101

  1. Matthew Keller says:

    Definitely excited for this course, I love the approach!

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