Once again, I am assigning the award-winning film “The Social Network,” along with episode 4 of “Tiger King,” in my business law survey course. (For your reference, see my Fall 2021 Syllabus, the first four pages of which are pictured below. Click on a specific image to see a larger version of that page.) This term, however, will most likely be the last time I assign “The Social Network,” which depicts the events leading up to the creation and meteoric rise of Facebook. In brief, I have three objections against this film. One is that the movie, as of August 31, is no longer available on Netflix. Another is that it is somewhat sexist, especially in light of today’s hyper-sensitive #MeToo environment. (“The Social Network” has no female leads and fails the infamous Bechdel test.) But my main objection is that this movie is now horribly dated. When the film was first released in 2010, Facebook was the darling of Silicon Valley — a scrappy little startup with a fun and innovative way to bring real-life friends closer together. Today, by contrast, Facebook has for all practical purposes become an evil Big Tech behemoth, along with Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Though come to think of it, perhaps this real-life role reversal makes “The Social Network” more relevant than ever!
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