Cheating in the Social Network

Topics: Facebook, Incentive, Mark Zuckerberg, Morality / Pages: 10 (2334 words) / Published: Apr 24th, 2013
Cheating in The Social Network The movie The Social Network depicted the story behind the creation and growth of Facebook. The founder of the website, Mark Zuckerberg was named in a lawsuit filed by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, accusing him of stealing the idea for Facebook from them and collecting a large amount of money in the subsequent success of the website. In considering the accusation of whether Zuckerberg was ‘stealing,’ the concepts of asymmetry and incentives are discussed here. In the film, Zuckerberg was presented with an idea by the Winklevoss twins. That idea expanded upon an original concept of Zuckerberg’s. Mark Zuckerberg combined his idea with that of the Winklevoss’s and developed a social networking site which was to become known as Facebook. Referring to Zuckerberg’s activities as portrayed in the The Social Network as cheating is not justified. He used information asymmetry in achieving his goal by taking an idea which was originally his and expanding upon it with that of the Winklevoss’s. The idea that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss brought to Zuckerberg was not well laid out. They were looking for Zuckerberg to do the brainwork as well as the legwork to develop their idea. While the Winklevoss’s idea sparked Zuckerberg’s imagination to help expand upon his original idea, the original intellectual property was his. Knowing that the essence of time was critical in development of a social networking site, Zuckerberg moved forward in combining Winklevoss’s idea with his own. While Zuckerberg’s failure to tell the Winklevoss’s that they needed to find another programmer and that he was expanding upon their idea for his own project would have been the right thing to do, his actions, because they were based upon his original idea, would not be regarded as cheating. Zuckerberg used information asymmetry to his benefit in terms of combining two ideas and developing a product from those ideas. Also, the economic, social and moral

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