Software Engineering Code ofEthics and Professional PracticeThe Social Network(Mark Zuckerberg’s creation ofFaceMash)By Vishwa Patel and Fiona Strain
FaceMash• In the film ‘The Social Network’, the protagonist MarkZuckerberg writes a program called FaceMash that letsusers vote who’s the hotter looking one in a pair offemale students at Harvard. This program, apart frombeing incredibly sexist and misogynistic, also clearlyviolated the principle below (1.04):•• 1.04. Disclose to appropriate persons or authoritiesany actual or potential danger to the user, the public,or the environment, that they reasonably believe tobe associated with software or related documents.
• This is a clear violation of that principle because theprogram posed severe harms to the girls who, withouthaving given consent, were being judged on the basis oftheir looks and the reason why that violates this specificprinciple is because Zuckerberg did not inform these girlslet alone get their consent before he put up their photos(which he obtained by hacking into the directories ofcollege dorms). This act put these girls in ‘actual … danger’without Zuckerberg’s disclosure.•• Zuckerberg’s rationale for the violation of this principle wasthat since his girlfriend ditched him (no surprises here) hehad a right to potentially destroy the lives of other women.The outcome of him making this program was that it wentviral quickly and crashed the Harvard network which led tohim being put on probation from Harvard.