In “The Social Network”, the directors portray the origin of Facebook.com and play with the crucial theme of ‘privacy’ as Mark Zuckerburg creates what is now one of the largest companies on earth.
Privacy comes up very quickly in just the first few scenes when Mark decided to hack all of the different organizations at Harvard in order to source pictures of women who will unwillingly compete with each other online based on their looks. This first site, FaceSmash.com, was a hit, and it put Mark on the radar soon to be picked up by the Winklevoss twins who want to make an even better website. Next, privacy is used in the context of exclusivity, where Mark designs his new website “thefacebook.com”, with his buddy Eduardo, which uses the idea that only people who have a Harvard email can join, soon opening it to other colleges. As Facebook.com gains national popularity, Mark starts to hire new developers, buy office space, and expand the database power of his website as a way to draw more users. As this builds, we are taken forward in time to a lawsuit deposition with Mark’s business partner Eduardo and the Winklevoss twins, who are suing Mark for stealing their idea, which again brings forth the theme of privacy. In the end, Eduardo is squeezed out of the company and the Winklevoss twins take millions from Mark, but Facebook.com does not stop its climb or revenue stream.
Today, many people see Facebook as a privacy-loose company that has a monopoly in its sector, which it uses to lead teens to depression through its many platforms. So, based on that description, not much has changed since its immoral inception. However, others see it as a way to keep in contact with loved ones and spread ideas throughout the world. Personally, I think Facebook is a fun topic to talk about in the context of privacy because they don’t provide much of it, but millions of people still sign on every day and give their data away for free. For this reason, it is very interesting to ask why this happens, especially because it is well known that data privacy is something that Facebook does not provide.