Unethical Decisions Of Mark Zuckerberg While Developing Facebook

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The Social Network shows Mark Zuckerberg and the unethical decisions he made. While he made a lot of them, one in particular sticks out. Hacking the computer system to start the website, Facemash, was a big wrongdoing on Mark’s part. Nevermind the fact that the website itself was unethical because they were rating girls on how attractive they were, but they violated the privacy and security of Harvard’s computer system.

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Zuckerberg knew that hacking into the system was wrong, but in the end he only cared about how many people were using the website. When being called to the board at Harvard to discuss the punishment, he thought he really deserved some recognition. Clearly instead of realizing what he had done wrong, he was putting the blame on Harvard for making it easy for him to hack. He believes he pointed out some flaws and the board should thank him for catching them early. This is moral disengagement, but more specifically attribution of blame which basically is when one blames others to excuse unethical behaviors. By doing this, Zuckerberg wouldn’t feel guilty because technically it wasn’t all his fault due to a mistake on both ends.

Additionally Zuckerberg showed more signs of moral disengagement. Moral Disengagement is when people can justify the rightness of their behavior and actions even if they are immoral. When it comes to making Facemash, he shows dehumanization. Although he knows the girls are real people, he uses their picture because it’s just a screen. He lacks empathy and compassion for the women that he is using and he mistreats them because to him they aren’t fully human through a screen.

The use of technology especially makes it hard for Zuckerberg to understand that what he is doing to those women is wrong. Zuckerberg shows a great example of evil as ordinary. Most people would not consider Zuckerberg an evil person, psychopath, or heartless, but he did make some evil choices not thinking about how they would hurt other people. Evil as ordinary focuses on the fact that most evil actions occur from non evil people. Although people assume an evil action is from an evil person, that is not always the case. Especially this example is an ordinary person making not the best decisions.

Overall, Mark Zuckerberg made some very poor decisions while developing Facebook. He was not a completely evil person. He wanted this website to be a big hit to actually make people happier. Even though today the website is a huge hit, he could’ve gone about it a different way. Instead of hacking in to get the pictures, asking around for people who would want to participate would’ve been a better option. That way there is more inclusion and people may have been more inclined to participate, the girls especially. The outcome of all of this was not foreseeable and a little shocking that he would be able to become this successful after the unethical actions he took back in college.

15 July 2020

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