Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The lawbook looms on Facebook

With the advent of all these social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook et al, I often wonder whether I would be in touch with more people than I am now, if the sites existed when I was in university. My younger cousins, for example, have close to 300 people on their lists, and most of them are people who go to the same university (the number tends to increase exponentially if it is a foreign university, as opposed to an Indian college where the student body is often less). As it is, a lot of random people who were no more than acquaintances then, keep popping up quite randomly on these sites. It's sort of a voyeuristic thing which has its negative repercussions (let's be honest), but it has also been nice to catch up with a few people than I genuinely had good times with a long time ago and then lost touch with.

The story of how Facebook started is now common knowledge - Mark Zuckerberg started it with a couple of friends while at Harvard, so university kids could connect with each other online. It soon became a big hit - recently they turned down an offer to be bought out by Yahoo! for $1 billion. That's a lot of money. But of course, there is controversy - 3 other people, founders of another site called ConnectU, say that he illegally used the source code they had asked him to write for them.

And that's why I was interested to know that Time did a piece today on whether Facebook could be shut down because of a lawsuit.

Highly unlikely, in my opinion.

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