Site taken down, just like in the movies!
In the Social Network, a pissed off Mark Zuckerberg, after being dumped by his girlfriend, codes a website in his furor that stole photographs of female students from Harvard and randomly presented two pictures for the viewer to vote for in terms of their hotness. A hilarious idea that became quite famous before it was taken down by the prestigious university.
The problem with presenting such an ideas in a movie format worldwide is that, it will but sprout imitation. And so it has: an AUS student by the name of Mohammed Noor, 20, has created his own version of Facemash that used Facebook photos of about 5,500 students of the university and presented in a format that asked viewers to vote on their attractiveness. The site generated 150,000 hits in 40 hours.
Noor says he was inspired by The Social Network, of course. “I was watching it and I thought that I could probably do that too,” he said. “I had a few complaints but I think most students liked it.”
The university officials soon got the sniff of it and the site was made to shut down. A conference was called to discuss methods to protect personal information.
Ashi Sheth, the AUS director of information technology, said, “Facebook’s greatest strength, the ability to connect people, is also its biggest problem. Facebook has a stated goal of connecting people based on information they provide.
“The way it does this is by sharing the information and forcing the user to choose what they would like to keep private. This can be changed via personal settings, however, it is a step that each Facebook member must take.”
Some students were disturbed to see their pictures on the site, while some were shocked that their picture got leaked despite setting strict privacy settings on their Facebook account.
“I feel like it was an invasion of privacy,” said Saleha Irfan, a 23-year-old journalism student from Pakistan who was featured on Facemash. “It was a shock that this person was able to take my profile picture and put it on this website without me knowing. What was worse is that people were voting on me and you could see the results. I felt violated.”
“I don’t know how he got my picture,” said Dina Gharbo, a 22-year-old Egyptian who is also pursuing a journalism degree. “It wasn’t so bad for us but some people who were married or engaged were also on the site.”
Noor, a computer engineer from Syria, said he also created a similar website for American University of Beirut which generated 1,400 hits since its launch on Sunday.
Like Zuckerberg, Noor also wants to make it big and has something planned that he hopes will fetch him as much fame and money as the Facebook owner.
“I’m working on something big right now,” he said. “This Facemash [was done] so that people know my name and will be prepared when I release it later on.”
“I don’t want to be the second Mark,” he said. “I want to be the first Noor.”
Source: The National.