Silicon Valley’s “New Morality”: Venture-Backed Homework Farm?

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

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Last month, @CBS Bay Area wrote about Silicon Valley’s Jonathan Hart (@jonathanhartsf), lead mobile engineer for Idle Games, who hacked into the Burning Man servers to snag tickets ahead of the 80,000 people waiting in line – then tweeted about it leading to some 200 more of similar morality doing the same.

Navigated @Ticketfly’s completely hosed web servers and crawled out with 2 @burningman tickets… woohooo!

— Jonathan Hart (@jonathanhartsf) February 18, 2015

Francisco Dao, a Los Angles-based Venture Beat columnist and Founder of SEAL CAMP and 50Kings, posted about the hacking of Ticketfly on Facebook. When I commented,

[the hackers] are the equivalent of looters walking through a broken window in Ticketfly’s business. – me

Francisco pointed to the “new morality” pervasive in Silicon Valley.

In the “new morality” it’s not cheating or cutting in line. It’s “hacking Burning Man!” – Francisco Dao

Is there a “New Morality”
in Silicon Valley?

Or has technology simply made immoral acts more accessible and easier to do?

Is technology empowering people who would ordinarily not commit immoral acts to do so “with a click” and digital impunity?

Is technologically-facilitated morality akin to the person, who would never take an apple from a farmer’s market bin, pulling an apple from a tree if presented with an open gate at the edge of the same farmer’s orchard…

Venture-Backed Homework Farm?

Consider Fiverr, an Israeli company funded with $50,000,000 from Silicon Valley’s Accel Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.  Fiverr is a marketplace that provides access to creative and professional services.

Fiverr has extended the “new morality” to “cheating” in school.  Cheating on schoolwork is now a “Top Gig” at Fiverr – for just a click and a mere $5.

Today’s “This Week’s Top Gigs” e-mail from Fiverr was devoted to outsourcing homework, tests, and exams.

Who does this?  Parents for their kids?  Adults for themselves?

Is this evidence of a “new morality” in Silicon Valley?

And why target me with this ad?  Does Fiverr think I would pay someone to do my kids’ homework or take their tests – or do the same for myself – because I live in Silicon Valley?

Is there nothing wrong with this?

Fiverr Top Gigs w/o Mar 12 2015

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