The majority of the gift, $250 million, will go to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a nonprofit popular with many tech philanthropists, which will then regrant the money to local election officials so they can recruit poll workers, supply them with personal protective equipment, and set up drive-through voting.
The money does not come from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, their joint philanthropy, but is a personal donation. “Election officials across the country are working hard to ensure that everyone can vote and every vote can be counted,” Zuckerberg said, “and we want to help make sure they have the resources they need to do this.
But in today’s America, where Zuckerberg is a pariah to many progressives and where billionaire gifts are scrutinized much more closely, the reaction was more complicated. white·wash /ˈ(h)wītˌwäSH,ˈ(h)wītˌwôSH/ – donating 0. 31% of net worth, 63 days before election day, when it will be incredibly hard to deploy effectively, when you still make 99. 69% of your net worth destroying democracy, and _have zero plans to stop_.
Who thinks a $300M gift to election infrastructure offsets the invaluable daily reach + influence @Facebook gives to right-wing media outlets to broadcast their lies + fear-mongering to tens of millions of Americans for FREE every single day? Come ON man.
The Facebook chief said on Tuesday that he had sent the money to two civic organizations which in turn will direct it to state and local election officials so they can prepare for an unprecedented Election Day.
And while the money may be sorely needed, the announcement of the gift on Tuesday emerged as an immediate flashpoint in the simmering debate over billionaire philanthropy and whether donations are the best way to enact change.
That’s because, to many on the left and to Facebook critics more broadly, it is Zuckerberg’s company that has harmed democracy by tolerating hate speech, failing to curtail disinformation, or allowing Russian operatives to mess with the 2016 election.
Alongside the announcement of the gift — and perhaps with an eye to this predictable criticism — Zuckerberg pointed out Facebook’s pledge to register 4 million voters and promote information on matters like vote-by-mail to its users.
Mark Zuckerberg’s $300 million donation to fix elections must overcome Facebook’s past https://t.co/LXKfoQG9qQ— Recode (@Recode) September 1, 2020