Monday, September 27, 2010

Zuckerberg's 100M: Just another Facebook PR opportunity?

According to critics, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is attempting to counter the potentially negative PR fallout from upcoming film “The Social Network” with the announcement of his hefty $100 Million donation to the Newark School Board.

Well, so what? There are millions of young celebrities (Lindsay Lohan, the Kardashians, Heidi Plasticbody, Paris Hilton et al), who have made an absolute mint off of a public who puts them on the cover of US Weekly and keeps them in Halston originals without donating any noteworthy portion of their mostly unmerited wealth to charitable causes.

Yet the media is going after Zuckerberg, who, at 26 years of age may be the youngest philanthropist to donate $100 million to anyone, much less a school board in a depressed area who is in desperate need of it. I have to ask, what's happened to our own values if we chastise a successful American entrepreneur for this? Something is decidedly wrong here.

Instead of bashing him or deriding his gifting by dismissing it as a PR move, why is the media not lifting him up and making him a great example of what young celebs who meet with good fortune can do with their bling? This could well set a trend for the rest of Generation Y – wouldn’t that be great? Instead of Paris Hilton sticking dollars up her nose, she could think about supporting kids’ programs that teach them how to avoid substance addiction, or even mentoring kids to become entrepreneurs instead of clueless heiresses. That would be novel.

At a time when our country is being forced to rethink its values, Zuckerberg's donation stands as a very relevant, much needed and marvelous gesture – at least in my humble opinion.

So why the sour grapes, critics? Almost everything seems to be written off as a PR move these days, but why single out Zuckerberg’s move - one that will bring so much good to so many kids (let’s not forget the community, teachers and parents) who also deserve a chance in life?

I see this as a wonderful example of "what goes around comes around". Good on ya Zuckerberg!


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