Zuckerberg: We will give away 99% of our FB shares

Zuckerberg: We will give away 99% of our FB shares

Johannesburg - Parenthood has had a life altering effect for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Yesterday, at the public announcement of the birth of his daughter Max, Mr. Zuckerberg said he and wife Priscilla Chan intended to give away 99% of their Facebook shares to advance "human potential and promote equality".

The 31-year-old philanthropist said the roughly US$45 billion worth of shares that will be contributed will go to "curing disease, personalising learning, harnessing clean energy, connecting people, building strong communities, reducing poverty, providing equal rights and spreading understanding across nations." 

In a letter written to his newborn, Mr. Zuckerberg detailed some of the reasons for the move. "Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today."

The Facebook CEO and co-founder -- whose company carried out secret psychological experiments on Facebook users last year -- also wrote in his letter that: "We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation."

Mr. Zuckerberg also challenged ideologies on helping the world, saying; "But right now, we don't always collectively direct our resources at the biggest opportunities and problems your (his daughter's) generation will face." He was referring to the methodology of disease, saying that more effort and resources should be placed curing disease rather than merely treating it. "Medicine has only been a real science for less than 100 years and we've already seen complete cures for some diseases and good progress on others. As technology accelerates, we have a real shot at preventing, curing or managing all or most of the rest in the next 100 years."

What most people die from
The new father wrote in his letter to Max that most people die from five things that included heart disease, cancer, stroke, neurodegenerative disease and infectious disease. He said his investment of Facebook shares would go toward progress on cures for these ailments.

"Curing disease will take time. Over short periods of five or ten years, it may not seem like we're making much of a difference. But over the long term, seeds planted now will grow, and one day, you or your children will see what we can only imagine: a world without suffering from disease."

Read the full letter here.

While several A-list celebrities and top tier philanthropists congratulated Mr. Zuckerberg on his role as a father, the internet took to heckling the billionaire

Vanity Fair magazine hit back hard with their own letter to Max.

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In truth, the Facebook world Max may experience will be one vastly different from those the public has. She won't receive messages from "Facebook User" in Nigeria who wants to just find out how she is with a "Haloo babey". Max won't know the irritiation of being invited to try Call Apps or Candy Crush or Farmville. She won't know the pain of untagging herself from several hundred pictures of teddy bears and roses with the words A Smile for You or some other random and meaningless sentiment. Max Zuckerberg will never know the torture of choosing which feeling to correctly associate to the place you're having dinner at or finding the right geo-tag to use for said dinner spot.. How 'bout fixing that inequality, Mark?

 

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