Ebay Founder Pierre Omidyar Pledges $100 Million to Fight ‘Fake News’ and Hate Speech
Pierre Omidyar, the founder of the e-commerce giant eBay, is pledging $100 million to fight “fake news” and hate speech.
To start, the Omidyar Network’s civic engagement initiative is slated to give $4.5 million to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the Washington Post reports. This is the same Washington-based group that was behind the Panama Papers investigation, notes the Post. The Network is going to make the official announcement Wednesday at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford, England.
Another recipient is the Anti-Defamation League, which is an organization that fights anti-Semitism worldwide. According to the Post, the ADL will use the donation to build “a state-of-the-art command center” in Silicon Valley which it will use to counter online hate. A third early recipient is the Latin American Alliance for Civic Technology, which is expected to receive $2.9 million. This organization promotes civic engagement and government accountability in Latin America, the Post reports.
According to the Post, the $100 million is the largest contribution of its kind.
Omidyar, a 49-year-old Iranian-American businessman who was born in France, was the chairman of eBay from 1998-2005. He became a billionaire when he was 31 after eBay’s (EBAY) initial public offering in 1998. In 2004, he and his wife, Pamela Kerr Omidyar, established the Omidyar Network, the Post reports.