Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook mogul and 5th richest person in the world is apparently anti-billionaire. Last Thursday at a Facebook town hall, the CEO denounced the excess wealth of billionaires.
Zuckerberg currently clocks in with a net worth of nearly $68 billion. Facebook, which makes 99% of its revenue off of targeted advertisements, has consistently been under fire for unethical data use and problematic advertising.
The company has gotten in trouble for permitting credit, employment, and housing corporations to hide ads from black Americans, women, and adults with children. Ads that promote opportunity through affordable housing or higher-paying jobs were problematically not shown to such demographics, furthering a system of perpetuating socio-economic divide.
From the unethical advertising policies to the Cambridge Analytica scandal and overall massive user data misuse, Facebook serves as many of the modern day poster child of corporate greed. At the center of such corporations always sits a billionaire CEO who often straddles the line of power hungry and genuine philanthropy.
A few years ago, Zuckerberg pledged to donate 99% of his Facebook stock to charitable causes through the course of his lifetime. While it will still likely to leave him and his family as billionaires, it is a well-intended effort by the Facebook CEO. However, it makes you wonder how much excess wealth you can have if you give away 99% of your own company’s stock and still remain as one of the richest people in the world and essentially guarantee a comfortable life for every member of your family.
While Zuckerberg’s charitable efforts are generous, the roots of said money rest on Facebook’s questionable practices. Facebook has profited off the exploitation of both its users and competition alike, rarely failing to prioritize monetary gains over moral grounding.
Zuckerberg represents the epitome billionaire. He speaks toward moral platitudes and promises of philanthropy, but one has to wonder what values and ethics he must have compromised to attain such success. Now with the wealth and influence to enact tangible change on the rest of the world, it will be telling to see if the billionaire acts upon his promises or succumbs to a greater greed.