Today Mark Zuckerberg will appear on Oprah to donate $100 million to the New Jersey public school system.
One might think this is an image-building ploy to help defer some of the negative publicity Facebook, and Zuckerberg, might garner from The Social Network’s release. While it does kind of change the ending a bit, there are two things to remember.
1. If Bill Gates is King of the Nerds, the trajectory might be: punk, code-genius, millionaire, billionaire — > philanthropist. Gates is probably more of an influence over Zuckerberg’s decision than any Hollywood movie, I’m guessing, and Gates is out front and center with Waiting for Superman. Oprah’s and Bill Gate’s support of the film, by the way, puts it in the doc race in a big, big way. You know, in case you hadn’t noticed.
2. The big picture to take away from this is that a donation of that size IS doing the kind of good American billionaires are not only designed for, but it should be a lot more common. When you have that kind of money, you are morally obligated to help the human race. That is my personal opinion. I didn’t think of badly of Zuckerberg before because I do see The Social Network as a beautiful and grand metaphor about human nature (a la Citizen Kane), but I sure see him as a grown-up now. Also, the last exchange in the film does sort of open the door for this, no? My hat is off to him. He and Bill Gates are true supermen. We need more of them to step up and help out.