September 24, 2010

TOTALLY AWESOME, YES? FACEBOOK FOUNDER ZUCKERBERG DONATES 100 MILLION TO NEWARK! UH, NOT REALLY...


Oh, Zuckerberg, that cat! Smart, this one is. Oprah, behind him he has. Taking the media spotlight, he does! With his donation of 100 million dollars to the Newark public school system. And hey, if you say something against that, you should go home and masturbate into Das Kapital, you red-skirt-loving-commie-whore!

Thing is, though, Zuckerberg has not donated 100 million dollars.

He has donated a swath of Facebook shares that should/will/maybe become worth 100 million dollars. Yes, I know... I know, all that nit-picking, but we must remember that the devil is always in the details. And if you are a reporter, you should kind of think about it before you start typing shit down.

Now, as this Forbes article makes clear, since Facebook shares are not even publicly traded, the actual value of Facebook shares is somewhat murky.
How does Zuckerberg donate $100 million shares worth of Facebook, when no one really knows what a share of Facebook is even worth? Will he use an internal valuation, or will Newark simply sell Zuckerberg’s shares in private placements or on the secondary markets until it hits the $100 million mark? Either way, we might get a more accurate view of Facebook’s true value.
And no, I am not harping on the donation – whatever form or shape it may take – as such, nor am I willing or even able to debate whether that may have anything to do with the fact that Zuckerberg is widely seen as an asshole. I am not even going to get into the debate how awful it is that a public school system (in one region, not even US-wide) is in such bad shape that it needs such a donation in the first place, because that would lead to a very, very long essay on how the United States and a lot of other Western countries have systematically dismantled something that is not only worth a lot in educating citizens capable of being part in a civil discourse (kind of necessary for a democracy to work, eh?) but also educating one, if not the most important resource of them all for any capitalist society: the human mind.

What I am hapring on about is the fact that – once again – people working in the media (not all of them, but a lot, and it only gets worse with each new opinion piece, and if you don't believe me, look at that bullshit Arianna Huffington is wiriting about this topic) kind of have the tendency to forget reporting all of the facts. You know, the important bits.

What Newark does not get is a direct, immediate cash infusion.

So don't report it as such.

It's called journalistic integrity and accuracy, yes?