Mark Zuckerberg: A $3 billion bid to save his image?

The controversial Facebook co-founder and CEO pledges to give most of his money to charity. Will his critics finally cut him a break?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
(Image credit: Getty)

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has promised to donate at least half of his wealth to charity, joining a growing group of billionaires who have signed onto the "Giving Pledge" proposed by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Forbes estimates that the 26-year-old CEO is worth more than $6 billion, and admirers say his generosity could pressure other rich young entrepreneurs to follow suit. But Zuckerberg's first foray into philanthropy — a $100 million gift to Newark Public Schools — was met with skepticism by some who suggested it was a PR stunt. Will this charitable promise go over better? (Watch an ABC report about Zuckerberg's pledge)

Zuckerberg is up to his old PR tricks: Zuckerberg's "latest stunt," says Daya Baran in Web Guild, seems like a repeat of his gift to Newark's schools, which he announced right before the release of The Social Network, a movie that portrayed him as "socially awkward egomaniac who stole the idea" for Facebook from Harvard classmates. And this is "only a pledge" — he doesn't have $3 billion to give yet, as his fortune is in "monopoly money" until he takes Facebook public.

"What is Mark Zuckerberg up to with latest stunt"

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This proves Zuckerberg really is a good guy: Good grief — if this doesn't silence Zuckerberg's critics, nothing will, says Mike Cassidy in the San Jose Mercury News. He's doing "a very good thing." Sure, it's a "symbolic gesture" — "an unenforceable promise" he has until age 65 to fulfill. But think of all the good that will result if other tycoons are inspired by his example. "Symbols count for something. Sometimes even billions."

"Facebook's Zuckerberg takes the pledge, shows Silicon Valley the way"

It does not matter why you give, as long as you give: "I had goosebumps" reading about Zuckerberg's largesse, says Meredith Carroll in Strollerderby. Frankly, it doesn't matter whether he's doing it out of sheer kindness or out of a desire to make people forget about his portrayal on the big screen and the privacy concerns that have long dogged his site. "The recipients of his very real dollars likely won't argue about the effect."

"Facebook founder sets a philanthropic example"

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