eBay Founder Pledges $100 Million In Fight Against Fake News

Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay vows to fight fake news.
Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay vows to fight fake news.
Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay vows to fight fake news.

The founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar on Wednesday announced that he will be donating $100 million over three years in support of  “independent media and investigative journalism” worldwide, while tackling “misinformation and hate speech.” The pledge was made through Omidyar’s philanthropic organisation, Omidyar Network, as he looks to tackle the problems in the media according to reports by CNBC.

In what will be the first contribution, $4.5 m will be given to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who are the people behind the release of last years “Panama Papers” corruption story, the contribution will be given to expand its investigative reporting according to the Washington Post.

Among some of the other organisations who will benefit from the funding is the Alianza Latinoamericana para la Tecnologia Civica (ALTEC), a project designed to promote civic engagement and transparency in Latin America, and The Anti-Defamation Legue (ADL), the world’s leading anti-Semitism organization.

Matt Bannick, Omidyar Network managing partner, said in a statement that “Across the world, we see a worrying resurgence of authoritarian politics that is undermining progress towards a more open and inclusive society,”

“A lack of government responsiveness and a growing distrust in institutions, especially the media, are eroding trust. Increasingly, facts are being devalued, misinformation spread, accountability ignored, and channels that give citizens a voice withdrawn. These trends cannot become the norm, and we must protect the principles of openness, participation, and accountability. These are the foundations of a healthy democratic society.”

Omidyar said in a tweet about the initiative that “The fight against misinformation, authoritarian lies, and online abuse is a fight we can win.”

Staff Writer