Google and Facebook Ebola Campaigns: What Took So Long?

2020-02-19 16:34:47    阅读:216710

Until last week, there was one group largely missing from the list of Ebola donors: Silicon Valley companies. Facebooks and Googles donation campaigns arrived months into an outbreak that in early summer had already been deemed the worst Ebola outbreak in history. And while their giving initiatives are generous Facebook leveraged valu

able online real estate for donation banners, while Google has already raised $5.1 million with its double-matched donations its hard not to ask a lingering question: Why not sooner? The question has plagued most humanitarian efforts in the Ebola fight. The World Health Organizations chief criticized the timing of internation

al support, mostly from governments, NGOs and international groups, as being too little, too late as far back as September. Some critics have even stepped forward to bla

st Silicon Valley companies over their timing directly a Washington Post column noted that multimillion dollar gifts from Silicon Valley figureheads like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates highlighted the silence from the companies themselves. Another critic argued that Silicon Valley corporations, so-called promisers of change, were hypocritically sitting out the Ebola fight. Related Stories   

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Business  Nissan Says Ex-Chairman Ghosn Guilty of 'Serious Misconduct' But companies like Facebook and Google werent really sitting out. Silicon Valleys humanitarian aid doesnt normally com六肖高手心水论坛 e in the form of cash it comes in the form of tech. Googles Ebola donation campaign was a product of its nonprofit arm, which funds innovative groups using technology to change the world, a Google spokesperson says. Facebook has used its site to show its massive audience how to support nonprofits fighting Ebola, says a spokesperson at the U.N. Foundation, which has worked with Facebook for months to promote Ebola aid. Tech has been at the forefront of Silicon Valleys aid in previous crises too. Google launched crisis maps to aid emergency preparedness and response, while Facebooks social network, recently a platform for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising phenomenon, has facilitated communication during disasters. Still, while both companies have used their platforms to invite donations in the past, like during last years Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, neither had ever asked their users for help so directly especially Facebook, which just last week followed Googles example and started

asking users to donate to various humanitarian organizations. That move, a Facebook spokesperson says, was way to amplify Facebooks other ongoing humanitarian-contribution efforts.

Facebook and Googles Ebola donation

requests are just two ground-level examples of humanitarian efforts from an industry thats better known for long-term, moonshot-style tech for a cause. Google has plans for a pill that can diagnose cancer and a smart contact lens that monitors diabetics glucose level, for example, while Facebook is developing solar-powered drones that beam down Internet access to less developed regions of the world. And few people in the humanitarian community really expect Silicon Valley companies, flush with cash as they are, to solicit donations or shell out their own money, but they very much welcome Facebook and Googles efforts here.  Get The Brief. Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now.

Thank you!  For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder.  Silicon Valley companies have been very generous, as companies, to respond to different disasters. But for them to take a public stand and campaign like theyve done is unprecedented, says Rebecca Milner, vice president of institutional advancement at International Medical Corps (IMC), one

of three nonprofits on Facebooks Ebola donation banner. IMC and other public-health organizations say they dont consider Facebooks and Googles efforts to be too late. Thats partly because Silicon Valley isnt usually involved in large coordinated efforts with humanitarian organizations, which work mostly with governments, NGOs and nonprofits. But thats something thats starting to change. Still, health experts believe that looking back especially tempting now when we hear the best time for aid wouldve been before the Ebola outbreak even began isnt as useful as discovering how Silicon Valleys humanitarian-engagement methods can be a powerful tool in the Ebola fight moving forward. This is something weve been chasing the whole time, and its hard to get in front of, says Kate Dodson, vice president of global health at the U.N. Foundation. Its a learning process for all of us who are trying to support those on the front lines of the Ebola response. Contact us at editors@time.com.

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