Bill Gates Thinks Zuckerberg's Philanthropic Connected World Goal is Rubbish

By Gerald Lynch on at

When you've got as much cash as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have stockpiled, you've got to give a little back (or a lot) before you end up drowning in gold coins Scrooge McDuck style. But not all philanthropic pursuits are created equal in Gates's eyes, with the ex-Microsoft boss going on the offensive in relation to the Facebook head-honcho's charitable interests.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the Windows visionary's primary concern these days, offering up $4 billion a year to help fight malaria across the globe. Zuckerberg on the other hand earlier this year called internet connectivity a "human right", and is looking to secure a web connection for the five billion unconnected people around the world. Gates is not impressed.

"I certainly love the IT thing, but when we want to improve lives, you've got to deal with more basic things like child survival, child nutrition," he told the Financial Times.

"Take this malaria vaccine, [this] weird thing that I'm thinking of. Hmm, which is more important, connectivity or malaria vaccine? If you think connectivity is the key thing, that's great. I don't."

Buuurn. But he's got a point -- I'm not sure how much good a cat-filled Tumblr post is going to do me when I'm throwing up with a high-fever, and the cynics out there can easily say that another web-connected person is another Facebook profile (and another pair of eyes on adverts) for Zuckerberg.

It's not the first time Gates has laid into a fellow tech luminary's charitable concerns, saying of Google's Project Loon balloon powered internet in August:

"When you're dying of malaria, I suppose you'll look up and see that balloon, and I'm not sure how it'll help you. When a kid gets diarrhoea, no, there's no website that relieves that." Hard to argue against, right? [Financial Times via TechRadar]