The Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who made his fortune by creating the world’s biggest general classified website, wants to keep an independent check on technology’s abuse. “I love TVs. I love watching TV. I don’t love TV watching me,” Newmark told The NewYork Times.
Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports is an ad-free publishing company that does independent research on consumer products. It reviews everything from cars to dishwashers to lawnmowers. Lately, it’s focused its magnifying glass on high-tech.
In 2017, for instance, it co-published the Digital Standard, a benchmark for smartphones and other devices that pose potential threats to consumer privacy, information security and freedom of speech.
The Craig Newmark Philanthropies’ donation will help establish a tech-focused research division at Consumer Reports called the Digital Lab.
Newmark, who co-owns Craigslist with Jim Buckmaster, has donated big money to support journalism as a pillar of democracy. Since 2015, he’s given more than $40 million to such initiatives, including donations this past February of $10 million to the Columbia School of Journalism and $5 million to the Poynter Institute.