On December 20, CLBR will have our annual year-end Heroes and Zeros episode in which, with guests Brenda Christensen, Denise Howell and Dan Tynan, we highlight those doing wonderful things on the internet and those deserving a cyber lump of coal. This year, in order to give credit (and shame) where it is due, I am naming my hero and zero “nominees” individually and today we honor internet pioneer and philanthropist Craig Newmark on his 65th birthday.
Since 2011, Craig Newmark has been working though craigconnects to unite the world for the common good using the Internet. It seeks to identify, connect, and promote organizations that are making that vision happen. This includes the organizations and interests highlighted below. For example, Newmark is the benefactor behind the Craig Newmark Memorial Latrine at Wikipedia.
In October 2016, Newmark released a comprehensive survey of adult Americans showing that bullying, harassment, and threatening behavior on social networks has remained roughly the same over two years (22% in 2016 compared to 25% in 2014) despite efforts by social media companies to curb harassment.
Most recently, Newmark funded a new Wikipedia initiative to fight online harassment.
To ensure Wikipedia’s vitality, people of good will need to work together to prevent trolling, harassment and cyber-bullying from interfering with the common good. To that end, I’m supporting the work of the Wikimedia Foundation towards the prevention of harassment.
The money donated will support the launch of a community health initiative to address harassment and toxic behavior on Wikipedia through the development of tools for volunteer editors and staff to reduce harassment and block harassers.
This initiative addresses the major forms of harassment reported on the Wikimedia Foundation’s 2015 Harassment Survey, which covers a wide range of different behaviors, including: content vandalism; stalking; name-calling; trolling; doxxing; discrimination; and really, anything that targets individuals for unfair and harmful attention.
We discussed this project with Craig in February – CLBR #248: Craig Newmark Takes on Online Harassment.
Craigslist founder (1995)
Craig has not been part of craigslist management since 2000, but stays connected to the site’s users through his involvement with Customer Service.
Internet Hall of Fame (2012)
“Nerd-in-Residence” by Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation in recognition of his volunteer work with the department to enhance services to veterans and military families (2013)
In 2016 he created the Craig Newmark Foundation, a private foundation to promote philanthropy and civic engagement through a number of initiatives. The foundation supports charitable and education causes with a focus on consumer protection and education, veterans and military families, government transparency, public diplomacy, voter protection and education, micro-lending to alleviate poverty, and women in technology.
Craig serves on the board of directors of the Poynter Foundation, Center for Public Integrity, Sunlight Foundation, Consumers Union/Consumer Reports, Blue Star Families, VetsInTech, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He also serves on the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Journalism Review and as an advisor to nearly twenty other renowned non-profit organizations (see the full list at craigconnects.org/organizations).
Born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1952, Craig received his bachelor and master’s degrees in computer science from Case Western Reserve University. He lives in San Francisco and enjoys bird-watching, squirrel-watching, science fiction, and TV.
Craig communicates regularly through his own blog on craigconnects.org and through the Huffington Post, Facebook, LinkedIn, Medium, and Twitter. He also travels the country speaking about issues and appearing on behalf of organizations he supports.
Annual Heroes and Zeros Show
Listen on Wednesday, December 20th at 1PM ET / 10AM PT on WebmasterRadio.fm as I discuss the Heroes and Zeros for 2017 with our special guests – Brenda Christensen, Denise Howell and Dan Tynan.