Facebook's Ebola button encourages users to donate - while Zuckerberg himself responds to critics saying that it's only 'marketing'

The Facebook founder reminded a surly user that not only had he donated $25m to the CDC but that he'd also donated satellite equipment to health workers

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The Independent Tech

Facebook has launched a new initiative encouraging users to donate money to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, placing a banner at the top of News Feeds around the world.

If users click to donate then they can choose between one of three charities including the International Medical Corps, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Save the Children.

Facebook has attempted to rally its 1.23 billion users with similar banners in the past, raising $486 million following the 2010 Haiti earthquake and $88 million for Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Alongside the ‘donate’ banner the social network will also be spreading awareness-raising messages from Unicef (the United Nations Children’s Fund) in the countries most affected by Ebola, giving Facebook users advice about symptoms and what to do if they suspect someone has the disease.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has also got involved, not only in personally donating $25 million to the CDC (the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) but in responding to a Facebook user who accused him of only introducing the ‘donate’ banner as good PR:

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As Zuckerberg points out, in addition to raising funds Facebook is also donating 100 satellite communication terminals to boost internet and phone services in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, helping health workers to co-ordinate their efforts and help stop the spread of the disease.

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