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January 10, 2013

Court-Ordered E-mail Dump Sheds Light on Facebook's Newark Gift

A recently released, 96-page e-mail chain offers an inside look at how Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100-million donation to the Newark, N.J., school system, and its unveiling on Oprah Winfrey's show, came together, says Fast Company.

The emails, involving Newark Mayor Cory Booker, New Jersey education officials, and top Facebook executives and public-relations staff, were published in full by Newark newspaper The Star-Ledger after a court order required the city to release them.

Among other things, they show that Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg was more directly involved than Mr. Zuckerberg in orchestrating the September 2010 gift and announcement; the Facebook CEO personally sought more from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation than the $3-million in matching funds it contributed to the project; and the company wanted a mechanism for $5 and $10 online donations from the public to be part of the effort.