Inside Amazon’s, Facebook’s and Google’s self-serving ‘philanthropy’

Technology companies tend to couch their products not as businesses for profit, but as gifts to humanity.

The HBO comedy Silicon Valley so thoroughly mocked this impulse that I heard companies in the valley ordered their spokespeople to stop using the phrase “making the world a better place.”

For the biggest tech giants, faux philanthropy masks an obvious customer acquisition strategy.

Making the world a more literate place

Amazon says a billion people in the world have no access to books. That’s why the company pledged this week to donate more Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and Kindle eBooks to developing countries in an effort to make the world a better place by expanding readership and promoting literacy.

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