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Video-Sharing Site Co-founded by Cory Booker Sold to Magnify

Has been criticized for allowing anti-Semitic posts on the site

Cory Booker / AP
• October 14, 2013 11:45 am

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Waywire, the video-sharing website co-founded by Democratic Senate candidate Cory Booker, is being sold to web company Magnify, AllThingsD reported on Monday.

Booker is the favorite to win Wednesday’s Senate election in New Jersey.

AllThingsD reports that Booker will not profit from the deal because he previously donated his shares in the company to charity:

It’s unlikely that the deal placed a high value on Waywire, which had previously raised $1.75 million, but, in any case, Booker won’t profit from the deal. Booker, who is running for one of New Jersey’s U.S. Senate seats, had previously announced that he was donating his stake in the company to charity, and I’m told that deal was closed last week.

Waywire started out as an effort to create a video studio/platform aimed at millennials but struggled and tried pivoting into a distribution/aggregation play.

But the site’s fate was more or less sealed after a series of New York Times stories focused on Booker’s connection to the site, suggesting that investors like Google’s Eric Schmidt, LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner, and Oprah Winfrey had backed the company as a way to curry favor with Booker, a rising political star.

Waywire came under fire last spring for allowing users to post clips that some found offensive. The Washington Free Beacon reported on a number of anti-Semitic videos that had been posted to the website last March.

Some of the videos cited in the article—including "Why Did the Germans Dislike the Jews?" and "American Mass Media is controlled by Zionists!"—appear to have been deleted from the website. However, Waywire continues to host anti-Semitic content, such as "Israel Zionist Banks & corporations run America" and "Bill Maher Agrees with Farrakhan! Jews Run America!"

Published under: Anti-Semitism, Cory Booker