We already know that most of the tech world’s biggest names are desperate to avoid a Trump presidency. Top CEOs and Silicon Valley leaders have been putting aside their differences as they look at ways of preventing the property mogul from reaching the White House.
There are, however, a few in the industry who actively support him, such as Peter Thiel, and now we know that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has also been using his considerable wealth to back the Republican candidate.
Luckey confirmed to the Daily Beast that he is the person responsible for the Reddit pseudonym “NimbleRichMan,” and has donated “significant funds” to a pro-Trump organization called Nimble America dedicated to spreading anti-Clinton memes.
Nimble America calls itself a "social welfare 501(c)4 non-profit.” It claims to have proven that "shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real." NimbleRichMan is listed as the group’s vice president.
“I came into touch with them over Facebook,” Luckey said. “It went along the lines of ‘hey, I have a bunch of money. I would love to see more of this stuff.’ They wanted to build buzz and do fundraising.”
Luckey was helped into his position as Nimble America backer by Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart tech editor banned from Twitter for allegedly encouraging his followers to abuse Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones. Yiannopoulos knew that NimbleRichMan was Luckey and vouched for him to other members of the group.
Writing in subreddit r/The_Donald, Luckey stated: "The American Revolution was funded by wealthy individuals. The same has been true of many movements for freedom in history. You can’t fight the American elite without serious firepower. They will outspend you and destroy you by any and all means."
There have already been repercussions felt from the revelations; the NimbleRichMan profile has been deleted, and many from the tech industry have denounced Luckey’s actions on Twitter. He is still employed by Facebook/Oculus (the social media site bought the VR company for $2 billion in 2014) in a role that’s “hard to define.”
One reason every political hashtag on Twitter is filled with racist trolls? The founder of Oculus is funding them: https://t.co/i5fystRP3k— Anil Dash (@anildash) September 23, 2016