Japanese fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa recently announced that he has decided to give away $9 million to his Twitter followers, reports Reuters. Maezawa claimed that his decision was part of a “social experiment” to see if the extra money will help boost the happiness of recipients.
However, those who hope to follow the Japanese billionaire for some extra cash are bound to be disappointed, as Maezawa claimed that he would be giving the money to a group of randomly selected followers who had retweeted a post from January 1. Of those who retweeted the post, 1,000 followers will be chosen at random and given $9,000 each.
Maezawa said that he was planning on tracking the impact the money had on their lives by asking the followers to complete regular surveys.
“It’s a serious social experiment,” said Maezawa on a video explaining his project on YouTube. Maezawa added that he was hoping that academics and economists would use his results on debates supporting the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI).
This is not the first time that Maezawa has tried this. He did something similar in 2019, though it seemed that he was hoping to take a more academic approach this time around.
“In 2019, I did a 100 million yen giveaway on Twitter (1M yen to 100 winners). I hold the record for the most retweeted tweet. In 2020, I did a giveaway of up to 1 billion yen. This social experiment will study the effects of UBI. Will you be happier if you were given 1M yen?” Maezawa wrote in a tweet announcing his plans.
Maezawa also released a video on YouTube with more explanation on his experiment. Though it is in Japanese, captioning is available in English.
Maezawa is known in Japan for making headlines, not always due to his business practices. He is a popular social media figure, and often posts philosophical musings on a world without money. He has also been in the press for his luxurious lifestyle, consisting of sports cars, fine art, and the promise to be the first private passenger to fly around the moon with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Meanwhile, the issue of UBI has been gathering support worldwide, and is one of the most well-known policy proposals from Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Yang recently defended his signature suggestion on MSNBC.
“We have to build a foundation or a floor that elevates us all and starts to move us forward in the 21st century,” Yang said as the reason for his belief in UBI.