Owing to the rising censorship on social media platforms, President Donald Trump recently called for a government-led regulation of the social media companies. Wikipedia’s co-founder, Jimmy Wales, was not fond of Trump’s recent order and called the president a “lunatic” and called on social platforms to tell to “tell Trump to go away.”
The co-founder of Wikipedia, in his wide-ranging interview in the Indian Economic Times, spoke about battling “misinformation,” but also commented on the president’s recent move to push regulation for social media platforms. Talking about Trump’s tweets and social media activity, Wales said that the president’s tweets can’t be taken as a serious source of information and that the Wikipedia admins were very strict about what can be considered acceptable on their platform.
Wales recently started a social media platform of his own, known as “WT:Social” which was launched as a challenge to big tech social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Based on what Wales said, it was revealed that his social media platform was completely funded from donations, rather than advertising or venture capital money.
Wales didn’t comment on whether WT:Social would censor users on the platform, but based on what he said about the president’s calls for action, it appears he supports heavy moderation.
Commenting on Trump’s executive order to regulate social media platforms and calling the president a “lunatic,” Wales said the following:
“The president’s power does not extend to threatening or shutting down social media platforms. But we should fear this in every country. Worst case scenario is that platforms don’t have courage to tell Trump to go away, that they begin to adapt policies to his whims because he is a lunatic.
“I would rather build something that has quality and meaningful engagement than adopt techniques for rapid and viral growth. It can be sustainable.”