AMSTERDAM — Donald Trump should have been banned from Twitter “a long time ago,” said Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia.
Speaking at a media conference in Amsterdam, Wales said the U.S. president and other high-profile users such as entrepreneur Elon Musk were able to get away with statements on the social media platform which others would not.
“A lot of stuff he says would not violate the terms of service of Twitter — hes a blowhard and he says false things,” said Wales. “But hes attacked people in ways that other people couldnt get away with. I mean theyve made it very clear that they are applying the rules differently.”
Wales also singled out Musk, the CEO of Tesla, over his false statement on Twitter that a British cave diver involved in the rescue of a Thai youth football team who were trapped in a flooded cave in 2018 was a “pedo guy.”
“Most people would have been blocked for that,” said Wales, speculating that Twitter did not do so because Musk is too valuable to the platform. “Ill tell you why not, because he generates a lot of page views. He generates a lot of ad revenue. I mean I dont want to be cynical. I know the people at Twitter … and I dont think that they are bad people, but I think their business model is at odds with doing the right thing.”
A spokeswoman for Twitter declined to comment.