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Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Thinks Twitter Should’ve Banned Trump ‘A Long Time Ago’

The founder of the user-generated “encyclopedia for the internet” Wikipedia thinks President Donald Trump’s social media use should have been curtailed long ago.

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Jimmy Wales, who founded the site in 2001, was speaking at FT’s Future of News conference in Amsterdam this week when he gave his thoughts on the U.S. president’s tweets over the years, Politico reported.

Wales conceded that not every remark by Trump was worthy of his removal — even if it was misleading. “A lot of stuff he says would not violate the terms of service of Twitter — he’s a blowhard and he says false things,” Wales said.

Yet on other issues, Trump’s tweets clearly violate the rules of the site, Wales said.

“He’s attacked people in ways that other people couldn’t get away with. I mean they’ve made it very clear that they are applying the rules differently,” he added.

In January of 2018, Twitter addressed how it would handle Trump’s tweets, refusing to take action against his account for toxic speech, including military threats to other nations, the Associated Press reported at the time.

“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” the site explained in a blog post.

Wales did credit the social media company on one point: he gave kudos to Twitter for its decision to not allow political advertising on the site, something he encouraged other companies to do as well.

“On this one, I think Twitter has definitely done the right thing and Facebook should do the same,” Wales said. “I think for Facebook to accept political advertising and not accept any kind of fact-checking responsibility…is really unwise.”



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