Wikipedia founder slams Facebook, Twitter for not silencing Donald Trump sooner
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January 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – While internet platforms embark on an unprecedented push to censor President Donald Trump and his supporters, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales suggests that Big Tech should have been more censorious to the president earlier.
Claiming that blame for last week’s Capitol Hill riot rests “100 percent at the feet of Donald Trump,” Wales told Agence France-Presse in a new interview that Big Tech “did a poor job of dealing with him for a very, very long time. He was clearly spreading disinformation, he was clearly being abusive to people."
"They (social media platforms) have a business model that says, 'We need as many eyeballs as possible, we need as many page views as possible,’" Wales adds. “Now it's also damaging for their brand. So they have to deal with that. But I think they're going to struggle."
Dozens of protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 after the “March to Save America” rally where the president said supporters would march “over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” where “we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen-and-women” who were meeting to formally object to the certification of electoral votes from a handful of states.
As covered live by LifeSiteNews, viral videos showed groups of protesters engaging in physical altercations with police, pushing against security barricades, breaking through a window, trespassing in congressional offices, and climbing on walls, causing the vote certification to be suspended and lawmakers to be evacuated from the chambers.
While many were let in by police and simply walked through the building (which is normally open to the public) after the initial breach, there were several deaths, including a protester shot by Capitol Hill police, a protestor trampled by other protestors, a police officer whose death is being investigated as a potential murder, and several due to unspecified “medical emergencies.”
Trump told the breachers to “go home in peace” via tweets and video message, yet a coalition of Democrats and establishment Republicans quickly decided that Trump had “incited” the violence, some by blaming his support of marching to the building (which was a pre-planned part of the event, advertised before Trump’s remarks), others by blaming Trump’s refusal to concede in the first place.
On top of a new impeachment push, the riot has been used as a pretext to ban Trump from Twitter, force alternative social network Parler offline, cancel corporate donations to Republicans who objected to certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory without an audit, and more. Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker went so far as to call for “more than deplatforming” of Trump and his allies.
Despite billing itself as a reliable, open-source information repository for everyone, Wikipedia is no stranger to taking political sides, either. Last fall, it banned editors from identifying as supporters of traditional marriage on their profiles.