Jimmy Wales Says “Reading Too Much Twitter Has Made Elon Musk Stupid”

There aren’t many people ready to call Elon Musk “stupid,” but Jimmy Wales is one of them.

The Wikipedia founder was responding to a recent episode where Musk objected to suggestions of deleting an entry regarding the “Twitter files” (Musk’s public release of company documents). While the deletion never happened, for Wales, it was a revealing insight into the Twitter owner’s limited understanding.

Wales told The Times of London, “I said to him ‘Reading too much of Twitter is making you stupid.’ So that’s sort of my view.” 

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Wales made the distinction between two arms of Wikipedia: the foundation which manages the site’s operations and running costs, and the 130,000 editors who oversee the content, are elected and make decisions through debate. 

“When Elon has tweeted about us, it’s like, he doesn’t understand how it all works. He’s an excitable man, it seems,” Wales said.

Wales was speaking in an interview to mark the 30th anniversary of Wikipedia’s public launch, since when it has become the most visited resource site in history. 

While the site has faced accusations in recent times of a left-leaning bias, Wales described his own views as “centrist”, although admitting to an “obsession” with Florida governor and likely White House runner Ron DeSantis, and “what a maniac he is.”

In the UK where he now lives, Wales is more concerned with the repercussions of the longtime debated Online Safety Bill, worrying that regulations aimed at cleaning up the internet will lead to restrictions on children being able to use Wikipedia and other sites for homework. 

He appears more relaxed about the arrival of artificial intelligence, and the threat it poses – or doesn’t, he feels – to Wikipedia. While it may be useful to hunt for sources to strengthen Wiki entries, he doesn’t envisage ChatGPT writing articles. “It makes stuff up out of thin air, including references.” 

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