The X (formerly Twitter) owner called it a "stiff & firm offer." How droll.
Elon Musk has offered $1 billion (approx. €946 million) to Wikipedia "if they change their name to Dickipedia" amidst his ongoing spat with Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.
An interesting rebranding proprosal for the democratic experiment dedicated to knowledge? Or a depressingly juvenile suggestion from someone clearly offended by something created socially by volunteers around the world that works?
The indecent proposal anchors itself in the ongoing feud Musk has with the British-American entrepreneur, who expressed on 17 October the difficulty in verifying “real journalists” from “fakes” amidst the Israel-Palestine conflict.
“Fast moving claims and counter claims, and @elonmusk has removed all the core features that made it even remotely possible to tell real journalists from fakes,” wrote Wales.
In response, Musk wrote: “Please fix Wokipedia”, and has spent the following days criticising the online encyclopedia in a number of tweets.
On 22 October, Musk wrote: “Have you ever wondered why the Wikimedia Foundation wants so much money? It certainly isn’t needed to operate Wikipedia. You can literally fit a copy of the entire text on your phone! So, what’s the money for? Inquiring minds want to know…”
Posting a photo of Wikipedia’s donation plea, Musk wrote: “I will give them a billion dollars if they change their name to Dickipedia,” going on to call it “a stiff & firm offer”.
The explanation came from the app's very own Community Notes: “The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable non-profit, providing free access to Wikipedia. While a text & English-only copy of Wikipedia is about 51GB, adding all media + supported languages brings it to 428TB. In 2022 Wikimedia had $154M in revenue with $145M in expenses.”
Wikipedia then responded by posting a statement on X: “Wikipedia is the only website in the top-ten most-visited global websites to be run by a nonprofit – and at a fraction of the budget and staffing,” they said. “We are not funded by advertising, we don’t charge a subscription fee, and we don’t sell your data.”
Safe to say that there won’t be a namechange any time soon then.
Let’s see what else Musk wants to throw money at so he can feel like he actually contributes something other than penis jokes to culture. Some people really do have too much time (and money) on their hands...