Renowned entrepreneur Elon Musk, the driving force behind SpaceX and Tesla, recently caused quite a stir with an unconventional proposition on Twitter. In a tongue-in-cheek manner, he humorously pledged to donate a staggering $1 billion to Wikipedia under the condition that the free online encyclopedia would alter its name to “Dickipedia” and uphold this change for a minimum of one year. This quip attracted global attention and set the Twitterverse abuzz.
The playful exchange on Twitter did not end there. When one user encouraged Wikipedia to accept Musk’s proposition, he added another twist, insisting on the one-year commitment and adding a witty comment, “I mean, I’m not a fool lol.”
Musk even posted a screenshot of Wikipedia’s homepage, which read, “Wikipedia is not for sale,” accompanied by “a personal appeal from Jimmy Wales.” Musk questioned why the Wikimedia Foundation required such substantial funding, considering that all of Wikipedia’s content could fit on a smartphone. He lightheartedly requested that they include this fact on his Wikipedia page.
In his characteristic humorous style, Musk also inquired about the possibility of adding a cow and a poop emoji to his Wikipedia page. This Twitter exchange drew immense attention, amassing millions of views and likes.
However, some cautious Twitter users noted Wikipedia’s frequent donation requests and expressed concerns that they might actually attempt to secure the billion-dollar offer. Others found the entire situation entertaining, likening it to a “cage match challenge.” Suggestions ranged from purchasing Wikipedia and letting AI take over updates to jests about Musk’s typical “rich guy” antics.
This playful back-and-forth on Twitter followed a previous incident where Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales criticized Musk for complying with Turkish government demands to restrict content that criticized the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, just before a crucial election. Musk had argued that the choice was either to throttle Twitter entirely or limit access to some tweets.
Notably, Wikipedia had been blocked in Turkey for over two years due to the country’s regulations allowing the ban of websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.