Elon Musk criticized Wikipedia after an article on the open-source platform characterized his temporary suspensions of several journalists’ accounts as the “Thursday Night Massacre.”
“A two day suspension of maybe 7 accounts for doxxing got an actual Wikipedia page!? Wikipedia is controlled by the MSM [mainstream media] journalists,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Dec. 17. “Can’t trust that site anymore.”
In a separate tweet on the same subject on Saturday, Musk wrote, “Wikipedia is overly controlled by mainstream media,” while tagging Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.
Musk suspended the accounts of several journalists on Dec. 15 for allegedly doxxing his location in real-time, saying their actions put his safety and that of his family at risk. However on Dec. 17, after an online poll where the majority favored the accounts be restored immediately, the new Twitter chief reinstated them, saying that “the people have spoken.”
The Wikipedia article’s heading has since been changed. Originally, it was titled “Thursday Night Massacre (Twitter),” but now it reads “December 15, 2022 Twitter suspensions.”
At the time of writing, the phrase “Thursday Night Massacre” appears in bold in the lead paragraph of the article.
Before the title change, there was a debate on whether the name was appropriate.
On Wikipedia’s backend “talk page,” Hunter Kahn, who wrote that he was the original author of the article, explained his rationale for using the word “massacre” in the heading.
“The term ‘Thursday Night Massacre’ wasn’t intended to be editorializing, but rather was the term that was trending on Twitter after the incident and was used by several journalists to describe the event afterwards,” Kahn wrote.
However, some Wikipedians spoke out against the use of the word.
A Wikipedian with the username Clarinetguy097 wrote, “The title reads like an impulsive reaction to what was (and may still be) an ongoing event. It certainly sounds hyperbolic after most of the accounts were reinstated mere days later.”
Currently, Wikipedia is debating whether to delete the article, according to its “discussion page.”
By Frank Fang