Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales unveils Facebook, Twitter rival to combat 'clickbait'

WikiTribune Social is an effort to fight against ‘clickbait’ and focus on sharing facts.

Jimmy Wales has launched a rival social network to Facebook and Twitter called 'WikiTribune Social' or 'WT:Social' in short. The Wikipedia co-founder’s new initiative is for people who want to share facts and promote a collaborative approach to generate high-quality journalism. Essentially, a platform to share authentic news with productive discussions and better connections.

File photo of Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. Image: Reuters

File photo of Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. Image: Reuters

The Financial Times (FT) reported that users will be able to participate in discussions in a news feed similar to Facebook. Users will be asked to join different communities after signing up on the site and it ranges from politics to technology including niche topics like beekeeping.

In the social network’s ‘About us’ page, it states that it won’t sell user data. Hence, the platform will be relying on a donation-based business model. This will keep the platform free of advertising which Wales believes is problematic as per his interview with FT.

WT:Social launched last month and it’s approaching 50,000 users with over 200 people having donated to the new site. You can join the platform right away, but currently, there’s a waiting list for new users. If you wish to skip the queue, you can pay up. Wales said in the same interview that the platform won’t be “massively profitable but it will be sustainable.”

The new platform is actually a spin-off of 'Wikitribune' that was launched two years ago to be a “collaborative media” site. However, it didn’t work out because of its global focus and now, WT:Social is aiming to cater to smaller but several communities to sustain themselves.

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