Advertisement
Technology

Crowdfunding campaign’s goal: Buy Twitter, then ban Trump

Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is looking to raise enough money to buy Twitter so President Trump can’t use it.

Wilson launched the crowdfunding campaign last week, tweeting: “If @Twitter executives won’t shut down Trump’s violence and hate, then it’s up to us. #BuyTwitter #BanTrump.” The GoFundMe page says Trump’s tweets “damage the country and put people in harm’s way.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, she had raised about $15,000 of the $1-billion goal.

In an emailed statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the low total shows that the American people like Trump’s use of Twitter.

Advertisement

“Her ridiculous attempt to shut down his 1st Amendment is the only clear violation and expression of hate and intolerance in this equation,” the statement read.

The 1st Amendment, however, says only that the government cannot curtail free speech rights; it does not obligate private companies to provide a platform for users to say whatever they want.

Wilson wrote on the GoFundMe page that she hopes to raise enough money to buy a controlling interest of Twitter Inc. stock. If she doesn’t have enough to purchase a majority of shares, she said, she will explore options to buy “a significant stake” and champion the proposal at Twitter’s annual shareholder meeting.

If Wilson were to hit her $1-billion goal, she’d still fall far short of gaining a controlling interest in the company. As of Wednesday, a majority stake would cost roughly $6 billion. But a $1-billion stake would make her Twitter’s largest shareholder and give her a very strong position to exert influence on the company.

Advertisement

San Francisco-based Twitter declined to comment Wednesday on Wilson’s tweet about seeking to buy the company.

Wilson’s identity as a CIA operative was leaked by an official in former President George W. Bush’s administration in 2003 in an effort to discredit her husband, Joe Wilson, a former diplomat who criticized Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. She left the agency in 2005.


UPDATES:

2 p.m.: This article was updated with the latest fundraising total.

11:05 a.m.: This article was updated with Twitter declining to comment.

This article was originally published at 10:55 a.m.


Newsletter
Get our weekly California Inc. newsletter
Advertisement