Millions of Twitter users asked Elon Musk to step down as Twitter chief in a poll on the platform the billionaire created and he promised to stick to it.
However, when the poll closed on Monday, it wasn’t clear if there would be a new leader for the social media platform, which has become more chaotic and confusing under Musk with rapidly changing policies issued, then withdrawn or modified.
The Tesla billionaire, CEO of Musk, attended the World Cup final Sunday in Qatar, where he opened the poll. Shutting it down 12 hours later, there was no immediate announcement from Twitter or Musk, who may be in the middle of a flight on his way back to the US early Monday.
More than half of the 17.5 million respondents voted “yes” in response to Musk’s Twitter poll asking if he should step down as company chairman.
Musk has conducted a number of unscientific polls on core issues facing the social media platform, including whether to reinstate journalists he has suspended from Twitter, which has been widely criticized. inside and outside the media circles.
Polls have added to a growing sense of turmoil on Twitter since Musk bought the company for $44 billion at the end of October, which could leave the future direction of the company in the hands of its users.
Those users include people who were recently reinstated on the platform under Musk’s leadership, people who were banned for racist and toxic posts, or who spread misinformation.
Since buying Twitter, Musk has overseen a dizzying series of changes that have advertisers rattled and users turned off. He has laid off half of the workforcesupervisors of the content of the canceled contract And the council dissolved A trust and safety advisor. He has abandoned enforcement of the COVID-19 disinformation rules He called for criminal charges to be brought against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US expert on infectious diseases helping to lead the country’s response to the coronavirus.
Musk has clashed with some users on multiple fronts, and on Sunday, he asked Twitter users to decide whether he should remain in charge of the social media platform after admitting he made a mistake in launching new restrictions that prevented rival social media from being mentioned on the social media platform. Twitter.
The results of the unscientific online poll on whether Musk should remain CEO at Twitter, which lasted 12 hours, showed that 57.5% of those who voted wanted him to leave, while 42.5% wanted him to say.
The poll follows the latest significant policy change since Musk acquired Twitter in October. Twitter announced that users will no longer be able to link to Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, and other platforms that the company described as “blocked.”
This decision prompted an immediate backlash, including criticism from former defenders of Twitter’s new owner. Musk then promised that he would not make any more major policy changes to Twitter without conducting an online survey of users, including who should lead the company.
The measure to block out competitors was Musk’s latest attempt to suppress certain speech after he shut down a Twitter account Last week he was tracking his private jet flights.
The banned platforms included major websites such as Facebook and Instagram, and new competitors Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr, Post, and former President Donald Trump’s Social Truth.
An increasing number of Twitter users left the platform under Musk, or created alternate accounts on Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr, or Post, and included those addresses on their Twitter profiles. Twitter gave no explanation as to why it blacklisted some sites but not others such as Parler, TikTok, or LinkedIn.
The test case was prominent venture capitalist Paul Graham, who has praised Musk in the past, but on Sunday told his 1.5 million Twitter followers that this was the “last straw” and that finding him in Mastodon. His Twitter account was immediately suspended, then restored, as Musk reversed the policy implemented just hours earlier.
Graham has not posted on Twitter since he said he was leaving.
Musk’s political decisions divided users. He has advocated for free speech, but has suspended journalists and shut down an old account that had been tracking the whereabouts of his plane, calling it a security risk.
But as he changed the policies, and then changed them again, it created a sense of confusion on the platform about what is and isn’t allowed.
Musk permanently banned the @ElonJet account on Wednesday, then changed Twitter’s rules to prohibit sharing someone else’s current location without their consent. He then targeted journalists who were writing about the aircraft tracking account, which can still be found on other social media sites, claiming they were broadcasting “assassination coordinates”.
He used that to justify Twitter’s decision last week to suspend the accounts of several journalists Those who cover the social media platform and Musk include journalists working for the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America, and other publications. Many of these accounts have been restored following an online survey conducted by Musk.
Then, over the weekend, The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz was suspended after he requested an interview with Musk in a tweet tagged to the Twitter owner.
The Post’s executive editor, Sally Buzby, called it “an arbitrary comment by another Post journalist” that further undermined Musk’s promise to operate Twitter as a platform dedicated to free speech.
“Once again, the suspension occurred without warning, action or explanation — this time as our reporter sought comment from Musk for a story,” Buzbee said. By midday Sunday, Lorenz’s account had been restored, as was the tweet she believed had caused her suspension.
Musk was questioned in court on November 16 about how he splits his time between Tesla and his other companies, including SpaceX and Twitter. Musk was to testify in the Delaware District Court about a shareholder’s challenge to Musk’s potential $55 billion compensation plan as CEO of the electric car company.
Musk has said he never intended to be the CEO of Tesla, and that he didn’t want to be the CEO of any other company either, preferring to see himself as an engineer. Musk also said he expects to complete Twitter’s organizational restructuring in the next week or so. It’s been over a month since he said that.
In a public banter with his Twitter followers on Sunday, Musk expressed pessimism about the prospects of hiring a new CEO, saying that someone “must love pain a lot” to run a company that “was on a fast track to bankruptcy.”
“Nobody wants a job that can actually keep Twitter alive,” Musk tweeted.
Associated Press writer Brian B. Hannon.
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