Elon Musk starts poll with one question: Should I step down as head of Twitter?
The ayes have it: You said 'YES'
Updated Elon Musk may be about to fire himself as CEO of Twitter.
The social media magnate – who has side hustles in rocketry, tunnelling, a diversified automotive and energy operation, flame throwers, and tequila – took to Twitter over the weekend with the following pledge:
Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won't happen again.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
That appears to be a response to his recent unilateral decisions to ban, then unban, an account that tracks Musk's private jet, and accounts held by journalists who covered that change. Twitter recently also dissolved its Trust and Safety Council, leaving it without independent guidance on how to safeguard users’ and readers’ interests.
The service also banned references and links to rival social networks – such as the decentralised Twitter-like service Mastodon – that many have seen as alternatives to Twitter. Many Twitter users feel the rapid and inconsistent policy changes, increase in hate speech on the service, and Musk's reported warning Twitter could go bankrupt, mean they should establish social media accounts elsewhere and then advise Twitter users of their new presences.
Musk, presumably fearing a user exodus, made such notifications of new accounts a banning offense.
- Musk bans private-plane-tracking @Elonjet on Twitter, threatens legal action
- Twitter dismantles its Trust and Safety Council moments before meeting
- Musk roundly booed on-stage at Dave Chappelle gig
- San Francisco investigates Hotel Twitter, Musk might pack up and leave
- How do you solve the problem that is Twitter?
As controversy about his – ahem – freewheeling leadership style swirls, Musk appears to have declared Twitter will be ruled by user response to questions posed at his whim.
Including the poll below, on whether or not he should remain CEO.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
Musk followed that tweet with another that stated only "As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it."
Note, however, that his poll about his tenure as CEO does not mention a timeframe for his departure. Musk could agree to step down as "head of Twitter" on Monday, or some time in the year 2050.
"Head of Twitter" is also a nebulous term, given Musk owns the company. As president or chair (Twitter currently lacks a board) or even chief janitor, he would retain enormous influence regardless of whose business card reads "CEO".
He could also continue to goad and poll his 122 million followers to seek their opinion on, support for, or criticism of company and executive policy.
What he can't do, at present, is say with any certainty how he will make interest payments on the $13 billion debt he took on to acquire Twitter. That – and dealing with Musk one way or the other – is the task awaiting anyone who takes on the chief executive job. ®
The poll closed with the ayes at 57.5 percent and the nays at 42.5 percent.