Posted on December 19, 2022 at 10:58 amUpdated December 19th. 2022 at 12:43
Will Elon Musk let go of control of Twitter and appoint a CEO in his place? Nothing is out of the question after a poll released Sunday by the unpredictable billionaire. While in Qatar for the World Cup final, the businessman asked Twitter users in the evening if he should resign as president of the social network. At the same time, he specified that he would “monitor” the results of the vote.
The poll went viral, with more than 17 million respondents taking part on Monday morning when voting closed. But first of all, more than 57% of respondents answered … “yes.” After voting ended, the poll continued to spread like wildfire, with over 230,000 comments and over 380,000 retweets.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will stick to the results of this poll.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
Because, having bought the platform this fall for $44 billion, Elon Musk did not want to be a simple investor. On the contrary, the head of Tesla and Space X became the de facto boss of Twitter, “the main Twitter”, as he also pointed out in his own Twitter account shortly after the takeover. One of his first decisions was to fire the CEO and several other managers. Since then, Elon Musk himself has made sweeping decisions for Twitter, such as getting Donald Trump back online, sometimes putting them up for popular vote.
This poll creates a bit more uncertainty for advertisers and investors anyway, as Elon Musk aims to raise funds for the platform. Many large corporations, from Volkswagen to agribusiness giant Mondelez, have stopped spending on Twitter ads after changing ownership. Moderation is feared by many as Elon Musk has embraced policies in a rush, far from the standards that usually define platform efforts.
But this poll could also be Elon Musk’s way of playing with the political backlash that rocked the weekend. Last week, a South African deactivated several journalists’ Twitter accounts for sharing another account after moving his private jet. The suspension sparked outrage from the UN at the European Commission, forcing Musk to reactivate the accounts of the journalists concerned.
Whether he stays at the helm or not, Elon Musk has no intention of changing his method. On Sunday, the billionaire clarified that “every major policy change” would now be subject to a Twitter vote. This decision follows another confusion. On Sunday night, Twitter announced it was banning accounts set up specifically to send traffic to other social networks like Facebook or Instagram before returning a few hours later. Elon Musk brought his “apologies” for this back and forth, promising that “this will not happen again.”