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“Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll,” Musk tweeted Sunday evening, giving users a straight yes/no option. In a series of follow-up tweets and replies, Musk suggested that he wasn’t trolling and was deadly serious about stepping down. “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it,” he tweeted, seemingly anticipating a yes vote.
Musk also shot down suggestions he already had a CEO in mind to replace him, lamenting in reply to one user, “No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.”
At the end of the voting period, in which over 17 million users had their say, 57.5 percent voted for Musk to step down, with 42.5 percent voting no. It is unclear if Musk will formally follow through on his pledge to step down as Twitter CEO, but he has acted upon previous polls, most notably reinstating Donald Trump’s account.
The poll came at the end of another chaotic week on Twitter, in keeping with the tumultuous period of ownership under Musk since his $44 billion takeover just over seven weeks ago. Last week, Musk stepped up his capricious, ad hoc and highly personal approach to content moderation, suspending a number of prominent journalists over unsupported claims that they had doxxed the location of his private jet.
Musk, a self-proclaimed free speech absolutist, continued to clash with journalists and media companies over the suspensions, before relenting and allowing some of the people back onto the platform, increasing the suspicion the billionaire was making up policy as he went along.
Earlier Sunday, Twitter caused more furor amongst users after another abrupt change to its content moderation rules, banning “free promotion of certain social media platforms” on its platform. The social media company said it would ban the cross-promotion of rivals Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.
After posting the new policy, Twitter reversed course in equally dramatic fashion, pulling the new rules after strong pushback from users from across the political spectrum as well as suggestions from legal experts that the policy would fall foul of European competition laws.
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