Elon Musk might be on the way out as head of Twitter after nearly 60 per cent of users who voted in a poll want him to be sacked.
After weeks of criticism for how he has run the website since he took it over at the end of October, the Chief Twit put a review of his performance to the people.
More than 17.5million people cast their vote in a poll asking if he should quit his job as CEO.
Just before 6.30pm on Sunday evening, the billionaire posted: ‘Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.’
When it closed 12 hours later the result was a thumbs down for one of the world’s richest men – 57.5 per cent of users said they wanted him out, equating to over 10million users.
By comparison, 42.5 per cent voted in favour of keeping him on as head of the website, the equivalent of nearly 7.5million users.
It is not clear who will replace him if he does follow through on his threat and step down as boss.
After setting the poll live Musk warned: ‘As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it.’
Before it closed Musk, who changed his Twitter bio to ‘Chief Twit’ after sealing his takeover of the site in October, added: ‘Those who want power are the ones who least deserve it.’
The move split users on the website, with some gloating over his imminent removal before the vote had even finished.
Lynnette Khalfani Cox said: ‘Could anyone besides a white, male billionaire like Elon Musk even *think* about running a major, publicly-traded biz on the basis of a poll? The Twitter CEO is called “eccentric,” a “maverick,” “genius” etc. But if a woman did this she’d be “irrational” – and promptly fired.’
But supporters of the CEO said if he stepped down his critics could regret it.
Colin Rugg wrote: ‘I have a feeling Elon Musk already has a Twitter CEO picked out and this person will piss the left off even more.’
Luke Rudkowski added: ‘Two hours before the poll closes he will announce a successor that will freak everyone out.’
Rapper Snoop Dogg jokingly ran a poll of his own, asking his followers if he should replace Musk by posing the question: ‘Should I run Twitter?’
After ten hours 81.8 per cent of the one million people who voted in his poll said yes.
It was yet another dramatic moment in the rollercoaster ride that Twitter has been on since Musk completed his $44billion takeover of the social media site in October.
In the last week alone he was criticised for banning journalists who reported on a website showing the location of his private jet, as well as implementing a ban on Twitter accounts that promote Facebook and Instagram before quickly U-turning on this.
On Saturday evening he terminated the account of Washington Post writer Taylor Lorenz after she was accused of revealing the exact address of TikTok talent scout Ariadna Jacob in a 2020 article.
Lorenz confirmed she was booted from the platform on Saturday night in a TikTok video but Musk said less than 12 hours later he would be lifting her ban.
‘Temp suspension due to prior doxxing action by this account,’ Musk wrote in response to a Tweet about Lorenz’s ban. ‘Will be lifted shortly.’
The head of Twitter also suspended journalists from the New York Times, Washington Post and Buzzfeed last week, accusing them of ‘doxxing’ him and revealing his address.
He banned a total of nine journalists on Thursday after they reported on his decision to block an account charting his private jet use.
The nine accounts were restored on Friday evening, after he asked his followers to vote on whether they should be reinstated or remain suspended for a week, with users choosing the first option.
Musk had said the journalists ‘doxxed’ him – meaning they published private information about his exact whereabouts – but the journalists insisted that they had not published his address or location.
On Thursday evening, BuzzFeed News tech reporter Katie Notopoulos hosted a Twitter Spaces discussion, which Musk joined.
‘Everyone’s going to be treated the same,’ said Musk, defending his decision to suspend the reporters’ accounts.
‘They’re not special just because you’re a journalist.’
Shortly before the discussion, he tweeted: ‘They posted my exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service.’
On Sunday Musk walked back on a Twitter policy that would see all posts linking to rival social media platforms deleted and accounts doing so be suspended.
The decision came after Musk was challenged by the likes of Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s founder, and whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Just a few hours after announcing the rules on Sunday, the tweets and web page outlining them were taken down.
Musk then put out a tweet from his own account saying the rules would be changed, writing: ‘Policy will be adjusted to suspending accounts only when that account’s *primary* purpose is promotion of competitors, which essentially falls under the no spam rule.’
Sites on the list of ‘prohibited social media platforms’ include: Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr.
The debacle began on Sunday when Twitter Support – an official page – posted three Tweets outlining the new policy.
The new rules will now see posts promoting alternative social media platforms, either through tweets or in profile bios, suspended or potentially removed.
The since-deleted and stricter tweets implied that in contrast, action would be taken against any content linking to a prohibited social media site.
Twitter founder Dorsey, who initially supported Musk’s takeover, replied to the set of tweets with a simple question: ‘Why?’
Whistleblower Edward Snowden offered public support for Balaji Srinivasan, who had his account suspended under the new policy.
‘This is bad policy and should be reversed,’ Snowden said. Musk responded shortly after saying that the account would be reinstated.
In recent weeks Musk has been releasing the so-called ‘Twitter files’, revealing how the site interacted with the US Government before he took over.
The first batch related to the Hunter Biden saga and efforts to get pictures of him removed from the website.
In the second release last night, again posted by journalist Matt Taibi, it was found the FBI demanded executives from the social media giant to give them information about how they were enforcing safety online.