Elon Musk launches Twitter poll on whether to bring Trump back

Nov 18 (Reuters) – Elon Musk launched a Twitter poll late on Friday asking followers on whether to restore former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Accounts on the platform voted, and preliminary results show that around 60 percent of people voted yes.

“Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, a Latin phrase that roughly means “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” Voting is open 24 hours.

Twitter’s new owner, Musk, said in May that he would undo Twitter’s ban on Trump, whose account was suspended after last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Musk said earlier in the day that no decision had been made to reinstate Trump’s account, and Twitter had reinstated a number of controversial accounts it had banned or suspended, including the satirical site Babylon Bee and comedian Kathy Griffin.

Musk’s decision to ask Twitter users for guidance on who should be on the platform is part of a massive restructuring at the company, including mass layoffs.

In a memo to remaining employees seen by Reuters on Friday, Musk asked whoever wrote the software code to report to the 10th floor of Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco by early afternoon.

“If possible, I would appreciate it if you could fly to San Francisco to attend in person,” the billionaire said in a follow-up email, adding that he would be working in the office until midnight and returning Saturday morning.

He asks employees to email him what they’ve “achieved” with their software code over the past six months, “along with up to 10 screenshots of the most important lines of code.”

“There will be a short technical interview to give me a better understanding of Twitter’s technology stack,” Musk wrote in one of the emails, asking engineers to report back at 2 p.m. Friday.

In this illustration taken on November 4, 2022, a photo of Elon Musk and the Twitter logo are seen through a magnifying glass.REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Musk made a Thursday deadline for employees to sign up for “intensive long hours,” a day after an estimated hundreds of Twitter employees decided to leave the struggling social media company.

The departure added to the change and confusion in Musk’s first three weeks as Twitter owner. He has come under scrutiny from regulators for firing top executives, including former chief executive Parag Agarwal, and top security and privacy officials.

A White House official also weighed in, saying Twitter should tell Americans how the company protects their data.

Technology website Platformer reported Friday that Robin Wheeler, the company’s top ad sales executive, had been fired.

Wheeler, who told staff in a memo last week that she was staying on, tweeted on Friday: “To the team and my clients…you will always be my first and only priority” and saluted Emoji as a farewell to departing employees.

Twitter told employees on Thursday that it would close its offices and cut off badge access until Monday, according to two sources. Reuters could not immediately confirm whether the headquarters had reopened.

On Friday afternoon, the company had begun cutting off access to company systems for some employees who had rejected Musk’s proposal, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Another source said the company plans to close one of Twitter’s three U.S. data centers at its SMF1 facility near Sacramento to save costs.

In his first email to Twitter employees this month, Musk warned that Twitter might not “survive the coming recession.” He also said, “We’re also changing Twitter policy to no longer allow remote work unless you have specific exceptions.”

Among the changes, Moody’s withdrew its B1 credit rating on Twitter, saying it did not have enough information to maintain the rating.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Sheila Dang; Additional reporting by Katie Paul; Writing by Sheila Dang and Katie Paul; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, David Gregorio, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Daniel Wallis, Sayantani Ghosh and Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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