Elon Musk launched a twitter vote Asked users if he should resign as head of the social media platform, promising to deliver after a backlash against a policy banning the promotion of accounts on rival platforms.
The billionaire entrepreneur who became CEO of Twitter, which was acquired in October for $44 billion, wrote to his 122 million followers on Sunday night: “I should resign as head of Twitter Is it? I will abide by the outcome of this vote.”
Musk later said in a tweet: “No one wants the job that will really keep Twitter alive. No successor.”
Voting is open for 11 hours and closes at around 11.20am GMT. With an hour left, nearly 17 million people voted, with 58% in favor of his resignation and 42% against.
It comes after Twitter announced a new policy on Sunday that prohibits users from sharing links to their accounts on rival platforms, including Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram, emerging Twitter rival Mastodon, Donald Trump’s Truth Social , as well as Tribel, Nostr, and Post.
“We understand that many of our users may be active on other social media platforms; however, going forward, Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of specific social media platforms on Twitter,” the company said in a statement.
But within hours, Twitter appeared to reverse that plan, a move that drew criticism from Musk’s critics and even some of his prominent Silicon Valley allies for being too strict.
The SpaceX and Tesla CEOs said the policies would be “adjusted” so that the suspension would only apply “when the primary purpose of the account is to promote a competitor.”
In another tweet, he also wrote: “Going forward, there will be a vote on major policy changes. I’m sorry. Not going to happen again.” Shortly after, the policy statement was taken from Twitter along with the official tweet announcing it removed from the site.
The incident is the latest shakeup since Musk took the helm, laying off about half of his staff, cutting costs and overhauling his verification and review process.
Musk also suspended the Twitter accounts of several prominent American journalists two days earlier, suggesting they violated a recently instituted policy on sharing location information. The reporters, including Ryan Mac of The New York Times and Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, have been reinstated. On Friday, EU and UK politicians raised concerns about the suspension and press freedom.
Sunday’s policy change drew scrutiny from some of Musk’s Silicon Valley supporters, including former a16z partner Balaji Srinivasan, who wrote: “This is a bad policy and it should be reversed. Good product, not restricting the use of the product.”
Paul Graham, founder of the Y Combinator startup incubator, previously praised Musk when he took over Twitter, writing: “This is the last straw. I give up,” before adding that his website has links to him. A link to your Mastodon account. He was subsequently suspended by the platform for the tweet.
Jack Dorsey, the former chief executive of Twitter, who invested in Nostr, one of the banned platforms, said in a tweet that the policy “doesn’t make sense.”
Other critics argued that the move would not be popular with creators, most of whom have built audiences on multiple platforms, and would be at odds with Musk’s pledge to be a champion of free speech. Musk brought back accounts that had been permanently banned under his predecessor, such as that of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Experts also warn that the policies could draw scrutiny from EU and US regulators. “paper [policies] Obviously anti-competitive. . . because they seem to block communication between consumers and compare competitors,” said Pinar Yildirim, an associate professor of economics and marketing at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Musk said last month that he hoped to find a new CEO to run Twitter “over time.”