Nov. 18 (Reuters) – Elon Musk launched a Twitter poll late on Friday asking followers to vote on whether to restore former US President Donald Trump’s account on the platform, with preliminary results showing 60 percent voting yes.
Musk tweeted “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which is a Latin phrase that roughly means “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” The survey was open for 24 hours.
Musk, the new owner of Twitter, said in May that he would rescind Twitter’s ban on Trump, whose account was suspended after last year’s attack on the US Capitol.
Musk said earlier today that the decision to reinstate Trump’s account had not yet been made, and that Twitter had reinstated some controversial accounts that had been banned or suspended, including satirist 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 for the company, including mass layoffs.
In a memo Friday to the remaining employees, seen by Reuters, Musk asked those writing code to report to the 10th floor of Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco in the early afternoon.
“If possible, I would appreciate it if you could travel to San Francisco to be present in person,” the billionaire said in a follow-up email, adding that he will be in the office until midnight and be back Saturday morning.
He asked employees to send in a summary of what their software had “done” in the past six months “along with up to 10 screenshots of the most prominent lines of code”.
“There will be short technical interviews that will allow me to better understand the Twitter tech stack,” Musk wrote in an email, asking engineers to report at 2 p.m. Friday.
The emails came a day after hundreds of Twitter employees estimated they had decided to leave the beleaguered social media company following an ultimatum from Musk Thursday that employees log “long hours at high intensity.”
The exodus adds to the change and chaos that have marked Musk’s first three weeks as Twitter owner. He has sacked top management including former CEO Parag Agarwal and senior officials responsible for security and privacy, drawing scrutiny from a regulator.
A White House official also chimed in, saying Twitter should tell Americans how the company protects their data.
The Tech Website Platformer reported Friday that Robin Wheeler, the company’s chief ad sales officer, has been fired.
“To the team and my clients…you were always my first and only priority,” Wheeler, who told employees in a memo last week that she would be staying, tweeted Friday, with a greeting emoji adopted as the departing employee’s message.
It will close its offices and cut off access to the badge through Monday, two sources said on Twitter on Thursday. Reuters could not confirm whether the headquarters had reopened or not.
Three people told Reuters that on Friday afternoon the company began cutting off access to company systems for some employees who refused to accept Musk’s offer.
Another source said the company was planning to shut down one of Twitter’s three major US data centers, at its SMF1 facility near Sacramento, to save costs.
In his first email to Twitter employees this month, Musk warned that Twitter may not be able to “survive the coming economic downturn.” He also said, “We’re also changing Twitter’s policy so that remote work is not allowed, unless you have a specific exception.”
Amid the changes, Moody’s pulled Twitter’s B1 credit rating, saying it didn’t 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 Otis, David Gregorio, Emilia Sithole Matares, Daniel Wallis, Sayantani Ghosh and Jerry Doyle
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