Elon Musk launched a Twitter poll asking users if he should step down as head of the social media platform and vowed to honor the outcome, after backlash over a new policy banning the promotion of accounts on rival platforms.
Billionaire businessman who bought Twitter for $44 billion last October, its CEO wrote to his 122 million followers Sunday night: “Should I step down as chairman of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.”
Musk later said in a tweet: “No one wants the job that can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no heir.”
The poll is open for 11 hours, and closes at 10.20am GMT. Three hours earlier, 14 million people had voted, with 57 percent in favor of him stepping down and 43 percent against.
The move comes after Twitter announced earlier Sunday a new policy banning users from sharing links to their accounts on competing platforms, including Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s Instagram, as well as emerging Twitter competitor Mastodon, Donald Trump. social truthas well as Tribel, Nostr, and Post.
“We know that many of our users may be active on other social media platforms; however, going forward, Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of select social media platforms on Twitter,” the company said in a post.
She added that initial offenses may result in temporary suspension or a requirement to delete the offending tweet, but repeat offenders risk permanent suspension.
“Twitter should be easy to use, but no more relentless free advertising for competitors. No traditional publisher allows that as well as Twitter.” musk he said on the platform earlier Sunday.
However, the policy drew immediate criticism from Musk’s critics and even some of his prominent allies in Silicon Valley for being too restrictive.
The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla then responded by saying that the policy would be “modified” so that suspensions would only apply “when the primary purpose of that account is to promote competitors.”
In a separate tweet, he wrote: “From now on, there will be a vote on major political changes. My apologies. It won’t happen again.”
The move is the latest change since Musk took the helm, firing about half of his staff, cutting costs and overhauling checks and moderation.
It comes two days after musk too Many prominent American journalists commented from Twitter, suggesting they made mistakes in the recently created policy on sharing location information. Since then, journalists have been reinstated, including Ryan Mack of The New York Times and Donnie O’Sullivan of CNN. On Friday, politicians from the European Union and the United Kingdom expressed concern about the comment and press freedom.
Sunday’s policy change drew scrutiny from some of Musk’s backers in Silicon Valley including former a16z partner Balaji Srinivasan, who wrote: “This is bad policy and should be reversed. The right way to compete is to build a better product, not limit the use of yours.”
“This is the last straw. I’m giving up,” wrote Paul Graham, founder of the Y Combinator startup incubator who had previously praised Musk when he took over Twitter, before adding that his website had a link to his Mastodon account. He was then suspended from the platform because of the tweet.
Jack Dorsey, a former Twitter CEO who invested in banned platform Nostr, said in a tweet that the policy “doesn’t make sense.”
Other critics argue that the move is likely unpopular with creators, most of whom have built audiences across multiple platforms, and goes against Musk’s pledge to be pro-freedom of speech. Musk reinstated accounts that had been permanently banned under the previous leadership, such as the account of former US President Donald Trump.
Experts also warn that the policies could come under scrutiny from regulators in the European Union and the United States. “these [policies] It is clearly anti-competitive. . . Pinar Yildirim, professor of economics and marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said:
Before Sunday’s policy was announced, several Twitter users who tried to share links to their Mastodon profiles were barred from doing so, as the site flagged the posts as “potentially harmful.”
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