Millions of Twitter users asked Elon Musk to step down as head of Twitter after the billionaire posed the question directly in a poll on the platform, promising to comply with the outcome of the vote.
Musk had clashed with some users on multiple fronts and on Sunday, he asked Twitter users to decide if he should remain in charge of the social media platform after acknowledging he made a mistake in launching new restrictions that banned the mention of rival social media websites on Twitter.
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“Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll,” Musk tweeted while attending the World Cup final in Qatar, where he opened the poll.
When the unscientific online survey closed Monday after 12 hours, however, it wasn’t clear if there would be a new leader for the social media platform.
The results showed some 57.5 percent of the 17.5 million voters said that Musk should step down as Twitter’s CEO, while 42.5 percent said no. Musk has 122.2 million followers on Twitter, so only a small fraction of them weighed in.
As some pundits have pointed out, Twitter is not a representation of real life since the majority of Twitter users tend to swing to the left.
According to Pew Research data collected in 2019 and 2020, and that was also released in a study two years ago, Pew found Twitter users are younger and more likely to identify as Democrats. More importantly, Twitter users also differ from the broader population on some key social issues.
Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the think tank the Manhattan Institute, noted in a tweet from June 2021 that “Twitter is not real life data”, pointing out that its users are very liberal.
“Some ‘Twitter is not real life’ data, using Pew surveys: – Twitter users are D+15 – which would tie HI & VT for the most liberal state. – The 10% of Twitter users who post 92% of all tweets are D+43 – which would make it America’s 2nd most liberal House district,” Riedl wrote.
New CEO ‘Must Like Pain a Lot’ Musk Muses With Users
In public banter with Twitter followers Sunday, Musk expressed pessimism about the prospects for a new CEO, saying that person “must like pain a lot” to run a company that “has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy.”
“No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor,” he tweeted.
Musk told a court in November that he would step down as CEO and appoint a successor, according to Newsweek. But as the outlet reported, even if he does step down, as the owner of Twitter, he will be able to make key decisions in its operation.
Musk had drawn immediate backlash after the platform announced that its users would no longer be able to link to Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon and other platforms the company described as “prohibited.” That decision even generated criticism from past defenders of Twitter’s new owner.
Musk then promised that he would not make any more major policy changes to Twitter without an online survey of users, including who should lead the company.
The billionaire also angered some users after he shut down several Twitter accounts of liberal journalists last week for privacy and safety violations. He said they were tracking the flights of his private jet, revealing his location. Musk explained the journalists were allegedly “doxing” or sharing non-public information that might endanger his family.
He also suspended an account specifically created to track his plane. Then, hours later, Musk brought back the jet-tracking account after imposing new conditions on all of Twitter’s users — no more sharing of anyone’s current location. But shortly afterward, the account was suspended again. That came after Musk tweeted that a “crazy stalker” attacked a car in Los Angeles carrying his young son.
Attempts to Protect Free Speech Have Angered the Left
Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla entrepreneur who bought Twitter for $44 billion in October, has instituted a series of changes to the platform to restore free speech. His moves have angered liberal journalists, progressive politicians, left-wing celebrities, and other users who accuse him of swinging the platform to the right.
However, Musk told his employees during a meeting late last month that there was no right-wing takeover of Twitter, calling it a “moderate-wing takeover” instead.
As CBN News reported earlier this month, Musk released the first installment of the so-called “Twitter Files” that revealed how the Biden campaign demanded that Twitter scrub information critical of Joe Biden and his son Hunter from the site. The demand came just days before the 2020 presidential election, and Twitter obeyed.
When the New York Post tweeted out its story about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, Twitter removed links and blocked those who tried to share it.
Musk has continued to release files that confirm the previous left-wing political agenda of the social media giant. The evidence revealed how conservatives were shadow-banned from the site despite not violating any rules or policies.
On Dec. 11, Musk called his organization “both a social media platform and a crime scene,” as more revelations emerged concerning the shadow-banning of conservatives, as well as the decision to permanently suspend former President Donald Trump’s account in January 2021. When asked by a Twitter follower if Musk will reveal documents on the suppression of COVID information, he replied, “It is coming, big time.”
The billionaire took immediate action when he took over the company, laying off half of the workforce, axed contract content moderators, and disbanded a council of trust and safety advisors. He has dropped enforcement of COVID-19 misinformation rules and called for criminal charges against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s infectious disease expert, who has come under fire for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic response as well as questions over the disease’s true origin.
Unlike his predecessor, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Musk has used polls on the platform to let users decide certain policies.
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