The recently dethroned worlds richest man, Elon Musk might regret his impulsive decision to float a poll on Twitter, his newly acquired social media toy. He launced a poll on Twitter asking users if he should quit as the CEO of Twitter. The results of the poll were a resounding yes, with Twitter users voting in favour of Musk stepping down as the CEO. Of the total votes cast, 57.5% voted in favour and only 42.5% ware opposed.
Musk has taken several controversial descions since he took over the social media platform earlier this year. The first of his unpopular choices was to fire the top management at Twitter. Musk replaced Parag Agarwal as the CEO of Twitter. He also dissolved the board of directors making himself as the sole director. Citing he wanted to take Twitter on a healthy path he laid off 50% of the employees. He also sent an email to the rest asking them to commit to hardcore work in the coming months or to resign if not prepared to work 18hrs a day.
Then he targeted the verification process. Now to get a blue tick after your name all you need is a subscription fee of $8 per month. He Tweeted this information saying” “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.” Musk said, “The new system will have fewer ads, priority in replies (something which verified handles get through the “Verified” notification channel), mentions and search, and the ability to post longer videos”. Currently the paid users can post 10-minute videos and other users have a time limit of two minutes and 20 seconds on videos.
Musk reinstated several banned accounts like election deniers, anti- vaccination conspiracy theorists and right wing extremists to spread hate and misinformation. Propagating the idea of freedom of speech he reinstated comedian Kathy Griffin’s account which had earlier been banned for impersonating him on the site. On 19th November he reinstated Donald Trump’s account reversing the ban on Donald Trump on social media since the riots in January of 2021.
He disbanded The Trust And Saftey Council, that was formed in 2016 which addressed hate speech, child exploitation, sucide, self harm and other issues on the platform. He fired the content moderators giving a dangerously free regin to the user.
Elon Musk makes whimsical choices on the policies of Twitter and then floats polls to manage the backlash. One of his recent decisions was to ban accounts that were promoting other social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Mastodon. Mr. Musk said the change was being made to prevent “relentless advertising of competitors for free, which is absurd in the extreme.” This unpopular policy was completely opposing to his open web policy. He quickly backtracted and redefined the new policy so that only accounts whose main purpose was to promote competitors would be suspended.
He tweeted, “Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again.”
Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
Last week he shut down the jet tracking account, ElonJet which was owned by Jack Dorsey. He also banned the accounts of several high profile journalists who covered this twitter story claiming it was a security risk. It included reporters from The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America , the Verge and many other publications. Some of these accounts were restored later after a poll.
Last Sunday he launched a poll on Twitter if he should step down as CEO. He promised to abide by their answer, but then added, “No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.” I am not sure if he is delusional or confident of a favourable outcome of the poll. The result as we all know was a thumping yes in favour of Musk stepping down. In the past Musk has abided by the polls but this time it is yet to be seen. He had mentioned earlier this year that he would run Twitter only temporarily but we are aware that his decisions are extremely fluid.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
Musk has not commented on the results of the poll yet. At a user’s suggestion, he said that only verified, blue-tick users will be allowed to vote on policy matters. Knowing Elon Musk’s lofty plans for Twitter it is most unlikely he will abide by the results of this poll. But one can never know what the future holds as Elon has been unpredictable in his choices so far.
Early this morning however Elon did tweet that he would resign as CEO soon as a successor was found. Obviously like every other tweet this was not without a pun. Check it out for yourself!!!!
I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 21, 2022