On December 19, Elon Musk asked Twitter users whether he should stand down as the platform’s CEO, through a poll. And the jury is out. Nearly 58%, or about 10Mn of the 17Mn users who voted, say Musk should step down from his post. The tech billionaire had earlied promised to “abide” by the poll’s findings. Since he assumed the role of CEO in October, the social media site has seen numerous controversies.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
The decision comes hours after he announced that Twitter will prohibit accounts “created solely” to promote other social media platforms. Accounts promoting rivals and containing links to sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Mastodon will be taken down, the company said. Musk’s longtime friends and proponents, including Y Combinator founder Paul Graham and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey expressed their dismay at the policy causing Musk to later apologize and roll it back.
He also said that going forward he will hold votes on all major policy changes. Musk has been under fire since day one, regarding the mass layoffs and recent policy changes. According to CNBC, Musk said in court in November, “I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time.” However, on Sunday, he tweeted that there is no possible successor for him at the social media company. He tweeted, “No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive.”
No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 19, 2022
Twitter polls are informal straw polls; one cannot compare them to formal public opinion polling. Even malicious bots or fraudulent accounts can register a poll answer.
Musk asserts that Twitter usage has increased to an all-time high since he took charge. But many users are leaving the network and calling for his ouster. Regardless of all the controversies and policy changes, Twitter has become an integral part of society and culture. The death of a platform this powerful is far from likely. As the poll will close on Monday, Twitter users await to see if Musk will actually follow the results.