Elon Musk is polling Twitter users about whether he should step down as CEO

Elon Musk launched a Twitter poll Asking users if he should step down as head of the social media platform and vowing to honor the outcome, after backlash over a policy banning the promotion of accounts on rival platforms.

The billionaire businessman, who bought Twitter for $44 billion in October and is 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 successor.”

The poll is open for 11 hours, and closes around 11.20am GMT. An hour earlier, nearly 17 million people had voted, with 58 percent in favor of him stepping down and 42 percent against.

The move came after Twitter on Sunday announced a new policy banning users from sharing links to their accounts on rival platforms, including Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s Instagram, emerging Twitter competitor Mastodon and Donald Trump Truth Social, as 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 to select social media platforms on Twitter,” the company said in a statement.

But within hours, Twitter appeared to backtrack on the plan after the move drew criticism from Musk’s critics and even some of his prominent allies in Silicon Valley for being too restrictive.

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO said the policy will be “modified” so that suspensions only apply “when the primary purpose of that account is to promote competitors.”

In a separate tweet, he also wrote: “From now on, there will be a vote on major political changes. My apologies. It won’t happen again.” Soon after, the policy statement was removed from Twitter, along with the official tweets announcing it.

The incident is the latest shakeup since Musk took the helm, firing about half of its staff, cutting costs and overhauling its checks and moderation processes.

It comes two days after Musk also suspended several prominent US journalists from Twitter, suggesting they had fallen foul of a recently established 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 argued that the move would be unpopular among creators, most of whom have built audiences across multiple platforms, and were at odds with 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 warned that the policies could be subject to 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:

Musk said last month that he would like to find a new CEO to run Twitter “over time.”

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