Elon Musk polled Twitter users on whether he should step down as CEO

Elon Musk started Twitter poll The social media platform’s head asked users whether to step down and vowed to honor the decision after a backlash over a policy banning the promotion of accounts on rival sites.

Billionaire businessman bought Twitter $44 billion in October and its chief executive wrote to his 122 million followers on Sunday night: “Should I step down as CEO of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll,” he said.

Musk later said in a tweet: “Nobody really wants the job of keeping Twitter alive. No successor.”

Polls will be open for 11 hours, closing at 10.20am GMT. With three hours to go, 14 million people had cast their ballots, with 57 percent in favor of his resignation and 43 percent against.

The move comes after Twitter on Sunday announced a new policy banning users from sharing links to their accounts on rival platforms including Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram, emerging Twitter rival Mastodon, and Donald Trump’s. True communityPlus Tribel, Nostr and Post.

“We know that many of our users may be active on other social media platforms; However, Twitter no longer allows certain social media platforms to advertise for free on Twitter,” the company said in a statement.

But within hours, Twitter backed off the plan after the move sparked criticism from Musk’s detractors and even his top Silicon Valley allies that it was too restrictive.

The SpaceX and Tesla chief executives said the policy would be “adjusted” so that the suspensions would only apply “when the primary purpose of that account is to promote competitors.”

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In a separate tweet, he also wrote: “Going forward, there will be a referendum on important policy changes. My apologies. It won’t happen again.” Shortly after, the policy statement was removed from Twitter’s website, along with official tweets announcing it.

The incident is the latest shock since Musk took over, laid off half of its staff, cut costs and overhauled its vetting and moderation processes.

It comes after two days of musk Suspended several high-profile American journalists Twitter says they have violated a recently-created policy on sharing location information. Journalists including Ryan Mack of the New York Times and Tony O’Sullivan of CNN have been reinstated. On Friday, EU and UK politicians expressed concern about the suspension and press freedom.

Sunday’s policy change drew scrutiny from some of Musk’s supporters in Silicon Valley, including former a16z partner Balaji Srinivasan, who wrote: “This is a bad policy and needs to be changed. The right way to compete is to build a better product, not to limit the use of your product.”

Paul Graham, founder of the Y Combinator start-up incubator, praised Musk earlier when he took over Twitter: “This is the last straw. I give up”, before adding, his website included a link to his Mastodon account. He was later suspended from the stage for tweeting.

Twitter’s former chief executive Jack Dorsey, who invested in one of the banned platforms, said in a tweet that the policy “makes no sense.”

Other critics argued the move would be unpopular with creators, many of whom have built audiences on multiple platforms, and contradicted Musk’s pledge to be a free speech supporter. Musk has brought back accounts that were permanently banned under previous leadership, such as former US President Donald Trump.

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Experts have also warned that the policies could come under scrutiny from EU and US regulators. “These [policies] are clearly anti-competitive. . . Because they seem to inhibit the connection between consumers comparing competitors,” said Pinar Yildirim, associate professor of economics and marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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

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