February 6, 2023

Matt O’Brien (AP programmer)

Greater than half of the 17.5 million customers who took half in a Twitter ballot hosted by billionaire Elon Musk about whether or not he ought to step down as CEO had voted sure by the point the ballot closed on Monday.

Neither Twitter nor Musk made an instantaneous announcement on whether or not this may occur, though Musk mentioned he would abide by the outcomes. Musk attended the World Cup ultimate on Sunday and could also be in the midst of a flight on his approach again to the US early Monday morning.

Musk has performed a sequence of non-scientific polls on substantive points going through the social media platform, together with whether or not to reinstate journalists he suspended from Twitter, which has been extensively criticized in media circles and past.

Musk has clashed with some customers on a number of fronts, and on Sunday he requested Twitter customers to resolve whether or not he ought to stay in control of the social media platform after admitting he erred by imposing new speech restrictions that prohibit mentions of competing web sites. social networks on Twitter.

The outcomes of a 12-hour non-scientific on-line ballot confirmed that 57.5% of those that voted wished him to depart, whereas the remaining 42.5% wished him to say.

The newest ballot follows one other important coverage change after Musk acquired Twitter in October. Twitter has introduced that customers will not be capable to hyperlink to Fb, Instagram, Mastodon and different platforms that the corporate has referred to as “banned”.

The choice prompted an instantaneous backlash, together with criticism from former advocates for the brand new Twitter proprietor that Musk vowed to not make main coverage modifications with out a web-based ballot of customers.

The motion to dam rivals was Musk’s newest try and stifle a number of the speech after final week he closed a Twitter account that tracked his personal jet flights.

The banned platforms included main web sites comparable to Fb and Instagram, in addition to upstart rivals Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr, Put up and Fact Social of former President Donald Trump. Twitter didn’t clarify why these seven web sites had been blacklisted, however not others comparable to Parler, TikTok or LinkedIn.

The check case was outstanding enterprise capitalist Paul Graham, who has praised Musk prior to now however instructed his 1.5 million Twitter followers on Sunday that it was “the final straw” and discover him on Mastodon. His Twitter account was instantly suspended and restored shortly thereafter, as Musk promised to reverse the coverage, which was put in place only a few hours earlier.

Musk’s political choices have divided customers. He campaigned for freedom of speech, however suspended journalists and closed a long-standing account that tracked the whereabouts of his aircraft, calling it a safety threat.

However he modified the coverage after which modified it once more, created a way of confusion on the platform about what’s allowed and what’s not.

Musk completely banned the @ElonJet account on Wednesday after which modified Twitter’s guidelines to ban sharing one other particular person’s present location with out their consent. He then focused journalists who wrote in regards to the plane-tracking account, which might nonetheless be discovered on different social networks, claiming that they broadcast “principally the coordinates of the assassination.”

He used this to justify Twitter’s actions final week to dam the accounts of quite a few journalists protecting the social media platform and Musk, together with reporters working for The New York Instances, Washington Put up, CNN, Voice of America and elsewhere. Many of those accounts had been reinstated following Musk’s on-line ballot.

Then, over the weekend, The Washington Put up’s Taylor Lorenz grew to become the most recent journalist to be suspended from work. She mentioned she was suspended from her job after she posted a message on Twitter tagging Musk and asking for an interview with him.

Sally Busby, govt editor of The Washington Put up, referred to as it “the arbitrary suspension of one other Put up journalist,” additional undermining Musk’s promise to make use of Twitter as a platform devoted to free speech.

“As soon as once more, the suspension got here with out warning, course of, or rationalization – this time, our reporter merely requested Musk for touch upon the story,” Buzby mentioned. By Sunday afternoon, Lorenz’s account was restored, as was the tweet she thought brought about her to be banned.

On Nov. 16, Musk was questioned in courtroom about how he allocates his time between Tesla and his different corporations, together with SpaceX and Twitter. Musk needed to testify in Delaware Chancery courtroom over a shareholder protest towards Musk’s potential $55 billion reward plan as CEO of an electrical automobile firm.

Musk mentioned he by no means meant to be the CEO of Tesla and that he additionally did not wish to be the CEO of some other firm, preferring to see himself as an engineer as an alternative. Musk additionally mentioned he expects Twitter’s organizational restructuring to be accomplished across the subsequent week. It has been over a month since he mentioned that.

In a public joke with Twitter followers Sunday, Musk expressed pessimism in regards to the prospects for a brand new CEO, saying the person “should be very keen on ache” to run an organization that’s “on the quick monitor to chapter.”

“Nobody needs to work for somebody who actually helps Twitter. There is no such thing as a successor,” Musk tweeted.

AP contributor Brian PD Hannon contributed to this report.

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