Serial poster and Twitter CEO (although maybe not for much longer) Elon Musk ran a poll on Twitter Sunday night asking if he should step down as head of Twitter. 57.5 percent of the 17,502,391 respondents voted in favour of Musk stepping down.
In the tweet, Musk said he would “abide by the results,” but he has a history of not following through on the things he tweets (examples A, B, and C). After sharing the poll, Musk tweeted, “be careful what you wish, as you might get it,” which seems to be a potentially ominous warning related to the poll. Of course, it’s also worth noting that Twitter’s former head of trust and safety warned that polls could easily be swayed by bots.
This follows a turbulent week for Musk, who launched a banning spree on Twitter targetting journalists and alternate social media platforms, notably Mastodon, an oft-cited potential alternative to Twitter. It started with Musk banning Jack Sweeney and Sweeney’s ElonJet Twitter account that shared details about the flights of Musk’s private jet using publicly available information. Musk previously used Sweeney as an example of his “commitment to free speech,” saying he wouldn’t ban the ElonJet account despite it being a “direct personal safety risk.”
On December 14th, Musk alleged that a stalker used information from the ElonJet account to follow a car carrying his child (although so far, there doesn’t appear to be a link between ElonJet and the stalker incident). That led to a hastily-introduced Twitter policy banning the sharing of people’s real-time location, which was used to ban Sweeney, ElonJet, and several journalists covering the story. Around the same time, Twitter banned Mastodon’s Twitter account and started placing warnings on links to Mastodon.
Over the weekend, Twitter rolled out another new policy banning users from linking to their accounts on other social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, and others. However, that policy didn’t last long and was removed after Musk apologized and promised major policy changes would be put to a vote first (although, as mentioned above, Musk tends to not follow through on things he tweets).
Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 18, 2022
It remains to be seen what, if anything, comes from Musk’s latest Twitter poll. If he follows through, there’s a chance we could see Twitter’s current trajectory improve. But I won’t hold my breath.
You can follow the ongoing sage of Musk and Twitter here.