Elon Musk launches poll to find out if he should stay on as Twitter boss

Elon Musk submitted his future at the head of Twitter to a survey on the social network, pledging to respect the choice of Internet users.

“Should I quit running Twitter? “asked the billionaire on the night of Sunday to Monday on the social network.

“I will stick to the results of this poll,” he promised.

One hour from the end of the poll, 57.4% of the more than 16 million participants had voted yes.

In an exchange with a Twitter user, Mr. Musk also assured that he had no designated successor.

He also indicated that the platform was “on the fast track to bankruptcy” in a response to computer scientist Lex Fridman, who jokingly offered to take Twitter’s dreams.

The poll was launched by Mr Musk shortly after the stormy entrepreneur announced that “‘major policy changes’ on the social network would be routinely up for a vote.”

This announcement came after widespread criticism of Twitter’s decision announced on Sunday to ban its users from posting links to competing networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon or Truth Social.

For example, it becomes forbidden to tweet: “Thank you for following me @Identifier on Instagram”, indicated the platform.

These new rules have led to the misunderstanding of many users, including Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former boss of Twitter. ” Why ? he soberly tweeted.

After some accounts were suspended under the new policy, including that of investor Paul Graham, Mr Musk qualified his decision.

He tweeted that instead of targeting individual tweets, the policy was limited to “suspending accounts only when that account’s ‘primary’ purpose is promoting competitors.”

Accounts suspended

Its acquisition by the boss of Tesla and SpaceX at the end of October, for 44 billion dollars, the moderation rules put in place on Twitter by Mr. Musk, self-proclaimed defender of freedom of expression, are far from unanimous.

In recent days, he has deleted and then restored the accounts of several American journalists from CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post in particular, causing the European Union and the UN to react. The Vice-President of the European Commission even threatened the entrepreneur with sanctions.

The multi-billionaire had first, on Wednesday, suspended @elonjet, an account that automatically reported the routes of his private jet, then the accounts of journalists who had then tweeted about the decision, accusing them of putting his family in danger.

These were reinstated on Saturday, but some said they were told to delete certain posts if they allowed the platform to be used.

And, on Saturday evening, the Twitter account of a Washington Post journalist, Taylor Lorenz, was in turn suspended for several hours.

“Elon Musk has suspended my Twitter account,” said the journalist, who covers the technology sector for the Washington Post, on his blog.

Her account was restored on Sunday, and she tweeted at 12:38 p.m. (5:38 p.m. GMT).

Controversial decisions

Earlier in the day, Mr Musk had said on Twitter that it was a “temporary suspension due to a prior disclosure of personal data by this account”.

His tweet was in response to Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital – an investment firm founded by Peter Thiel, investor and supporter of former US President Donald Trump -, who asked him about the subject.

The journalist explained that she asked Mr. Musk a question via Twitter, for an article she was writing, because she could not reach him through traditional channels.

“At 8:30 p.m. (01:30 GMT) I tried to reach him on Twitter for a comment,” she said, adding that when she later “tuned (to Twitter) to see if he had replied at our request”, his account was “suspended”. “I have not received any communication from the company about the reasons for my suspension or the conditions I violated,” she said.

Mr. Musk has made some controversial moves since his acquisition of Twitter, reinstating accounts that had been banned, including Mr. Trump’s, and ending the fight against Covid-19 misinformation.

But he also suspended the account of rapper Kanye West after the publication of several messages deemed anti-Semitic and refused the return to the platform of far-right conspirator Alex Jones.

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