Twitter users on Monday voted to oust controversial owner Elon Musk as CEO in an unscientific poll he organized and promised to honor, just weeks after he took charge of the social media giant.
A total of 57.5 percent of more than 17 million accounts voted for his resignation. Musk, who is also the boss of the car manufacturer Tesla and the rocket company SpaceX, has not yet reacted.
Musk has fully owned Twitter since October 27 and has repeatedly sparked controversy as CEO, firing half of its employees, reinstating far-right figures on the platform, banning journalists and attempting to charge for previously free services.
Analysts have also pointed out that Tesla’s share price has fallen by a third since the Twitter takeover, and the share price briefly rose 3.3 percent on Monday before easing.
“It’s hard to ignore the numbers since then [Twitter] Deal closed,” investment expert Gary Black tweeted, saying he expects Tesla’s board of directors to put pressure on Musk to step down from his Twitter role.
Speaking to users after the release of his latest poll, Musk claimed he had no successor in mind and reiterated his warnings that the platform could be headed for bankruptcy.
The unpredictable billionaire released the poll shortly after trying to extricate himself from yet another controversy.
On Sunday, Twitter users were told they could no longer promote content from other social media sites.
But Musk appeared to reverse course a few hours later, writing that the policy was limited to “only suspending accounts if it’s an account.” primary The purpose is to promote competitors.”
“In the future there will be a vote on major policy changes. I apologize for that. Won’t happen again,” he tweeted.
The attempted ban had drawn cries of disapproval and even confused Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who had backed Musk’s takeover.
He questioned the new policy with a one-word tweet: “Why?”
Musk has sparked a number of controversies over his short reign.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called his tenure a “perfect storm.”
He pointed out that “advertisers have been ramping up and dumping Twitter right into the red ink, potentially on their way to losing about $4 billion a year, we estimate.”
Shortly after acquiring the platform, Musk announced the site would charge $8 a month to verify account holder identities, but had to suspend the “Twitter Blue” plan after an embarrassing spate of fake accounts. It has since been reissued.
On November 4, when Musk said the company was losing $4 million a day, Twitter laid off half of its 7,500 employees.
Musk also restored Donald Trump’s account – despite the former US President saying he has no interest in the platform – and said Twitter will no longer work to combat disinformation about Covid-19.
In recent days, he has suspended several journalists’ accounts after complaining that some had published details about his private jet’s movements, which he claimed could endanger his family.
Those affected included employees of CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, who were sharply criticized by the European Union and the United Nations, among others.
Washington Post Editor-in-Chief Sally Buzbee said the suspension of journalist Taylor Lorenz’s account “further undermines Elon Musk’s claims that he intends to operate Twitter as a platform for free speech.”
Some of the suspended accounts have since been reactivated.
© 2022 AFP