Elon Musk ‘to step down’ from Twitter post as 10 million vote

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19th December 2022


written by: Thomas Holgate

Tommy Holgate is a former tabloid journalist, politician and stand-up comedian. Since retraining in multiple holistic therapies his writing focuses on health, wellbeing, spirituality and positive psychology. 

In wondering whether to stay or go, Elon put the question out to his followers, promising to abide by the results.

By the time the poll had closed, 57.5% said they thought he should step down.

Musk can't be forced to resign as the majority owner of a privately held company. But after making a few baffling decisions over the past few days, he has even lost some of his close allies.

In what has been a tenure laden with flip-flop decisions, Elon put a ban on an account that tracked the location of his private jet last week, which was followed by a mass suspension of critical journalists who reported on the ban. This caused an exodus to rival social networking sites, namely Twitter’s decentralised competitor Mastodon, who had been blamed for posting a link to the jet tracker’s account on the rival platform.

On Sunday, after many posts were deleted, Musk reacted by denying access to all social media links. This included Mastodon, Instagram, Facebook, and even minor platforms such as Nostr (used by the Twitter founder Jack Dorsey) and Linktree (a homepage creation tool favored by influencers).

That ban was reversed by the end of the day, with Musk saying: 

"Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again." 

The move turned out to be the final straw for some. Paul Graham, an Anglo-American venture capitalist who had only recently backed Musk, said: "It’s remarkable how many people who’ve never run any kind of company think they know how to run a tech company better than someone who’s run Tesla and SpaceX."

Despite the backlash from his Twitter polls, the Tesla CEO has a history of using them to inform major decisions.

In 2021 he sold a tenth of his Tesla holdings after asking the public if they'd like to buy some. Earlier this month he restored Donald Trump's twitter account following another poll and then re-instated numerous other dormant accounts after even more. "Vox Populi, Vox Dei," Musk wrote on September 25th.

Elon, however, has officially announced several decisions before putting things to a vote: For example, he announced his intention to sell his Tesla stock long before giving it to other shareholders to vote on, and discussed reinstating Trump well before purchasing Twitter. A decision for him to step down as CEO had been hinted at long before he put it to a vote.

Twitter has been in trouble since May and nobody seems to want the poisoned chalice of being in charge. 

Billionaire Elon, who bought the platform and installed himself as its head, insists there is no one who can take the helm. 

"No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive," he posted, while replying to another user, who said they could do the job: "You must like pain a lot."

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