Twitter CEO Elon Musk continues to turn managing the social media platform into public sport, this time turning to Twitter users with a poll asking whether or not he should step down as head of the company and promising to abide by the results.
Well, the survey closed on Monday but not before earning more than 17.5 million responses. Musk came out on the short end of the survey (but only if he was hoping to hold on to his self-appointment as chief executive) with over 57% supporting a change in leadership at the problem-plagued company.
The latest poll follows another public survey posted by Musk last week where he asked users to vote on whether or not he should reinstate journalists and other other Twitter account holders whom he accused of sharing his real-time location as well as other issues.
Malicious online publication of private information including personal addresses or other identifying details is a practice known as doxxing. Musk claimed in another tweet the journalists posted his “exact real-time location, basically assassination coordinates, in (obvious) direct violation of Twitter terms of service.”
As of midday Monday, Musk had not publicly shared if, or when, he would step down as Twitter CEO, a position he’s held since acquiring the company in a volatile $44 billion deal that closed in October.
What’s happened at Twitter since Elon Musk took over?
Twitter has been in nonstop upheaval since Musk took the reins of the company, as he’s fired half of the 7,500 employees, vacillated wildly on policies over verified users, eliminated contract moderation workers and driven away advertisers who are wary of their ads showing up in an unmoderated realm.
Paid advertising on the platform, which boasts around 240 million daily users, is key to Twitter’s business model and reportedly accounts for about 90% of the company’s revenues. Twitter is on pace to lose $4 billion a year after the advertiser exodus, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives estimated, according to CNN.
Musk also instituted a ban on users plugging their accounts on other social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram, Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr, Post and former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social.
A growing number of Twitter users have left the platform under Musk, or created alternative accounts on Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr or Post, and included those addresses in their Twitter profiles, according to The Associated Press. Twitter gave no explanation for why the blacklist included some websites but not others such as Parler, TikTok or LinkedIn.
A test case is the prominent venture capitalist Paul Graham, who in the past has praised Musk but on Sunday told his 1.5 million Twitter followers that this was the “last straw” and to find him on Mastodon, per AP. His Twitter account was promptly suspended, and then restored, as Musk reversed the policy implemented just hours earlier.
What’s been happening at Tesla since Elon Musk took over Twitter?
Tesla stock has been on a steady decline for the past year and, at one point, had lost almost a third of its value since late October when Musk took over Twitter.
Some Tesla investors have accused Musk of focusing on Twitter issues to the detriment of Tesla operations. And Musk has had to liquidate some of his Tesla stock holdings in order to cover expenses incurred by his Twitter purchase, sending stock prices even lower. But Tesla shares were up 5% in premarket trading after the poll results were revealed, per CNN.
“This has been a black eye moment for Musk and been a major overhang on Tesla’s stock which continues to suffer in a brutal way since the Twitter soap opera began with brand deterioration related to Musk a real issue,” Ives said in a note to clients Monday, according to CNN.