Elon Musk breaks silence with Twitter Blue message after millions of users vote to oust him as CEO

More than 17 million Twitter users voted for Musk to step down as Twitter CEO in an online poll

Elon Musk has broken his silence on Twitter for the first time since more than 17 million people voted for him to step down as CEO of the platform.

Musk said that only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to vote in future policy-related polls on the social media site, but failed to confirm whether he would actually quit.

On Sunday (18 December), the billionaire boss said he would “abide by” the result of a self-created poll after asking Twitter users whether he should step down as head of the company.

Is Elon Musk set to stand down?

The result was confirmed on the following morning, with 57.5% of the more than 17.5 million accounts that voted saying he should withdraw from his role.

Musk posted a cryptic tweet after the poll went live which hinted that he would be true to his word in stepping down. He wrote: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it”.

Normally a prolific user of the platform, the billionaire did not tweet in the immediate hours following the poll and instead broke his silence just before 11.30pm on Monday (20 December).

He responded with the comment “Interesting” to a suggestion from Kim Dotcom, founder of the once wildly popular file-sharing website Megaupload, that the results of the poll were skewed by fake accounts.

Replying to another user’s suggestion that “Blue subscribers should be the only ones that can vote in policy related polls”, Musk said: “Good point. Twitter will make that change.”

Twitter Blue is a paid-for subscription which allows anyone to buy a blue tick verified badge for their account.

Musk’s Twitter history 

Musk’s poll on Sunday night came after weeks of controversial decisions. These have included loosening Twitter’s content moderation approach and allowing previously banned users to return.

He has also banned then reinstated some journalists for allegedly sharing real-time information of his location, citing doxxing as the reason. Musk also introduced and then appeared to remove a policy banning users from tweeting links to certain other social media platforms.

Some online safety groups have accused the billionaire of allowing hate, abuse and misinformation to more easily circulate on the platform because of his free speech principles.

During his tenure, Musk has also laid off more than half of the company’s global workforce. While it remains unclear who could replace Musk if he does step down, several commentators have noted that the billionaire would still have the final say on major decisions as Twitter’s owner.