Elon Musk may stand down as Twitter CEO as more than 57% of voters in online poll call for him to quit

Twitter owner Elon Musk has launched a poll to see whether he should step down as CEO

A poll launched by Elon Musk has resulted in 57.5% of people voting ‘yes’ for Mr Musk to step down as head of Twitter with around 17.5 million people voted.

The Twitter boss launched the 12-hour poll at 11.20pm on Sunday night (18 December) after watching Argentina beat France in the World Cup final in Qatar and said he would abide by the results of the poll.

Elon Musk poll asks public 'Should I step down?' as CEO of Twitter saying he will abide by the results

He wrote: “Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll,” along with the options “Yes” or “No”. The poll attracted more than four million votes within an hour of being posted. In the 12 hours of the poll, 17,502,391 votes were cast and the tweet attracted 234.4k retweets, and 365.7k likes.

Since then the billionaire Tesla boss has also tweeted that people should be careful what they wish for, but denied he has already selected his potential replacement.

“No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor,” he said.

Overnight, Mr Musk also liked a Tweet which said: “When a clown moves into a palace, he doesn’t become a king. The palace becomes a circus. – Turkish proverb.”

It was not immediately clear whether this is an actual Turkish proverb. Its English form first started appearing online earlier this year after a Turkish journalist used a similar phrase about an ox turning a palace into a barn to describe his country’s president.

The comments come after Mr Musk reversed a new policy barring users from linking to certain rival social media websites, including Facebook, Instagram and Mastodon.

He wrote on Twitter that the policy would be “adjusted” to only suspending accounts “when that account’s *primary* purpose is promotion of competitors”

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

That initial announcement was the latest move by Mr Musk to crack down on certain speech after shutting down a Twitter account last week tracking the flights of his private jet.

The billionaire has also come under fire from officials in Brussels for suspending the Twitter accounts of a series of journalists who have been writing about him after accusing them of “doxxing” him – an online term used for the publication of private information that could be used to identify a person’s location or address.

He said: “As I’m sure everyone who’s been doxxed would agree, showing real-time information about somebody’s location is inappropriate, and I think everyone on this call would not like that to be done to them,” he said on the live call – hosted on Twitter’s Spaces service.

“There is not going to be any distinction in the future between journalists – so called journalists – and regular people.”

European Commissioner Vera Jourova said that the suspensions were “worrying” and that EU law protects media freedom. Many of those accounts, which included reporters for the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post among others, were later restored following an online poll by Mr Musk

The commissioner, who is the European Commission’s vice-president for values and transparency, said : “EU’s Digital Services Act requires respect of media freedom and fundamental rights. This is reinforced under our #MediaFreedomAct. Elon Musk should be aware of that. There are red lines. And sanctions, soon.”