Elon Musk on Monday said Twitter polls on major policy decisions at the company will be restricted to Twitter Blue subscribers a day after a majority of respondents voted for the billionaire to step down as the firm’s CEO, in a poll he published.
Responding to a tweet that suggested such polls should be restricted to paying Twitter Blue subscribers, Musk responded: “Twitter will make that change.”
On Sunday evening, Musk announced that Twitter will allow its users to vote on all major policy changes going forward after the platform’s decision to ban links to other social media platforms was met with strong backlash.
Despite promising to “abide by the results” of Monday’s poll, Musk is yet to announce if he will step down as Twitter CEO after 57.5% of more than 17.5 million respondents voted in favor of the move.
With the results of the poll not going in his favor, Musk and many of his supporters on Twitter are now insinuating without evidence that the poll results were manipulated by bots.
Musk has previously been criticized for relying on unscientific polls—which can easily be brigaded or manipulated by bots or fake accounts—to make important policy decisions at Twitter. The billionaire, however, has been selective in blaming bots when it comes to polls, only bringing it up when results don’t align with his views on an issue. In early October, Musk blamed bots after a majority of respondents voted against his Russia-friendly peace proposal for ending the invasion of Ukraine. Musk also blamed bots for his poll about restoring Trump’s account on Twitter being closer than he anticipated.
Musk, who claims to be a “free-speech absolutist,” took over as Twitter CEO after completing his $44 billion acquisition of the company in late October. At first, the billionaire urged his critics to remain on the platform and promised he would hand off content moderation and policy decisions to an independent council made up of experts and public figures with “widely diverse viewpoints.” Musk has reneged on this promise while positioning himself as the final arbiter of what kind of content Twitter should or should not allow. Last month, Musk unilaterally decided to restore controversial accounts that had been banned for violating Twitter’s rules—including former President Donald Trump’s personal account—after conducting unscientific polls on Twitter. Last week, Musk issued a new rule banning users from sharing publicly available flight data of private jets—claiming it was a danger to people’s safety. Twitter would then use this rule to ban several high profile journalists—many of whom had been critical of Musk—while the billionaire accused them of “doxxing” him, prompting widespread backlash and threats of sanctions.
What To Watch For
Whether Musk will issue a new poll on his leadership position once the restrictions kick in. The status of another major policy poll, in which 87% of respondents voted against Twitter banning accounts that promote links from other social media platforms, also remains unclear.
Musk Asked Twitter Users If He Should Step Down As CEO—Most Voters Said ‘Yes’ (Forbes)
Musk Remains Silent Eight Hours After Poll Supporting His Resignation As Twitter CEO Ends (Forbes)