Musk apologizes, launches ballot on his future as Twitter’s CEO



Elon Musk apologized and launched a ballot asking whether or not he ought to step down as head of Twitter on Sunday night time after the corporate launched a brand new coverage that will droop accounts linking to sure different platforms, a transfer that ignited huge backlash from people together with a few of Musk’s personal supporters.

Musk apologized after placing the coverage in place and wrote: “Going ahead, there might be a vote for main coverage modifications. My apologies. Received’t occur once more.”

He then launched a Twitter ballot, surveying customers on whether or not he ought to step down. Musk had abided by previous polls, regardless of them being unscientific and unrepresentative.

“Ought to I step down as head of Twitter? I’ll abide by the outcomes of this ballot,” he wrote. He added shortly after: “Because the saying goes, watch out what you would like, as you would possibly get it.”

Respondents leaned closely towards “Sure” in Musk’s ballot, indicating Musk ought to step down, after practically an hour of voting: 58 p.c of greater than 3 million votes have been in favor of him handing over the reins. The ballot was set to run out Monday morning earlier than the opening of the inventory market. The worth of Tesla’s inventory — the supply of a lot of Musk’s web value — has lately plunged. Buyers have mentioned Musk stepping other than Twitter would enhance Tesla’s outlook.

Musk’s sudden reversal got here after Twitter earlier within the day mentioned it will begin suspending accounts linking to “prohibited platforms” corresponding to Fb and Instagram if these accounts are “used for the primary goal of selling content material on one other social platform,” based on the announcement Sunday.

The coverage, dated this month and tweeted Sunday afternoon, mentioned tweets selling accounts on some websites could also be eliminated if customers urge their Twitter followers to hitch them elsewhere.

“At each the tweet stage and the account stage, we’ll take away any free promotion of prohibited Third-party social media platforms,” the coverage mentioned. It lists a number of examples of such social media websites, together with Fb, Instagram and Reality Social, which former president Donald Trump co-founded.

Musk’s possession of Twitter — which he purchased in October for $44 billion — has plunged the location into turmoil. He ousted the corporate’s executives and put in a crew of loyalists, laid off greater than half the employees and dialed again Twitter’s content material moderation. He has engaged in misinformation as the location’s proprietor and unexpectedly rolled out new and complicated modifications, courting controversy and alarming advertisers, a few of whom paused their spending on the location.

His sudden and generally arbitrary selections have grated on lots of Twitter’s core customers and employees, but in addition a few of his personal supporters who pushed his possession bid rooted in a “free speech” pushed method.

Already Sunday, Musk gave the impression to be shedding the help of some who had backed his administration strikes at Twitter over the brand new coverage.

George Hotz, a software program developer whom Musk employed for an internship on the firm after he tweeted enthusiastically concerning the enterprise mogul’s takeover, tweeted a hyperlink to his Instagram account Sunday night time.

“If saying that’s banned, this isn’t someplace I wish to be anymore. That’s so removed from free speech,” he wrote in a tweet.

It was a far cry from simply weeks in the past, when Musk issued an ultimatum to Twitter employees saying they would wish to decide to an “extraordinarily hardcore” tempo to construct the brand new Twitter.

“That is the perspective that builds unimaginable issues. Let all of the individuals who don’t need greatness go away,” Hotz had written.

In the meantime, Twitter customers criticized the suspension of Paul Graham, who had spoken extremely of Musk’s management, but in addition promoted his Mastodon deal with on Twitter, screenshots on the location confirmed.

“That is the final straw,” he wrote, based on screenshots posted to the location. Graham’s account was suspended shortly after.

That prompted hordes of customers, together with Nationwide Safety Company whistleblower Edward Snowden, to weigh in. “It is a dangerous coverage and ought to be reversed,” he wrote in a tweet.

The strikes put Musk on the defensive, and he appeared to reply to the backlash, a uncommon transfer for the chief of Twitter since he took over in October.

“Paul’s account might be restored shortly,” he wrote in a tweet.

Twitter has slashed most of its public relations crew since Musk took over the corporate in October, and Musk didn’t reply to an emailed checklist of questions concerning the new rule earlier within the day. Musk tweeted posts from the World Cup finale in Qatar earlier Sunday.

Musk, the billionaire proprietor of Tesla and SpaceX, lately suspended and reinstated a slew of high-profile journalists who he mentioned had violated Twitter’s guidelines.

Musk unsuspends some reporters on Twitter. However their corporations by no means left.

Within the weeks since Twitter’s sale was finalized, Musk has dialed again enforcement of lots of the website’s earlier insurance policies relating to hate speech and misinformation, whereas handing over some instances to unscientific polls to make selections, like reinstating former president Donald Trump.

The brand new coverage banning hyperlinks to another social media websites follows many outstanding Twitter customers selling their alternate accounts, usually expressing the opinion that staying on Twitter might grow to be untenable as Musk overhauls the platform.

On Sunday, the corporate’s announcement prompted debate about whether or not the transfer might create authorized challenges for Twitter.

“That is the clearest declaration of weak point I’ve ever seen from a serious US tech platform, and a clear declaration of anticompetitive intent {that a} GC would set themselves on fireplace to forestall (if any individual had that job at Twitter),” tweeted former Fb chief safety officer Alex Stamos, utilizing an abbreviation for “basic counsel.” He now leads the Stanford Web Observatory, “a analysis, educating and coverage program targeted on abuse in data expertise,” based on its web site.

Along with linking to Fb, Instagram and Reality Social, selling the social media websites Mastodon, Tribel, Publish and Nostr is restricted beneath Twitter’s new coverage introduced earlier Sunday. Third-party hyperlink aggregators corresponding to and are additionally prohibited. Itemizing a social media deal with and not using a URL is just not allowed.

Twitter mentioned a primary violation of this coverage might vary from requiring deletion of a tweet to quickly locking an account. An account could also be suspended if the violation is within the bio or account identify, the corporate mentioned. Subsequent breaches of the coverage might result in everlasting suspension.

Twitter’s abrupt suspension of a number of high-profile journalists final week, together with one from The Washington Publish, got here as Musk claimed that they’d shared “mainly assassination coordinates” for him and his household — an obvious reference to tweets concerning the platform suspending an account utilizing public flight information to trace Musk’s non-public airplane. Twitter allowed a number of of the journalists to return to the platform Saturday.

Musk additionally quickly suspended, after which reinstated, a second Publish reporter this weekend.

“Once more, the suspension occurred with no warning, course of or clarification — this time as our reporter merely sought remark from Musk for a narrative,” Washington Publish Govt Editor Sally Buzbee mentioned in an announcement. “Publish journalists ought to be reinstated instantly, with out arbitrary situations.”

Late Sunday, Twitter Security tweeted a further ballot asking, “Ought to we’ve a coverage stopping the creation of or use of current accounts for the primary goal of promoting different social media platforms?”


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