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SpaceX and Tesla chief Elon Musk appears to be taking a break from Twitter after his latest poll showed the vast majority of users advising the billionaire to step down as company chief. Musk, who bought Twitter earlier this year for $44 billion, aims to turn the site into a global exchange for free ideas — something he believes is essential to his company SpaceX’s plans to make humanity an interplanetary species. However, his role at Twitter may soon end, at least in terms of day-to-day operations, should he follow up on the poll that ended earlier today.
Elon Musk is still confirming whether he will step down as head of Twitter after followers advised him to do so.
Mr. Musk’s brief turn on Twitter has turned him into controversy again. In all fairness, Twitter has been perhaps the most controversial site in American politics as of late, eclipsing the furor generated by rival Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Since taking over, the CEO has reinstated a handful of different Twitter accounts that were previously banned by the previous administration. Most notably, the account of former President Donald Trump, who resorted to creating his own platform on social media to communicate with his followers after he was suspended on Twitter.
However, Musk, who has so far been steadfast in the face of harsh and often brutal criticism, appears to have changed his mind after yesterday’s FIFA World Cup Final in Qatar. Rumor has it that the CEO met with high-powered investors on the sidelines of the final game yesterday, and the interactions weren’t pleasant. Of course, neither Musk nor investors have confirmed this, so don’t take this amount of speculation with a grain of salt.
Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter was funded partly by debt acquired by the company itself and partly by Saudi Prince Talal Alwaleed’s $1.4 billion and nearly $400 million from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. Before the deal, Musk was already the largest shareholder in Twitter after he managed to buy a 9.1% stake in the company.
After attending the World Cup Final, Musk made two significant tweets – both of which are important in the day-to-day affairs of Twitter. The first saw the CEO announce that he would not make any significant policy changes at the company before the vote took place. The second saw him asking his followers and everyone else to vote if they wanted him to step down as the de facto head of Twitter. Of course, whether his meeting with investors in Qatar influenced the tweets is speculative and not supported by any direct causal link.
the vote It came to a head earlier today when millions of users voted for Musk to step down. The final statistics show that 17.5 million users voted, of which 57.5%, or nearly 10 million, wanted Musk to step down. His decision to create a poll for the act sparked a trend on Twitter titled, “Don’t hold back.” As of the time of writing, 19,500 tweets were part of this trend, which is relatively low compared to the “yes” votes Musk has received.
Crucially, Musk still acknowledged the controversial poll results. His last tweet was 18 hours ago, which is a relatively long time for executives who often only take a break from tweeting when he has to go to sleep. Musk has also raised concerns about the difficulty of finding the right person to run Twitter, asking those who ask him about the role if they would still want it had they invested their “life savings” in the company.