Elon Musk has broken his silence after millions voted for the new owner of Twitter to stand down as CEO. The Tesla billionaire took over the social media giant just two months ago, and after being forced into a U-turn over accounts promoting other social media accounts, issued a poll asking whether he should stand down.
After the poll ended, 57.5 percent said Mr Musk should stand down, after he said he would “abide” by its results.
However, despite more than 17 million votes, the CEO has not yet confirmed whether he will respect the results of his Twitter poll.
Instead, he has called claims fake accounts spammed the poll “interesting”, and also announced a change to his policy surveys.
User Unfiltered Boss, a cryptocurrency enthusiast, suggested only subscribers to Twitter Blue should vote in polls relating to the social media app’s policy changes as “we actually have skin in the game”
“Good point”, Mr Musk responded. “Twitter will make that change.”
Twitter Blue is a paid subscription that allows users to buy a verification badge for their accounts, costing $8 a month.
Mr Musk’s poll came after Twitter said it will shut down accounts solely designed to promote other social media platforms.
The measure would also affect accounts that link off to or contain usernames from platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, Tribel, Nostr and Post.
Former Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, who recently invested in Nostr, replied to the Twitter post asking “why?”
Mr Musk later adjusted the policy after criticism, and apologised for the change without a vote.
READ MORE: Should Elon Musk step down as head of Twitter?
Since Mr Musk’s takeover of Twitter in October, Mastodon, a decentralised social media platform, saw its users surge from about 300,000 monthly active users to 2.5 million.
The app’s CEO, founder, and lead developer Eugen Rochko noted the skyrocketing users joined between October and November.
He also lashed out at Mr Musk’s now-reversed bans on sharing links to Mastodon, as well as journalists who reported on Twitter and the account @elonjet, which tracked the CEO’s private jet usage.
“This is a stark reminder that centralised platforms can impose arbitrary and unfair limits on what you can and can’t say while holding your social graph hostage”, Mr Rochko said.
“At Mastodon, we believe that there doesn’t have to be a middleman between you and your audience and that journalists and government institutions especially should not have to rely on a private platform to reach the public.”
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Mr Musk claimed nine journalists doxxed, or publicly provided personally identifiable information, him by reporting on his private jet usage.
On December 15, those nine were suspended and banned, before having their accounts restored up to seven days later.
He also claimed a stalker followed and climbed on the hood of a vehicle carrying his young child.
European Commission officials said the actions may have violated the Digital Services Act, which could result in sanctions of up to six percent of Twitter’s global annual revenue, or even a ban of the social media platform across all of Europe.