Elon Musk is summoning the masses to decide: Should he stay or should he go? On Sunday, the controversial Twitter CEO conducted a poll posing this question: “Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll. By early evening, with another 10 hours to go on the poll, more than 57 percent of voters had weighed in with a “Yes.”
Whether you’ve just been trying to navigate the social media landscape for what’s happening or using it to keep up with news, it has been no fun in Twitterland recently, where Musk has enacted many rules that are a-changing seemingly on the daily.
The latest Twitter drama began when Musk — the self-proclaimed “free speech” purveyor — purged several prominent journalists from Twitter last week, claiming they “doxxed my location,” which endangered his family, he claimed, and resulted in the alleged offenders being banned. In reality, there was no evidence proving that this was the case, and the supposed violators were reinstated after Musk posted a Twitter poll, where the majority called for the journalists’ reinstatement.
By Sunday, he set his sights on the gen pop in an apparent move to keep people from switching platforms: He introduced a new Twitter policy that bans users from sharing any links to Mastodon, Facebook, Instagram, Truth Social, Tribel, Post and Nostr; and aggregating platforms like linktr.ee and lnk.bio are also prohibited. In addition, violations include spelling out “dot” in place of a period as well as posting a screenshot of handles for accounts on banned platforms.
Violators may be required to delete the offending post as an “isolated incident or first offense,” but users may also be temporarily suspended and also face potential permanent suspension for “subsequent violations.”
Confusion came when some users claimed to have been suspended, despite having not violated any of Twitter’s policies. On Saturday, Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz claimed her account was suspended without explanation after tweeting a request for comment from Musk on a story she was working on. It was reinstated on Sunday.
Noted Silicon Valley venture capitalist and Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, who has defended Musk in the past, was temporarily suspended on Sunday following the new Twitter policy enactment, but he was reinstated later that day. He did not outright violate the new terms by linking to another social media site, but instead directed followers to his website. “This is the last straw. I give up,” he tweeted with a link to Twitter’s new policy. “You can find a link to my new Mastodon profile on my site.”
Graham did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
Musk seemed to acknowledge the concerns over his quick-changing policies. “Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes. My apologies. Won’t happen again,” he tweeted minutes before posting his poll asking for votes on whether he should remain “head of Twitter.”
On Sunday evening as Musk’s Twitter poll appeared to indicate the majority wanted him to step down, Musk posted an ominous tweet: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it” — a seeming warning about the poll results, which still showed the majority as wanting him to step down.