The world is watching closely to see what decision Elon Musk would take as a majority of the people said he should step down as the Twitter CEO.
It all started when Musk launched a Twitter poll, asking the people whether he should step down as social media platform head. “I will abide by the results of this poll,” he added.
As the final results appeared on Monday evening, 57.5 percent people replied in yes with the remaining 42.5 percent saying no. A total of over 17.5 million (17,502,391 to be exact) people participated in the poll.
Shares of Tesla — another one of Musk’s companies — rose more than 4 percent in US premarket trading Monday.
Musk’s Sunday poll followed online backlash after the “Chief Twit” (as he has called himself) made sudden changes to policies impacting users of Twitter in the last week.
For example, the company introduced a new social media platform promotion policy on Sunday, which prohibited users from sharing links to some of their other social media accounts. Longtime Musk friends and proponents, including Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, expressed their dismay at the policy causing Musk to later apologize and roll it back.
In an another tweet posted just minutes before launching the poll, Musk – also the Tesla chief – said the policy changes in future would be based upon public vote (polls).
“My apologies. Won’t happen again,” he added in apparent reference to the abrupt suspension of Twitter accounts.
The move generated a strong reaction, forcing him to restore the Twitter accounts of several journalists on Saturday.
However, Musk opted to cite the poll results, which he conducted on Twitter, as the reason behind his decision.
“The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now,” Musk said in a tweet.
The reinstatements came after the unprecedented suspensions evoked stinging criticism from government officials, advocacy groups and journalism organizations from several parts of the globe on Friday.
Some of them said the microblogging platform was jeopardizing press freedom while officials from France, Germany, Britain and the European Union earlier condemned the suspensions.
Roland Lescure, the French minister of industry, tweeted on Friday that, following Musk’s suspension of journalists, he would suspend his own activity on Twitter.
Melissa Fleming, head of communications for the United Nations, tweeted she was “deeply disturbed” by the suspensions and that “media freedom is not a toy.”
“A free press is the cornerstone of democratic societies and a key tool in the fight against harmful disinformation,” she added.
EU threatened sanctions
But the strongest reaction was from Vera Jourova, the European Commission’s vice president for values and transparency. She said in a tweet that news of the “arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is worrying”, as she talked about possible sanctions.
She said EU’s Digital Services Act required respect of media freedom and fundamental rights. Elon Musk should be aware of that. “There are red lines. And sanctions, soon.”
Jourova didn’t add any further details on the sanctions. Under the EU’s Digital Services Act, companies can be fined up to 6 percent of their global annual revenues for breaches.