When Elon Musk asked Twitter users about whether to restore former President Donald Trump’s account, he was quick to followed to the end on the wish of the majority to do so. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he said via tweet, Latin for “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
Similarly, when Twitter users voted on another of his polls to grant “blanket amnesty to suspended accounts,” he went ahead and did it. It also considered user votes in a poll to restore the accounts of tech journalists he had suspended Friday.
But like a clear majority of Twitter users voted for Musk to resign as Twitter CEO in another poll on Sunday, Musk remained noticeably (and uncharacteristically) silent. Now he seems to think that the problem is not him, but who can vote in the polls.
In a tweet on Monday, about 12 hours after his CEO survey was completed, Musk suggested he would change how polls work on Twitter so that only those who pay for Twitter’s updated subscription service can vote. After a Twitter user said, “Blue followers should be the only ones who can vote in politics-related polls,” Musk replied“Good point. Twitter will make this change.
While it’s unclear how it would limit voting to those who pay for the company’s subscription service, such a change could significantly reduce the number of Twitter users who could vote in polls. It would also skew who can vote for users who are willing to pay for Twitter Blue, which includes the controversial paid verification feature that Musk pushed to introduce. Musk’s Monday tweet immediately prompted comparisons to local taxes.
The incident is another example of the inconsistencies and chaos in Musk’s handling of Twitter since acquiring the company in October. After coming under fire this weekend for a controversial new policy preventing users from posting links to rival platforms, Musk pledged to effectively outsource “major policy changes” to Twitter by asking users about them and quickly launched the poll to find out if he should remain CEO.
Now, Musk appears to be ignoring the CEO poll results and is seeking to overhaul how polls work without first asking users about what is arguably another “major policy change.”
Musk’s poll, and his limited reaction so far, could add to growing uncertainty about his commitment to remain Twitter’s CEO. Musk has come under fire from Twitter users and advertisers for his decision to cut large swathes of the company’s staff, restore the accounts of a number of incendiary users, and the boost of having apparently rushed new policies and features to retire later. The Tesla CEO is also facing pressure from the automaker’s shareholders to find a replacement on Twitter, after Tesla’s stock fell significantly this year.
Musk did not directly comment on users’ vote that he should step down from running Twitter. Musk said last month that he expects to “reduce my time on Twitter and find someone else to manage Twitter, over time.” But in a tweet sunday he said, “Nobody wants work that can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.
CNBC reported On Tuesday, Musk was “actively looking” for a new Twitter CEO, citing unnamed sources. Twitter, which recently cut most of its PR team, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Musk responded to the story on Twitter with two crying and laughing emojis.
The most obvious potential candidates for a new Twitter CEO are Musk’s lieutenants who have helped run the company since its takeover. The shortlist likely includes investor Jason Calacanis, Craft Ventures partner David Sacks, and Sriram Krishnan, a crypto-focused general partner at Andreessen Horowitz and former Twitter consumer teams.
A string of other generic candidates have publicly offered to take the job, including former T-Mobile CEO John Legere and rapper Snoop Dogg.