Twitter’s future under Elon Musk remains shrouded in uncertainty after the billionaire appeared to ignore an online poll that said he should step down.
On Monday, more than 57% of users who voted in a poll Musk posted on Twitter said he should step down as chief executive.
Musk had said he would respect the outcome, but after the figures were revealed he remained silent before returning to Twitter to suggest that future polls should only be open to those who pay for the Twitter Blue subscription service.
He also seemed to agree with the suggestion that voting was being skewed by fake accounts.
The ongoing saga has led to further questions about the stability of the entrepreneur’s reign after a turbulent two months at the helm of the site, with some questioning whether he’d always planned to run Twitter this way or was now simply bored with his latest purchase. and is looking for something more impactful elsewhere.
While appearing in US court in November as part of a Tesla case, Musk said he expected to find someone else to handle the day-to-day running of Twitter “over time,” but his apparent stubbornness over the poll result suggests he could not yet intending to step aside.
Now the Tesla boss has been accused by Bill Gates of causing more polarization on the platform with his push for more free speech and more relaxed content moderation, with the Microsoft founder telling the Financial Times Musk about the decision of the “place of the pants” – making style means “stimulating” the division online.
His chaotic stay on the social media platform has also begun to worry Tesla shareholders, who have seen the value of their shares fall sharply since Musk took over Twitter in October and oversaw a series of controversial decisions that commentators say are damaging its credibility with its investors. and, above all, his personal wealth.
Advertisers have also shown concern about the company’s direction under the billionaire, with many suspending their ad spend on the platform over concerns about the type of content their brands might appear alongside.
This external pressure is believed to be one of the reasons Musk has publicly suggested he step down as chief executive, but the lack of clear recognition of the outcome has only created more uncertainty, it has been argued.
Thomas Walters, co-founder of marketing agency Billion Dollar Boy, said even Musk’s departure as CEO may not be enough to please some Twitter stakeholders.
“Under Musk’s ownership, Twitter has been dogged by uncertainty. And, if there’s one thing advertisers need from platforms, it’s reassurance,” he said.
“While Musk’s departure may be a step in the right direction to restore some trust among brands in the platform, it still adds further uncertainty to its near-term future.
“Who will be in charge? Once they are in place, how much operational leverage will Musk continue to have? How will the content moderation policies be updated? These are just a few of the many questions advertisers will be asking and the answers are unlikely to come any time soon.
“Even when responses do come, it’s hard to say whether or not they’ll be enough to reassure advertisers that Twitter is a safe environment for branding.”
While releasing the poll on his leadership’s future, the Tesla boss said there was “no successor” in line and warned users to be careful what they wish for.
What role Musk will play in that future is unclear.