After a delay, Musk announces that he will let go of the reins of Twitter

Aviva Fried with AFP
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December 21, 2022 at 06:59

After a long moment of silence, after blowing the whistle on the backlash he intended to give to a poll he started, Elon Musk finally announced on Tuesday that he would be stepping down from Twitter. “I found someone crazy enough” to do it.

Weeks of tension and procrastination

After weeks of tension and procrastination over the social network’s future since its €44 billion takeover, Twitter users on Monday asked whether the platform’s chief should step down. This is not unusual for a new owner who has already used it several times, especially for reactivating the account of former US President Donald Trump, as well as other suspended users.

Every time the billionaire promised to respect the results of the survey he started, in most cases the results went in the direction he thought. But this time, 57% of nearly 17 million platform users voted in favor of his departure.

Elon Musk suggests that the result of the survey is a conspiracy

From Doha, where he attended Sunday’s World Cup final in the United States later on Monday, Elon Musk initially remained silent before reacting to tweets suggesting that was the result of the poll. as a result of a machination, and then an army of bots that distort the result.

Earlier on Tuesday, the head of Twitter retweeted the results of a poll conducted by the HarrisX Institute among the platform’s own users, and 61% of those polled were in favor. retaining him as chief executive officer. “Interestingly, this suggests we have a bit of a problem with bots on Twitter,” the platform owner said in response to a tweet from the institute announcing the results, which plans to remain at the top of the social network. He also said that any new requests would be limited to paid Twitter users.

When several American media, citing anonymous sources, confirmed that he had indeed started looking for a replacement before the inquiry, the billionaire reacted with a simple mockery through his platform.

Within eight weeks, the company saw a number of advertisers withdraw

Still, those rumors and the survey’s results seemed to resonate with investors, with Tesla shares even rising as criticism of Elon Musk’s focus on the world intensified. After taking over Twitter, to the carmaker’s detriment.

By contrast, signs of the social network’s boss refusing to leave were poorly received: Tesla’s share price ended Tuesday down more than 8% ahead of the impending departure announcement. In three months, the maker’s name has lost nearly 55% of its value on Wall Street, and more than 33% since the Twitter takeover.

Shares rose 0.92% to $139.07 in after-hours trading on Wall Street. And the social network isn’t doing much better: in eight weeks, the company has seen a number of advertisers push back at the risk represented for brands by the billionaire’s desire to reduce content moderation there.

The group would even be “on the fast track to bankruptcy”.

The group will even “be on the fast track to bankruptcy,” Elon Musk assured in his message. Since late October, the Tesla and SpaceX boss has sparked controversy by cutting half of Twitter’s workforce, restoring suspended accounts, suspending journalists’ accounts and launching a new paid subscription.

Last week, Elon Musk deleted and then reinstated the accounts of several American journalists from CNN New York Times and Washington post especially the reaction of the European Union and the UN. On Sunday, it was the new rules that made it impossible to post a link to a competing network like Facebook, Instagram or Mastodon, which caused confusion among users, including co-founder and former boss Jack Dorsey. From Twitter. After certain accounts were suspended under this new rule, including investor Paul Graham’s account, Elon Musk qualified the suspension by limiting the suspension to accounts whose “primary + purpose is to promote competitors.”

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