Elon Musk says he could step down from Twitter following shock poll and controversial linking policy debacle

Elon Musk Twitter Poll
(Image credit: iMore)

Elon Musk's tumultuous tenure as Twitter CEO might be about to come to an abrupt end after the Tesla and Space X mogul vowed to abide by the results of a poll which is currently calling for him to step down. 

UPDATE: Is Elon Musk stepping down as Twitter CEO? LIVE coverage of social network chaos | iMore

Overnight, Musk took to Twitter stating "Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll." As it stands, nearly 16 million people have voted in the poll, 57.4% in favor of his resignation. 

The results mean more than 9 million people have called for Musk to resign, following a very controversial new policy about linking to other social media platforms that was trashed after public outcry.

A rough 24 hours

As Musk attended the World Cup Final Sunday, Twitter Support rolled out a controversial new policy threatening to ban users if they posted links or usernames for platforms including Facebook and Instagram, as well as emerging rival Mastodon.  Notably, Twitter had nothing to say about links to TikTok. Twitter also said it was going to remove Linktree URLs from user bios. 

The new policy was met with almost universal condemnation across the platform, in particular from content creators who rely on expanding their audiences across a broad range of social media platforms. "It's going to hamstring creators/social managers," Bad Brain Digital Consulting founder Bailey Carlin told Musk. "This policy hurts creators, who you said you were making a better environment for."

Musk spent a few hours furiously defending his plans, further muddying the waters about what exactly would and wouldn't be allowed under the new rules. "Casually sharing occasional links is fine, but no more relentless advertising of competitors for free, which is absurd in the extreme," he said. Yet Twitter's own tweets specifically stated it would remove "content that contains links or usernames" to the offending platforms. 

Box CEO Aaron Levie called out the policy as "just sad". Musk said that feedback about the policy seemed reasonable regarding the rules being far too sweeping and draconian, suggesting a change might be afoot. He went on to say that the policy would be adjusted "to suspending accounts only when that account’s *primary* purpose is promotion of competitors, which essentially falls under the no spam rule." He further confirmed that going forward "there will be a vote for major policy changes", apologizing for the debacle and saying it wouldn't happen again. 

Yet the madness didn't stop there, with Musk shortly after asking his followers if he should step down as the head of Twitter, stating he would abide by the results of the poll. As noted, a large majority of the votes (almost 60%) say he should go. YouTube's most popular creator MrBeast responded "if you're going to keep doing stuff like this, yes" as he quoted the unpopular new policy. 

Perhaps more worryingly for Twitter, Musk says that there "is no successor" for the role of CEO and that no one wants the jobs who can actually keep Twitter alive. In passing, he noted that Twitter has "been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May."

The results of the poll, Musk's apparent desire to comply with its results, and the prospect of no replacement leave Twitter's future very much up in the air. This is the closest we've come to Twitter seemingly teetering on the brink of collapse since Musk made sweeping redundancies across its workforce, with departing employees stating the site could break irreparably at any moment. 

Under Musk's tenure, Twitter has fast gone from being one of the best iPhone social media apps around to something of a dumpster fire, this most recent episode just one example of major policy changes that haven't come to fruition following backlash. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9