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Elon Musk news: Twitter CEO says suspending accounts for Mastodon links was ‘a mistake’

Billionaire admits to Mastodon ‘mistake’ after confirming he will step down as Twitter chief

Stuti Mishra,Graeme Massie
Wednesday 21 December 2022 14:45 GMT
Musk polls twitter users on whether he should step down

Elon Musk has admitted taking down accounts for posting links to rival Mastodon was “a mistake” as he looks for a replacement after announcing he is stepping down.

While speaking in a Twitter space on Wednesday, Mr Musk was questioned about the suspension of accounts, like that of venture capitalist Paul Graham, for posting links to Mastodon.

“Yeah, that one was a mistake,” Mr Musk said.

He was then asked to clarify whether people can post the link to Mastodon now.

“Yeah f***ing post Mastodon all goddamn day long, I don’t care,” he added.

Twitter rolled back the controversial policy of suspending users for posting links to rival sites like the open-source Mastodon which is seeing a surge in new users since Mr Musk took control.

The admission comes after Mr Musk's confirmation that he would step down as Twitter CEO.

“I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams,” he tweeted.


Musk has hinted at stepping back from Twitter before

To some observers, Mr Musk’s Twitter poll did not come out of nowhere.

Last month, Mr Musk testifed in Delaware as part of a suit regarding a $56bn pay package Tesla gave awarded him in 2018 that he expects to eventually step back from Twitter and re-commit much of his time to other companies and ventures.

“There’s an initial burst of activity needed post-acquisition to reorganize the company,” Mr Musk said. “But then I expect to reduce my time at Twitter.”

Mr Musk has been a hands-on manager at Tesla, but hands-off at a number of his other companies. He’s never run a social media company before, and his first seven-plus weeks on the job have resulted in advertisers fleeing the platform and investors in other companies like Tesla growing nervous about his activities.

Abe Asher20 December 2022 00:16

Musk suggests that only Twitter subscribers will be able to vote in polls

A day after Twitter users overwhelmingly voted to oust him, Elon Musk is now suggesting that only paid subscribers to his Twitter Blue service will be able to vote in polls.

Mr Musk replied to a tweet from @Unfilteredboss1, who wrote that “Blue subscribers should be the only ones that can vote in policy related polls. We actually have skin in the game”.

That tweet came in a thread that began with a response to the poll from a different user who wrote, “I’m hoping that Elon did this poll as a honeypot to catch all the deep state bots. The dataset for this poll will contain most of them. Some good data-mining and he could kill them all in one go”.

“Interesting, Mr Musk replied.

It is not immediately clear whether Mr Musk will relaunch the poll concerning his future leadership of Twitter and confine it only to paid subscribers, or whether this means that he does not plan to “abide by the results” of the initial poll as he said he would.

Abe Asher20 December 2022 00:36

Ms Musk defends her son

Not everyone is criticising Elon Musk today. The billionaire has plenty of supporters, and one of the most prominent is his mother.

Maye Musk, a dietician and model originally from Canada, has sent out a raft of tweets defending her son’s management of Twitter in recent days and promoting Mr Musk’s other companies like Tesla and SpaceX.

She appeared to particularly support Mr Musk’s short-lived ban on the promotion of competitor sites on Twitter, which Mr Musk quickly walked back after widespread criticism.

Abe Asher20 December 2022 01:30

Blake Masters says people who want him to become Twitter CEO are ‘wishing a lot of pain on me'

Speaking at a Turning Point USA conference on Monday, Blake Masters, recently defeated in his quest to become the next US Senator from Arizona, claimed that “some people” want him to join Twitter.

“Some people say Blake, what you really got to do is help Elon and run Twitter as the next CEO. What do you think about that?”

The crowd applauded, after which Mr Masters said, “Oh man, you guys are wishing a lot of pain on me. I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do.”

Mr Masters, a venture capitalist who ran for the Senate with the backing of conservative tech entreprenuer Peter Thiel, was soundly defeated by Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly and in the process scored worst focus group results of any candidate the head of one Republican-aligned Super PAC had ever seen.

Abe Asher20 December 2022 02:30

Musk’s shifting alliances

Musk’s popularity on the right has grown in recent weeks, as political figures and commentators frequently critical of the influence of Silicon Valley and major social media companies on American politics have rallied around a figure increasingly supportive of their ideological causes.

An opinion article in Fox News on Monday called for Mr Musk to remain at Twitter because he “pushed back against the Left’s repugnant effort to shut down Americans’ freedom of expression.”

Mr Masters, in his speech at the Turning Point USA conference, suggested that conservatives need to “help” the embattled billionaire.

Abe Asher20 December 2022 03:30

Users vote overwhelmingly in poll for Musk to step down

More than 17 million Twitter users participated in the poll where billionaire Elon Musk asked whether he should step down as the head of the social media platform.

On Sunday night, Mr Musk tweeted the poll and asked users: “Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.” At least 57.5 per cent of the users voted positively to the option “Yes”.

Since then Mr Musk has not said anything publicly about whether he will follow through on his promise and remove himself from the post.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar20 December 2022 03:44

Musk only so supportive of direct democracy

Since buying Twitter nearly two months ago, Mr Musk has talked a big game about democracy. He has asked Twitter users for their input on company policy in multiple polls and reinstated accounts that had been banned under the previous regime for reasons including hate speech.

But Mr Musk has also moved to limit speech and restrict journalists’ use of the site in certain cases, and announcement that Twitter would only allow accounts with paid subscriptions to the Twitter Blue service to vote on policy matters going forward raised eyebrows for some observers.

Abe Asher20 December 2022 04:30

Dogecoin drops 11 per cent after Musk loses Twitter poll

The price of Dogecoin plunged more than 10 per cent yesterday and was trading at $0.07 following Elon Musk’s landslide defeat in a poll where he asked if he should step down as the head of the social media platform.

The meme coin had seen its price pump since the billionaire bought Twitter in October.

When Musk officially purchased Twitter, the price of Dogecoin was $0.07, however, within days, the coin was trading at $0.14, according to CoinGecko.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar20 December 2022 05:00

What motivated Musk’s poll gambit?

What is the driving force behind Mr Musk’s potential departure from Twitter? There may be more to the situation than meets the eye.

What’s behind Elon Musk’s talk of stepping down at Twitter?

Is there more to Musk’s talk of stepping down at Twitter, as shares in Tesla tumble, asks James Moore

James Moore reports that other parts of Mr Musk’s business empire are being threatened by Mr Musk’s highly visible and controversial reign as Twitter chief.

Abe Asher20 December 2022 05:30

Musk says future polls on policy limited only to those who pay him

Billionaire Elon Musk has said only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to vote in future policy-related polls on the platform in his first comments since millions of users voted for him to step down as chief executive of the site.

On Sunday, the Tesla boss said he would “abide by” the result of a poll, which he created, asking Twitter users whether he should step down. The result was confirmed with 57.5 per cent of the more than 17.5 million accounts that voted saying he should withdraw from his role.

His silence was finally broken just before 11.30pm yesterday, when he responded “Interesting” to a suggestion from Kim Dotcom, founder of the once wildly popular file-sharing website Megaupload, that the results of the poll were skewed by fake accounts.

Read more here.

Musk: Future policy-related polls only open for Twitter Blue subscribers

Twitter Blue is a paid-for subscription which allows anyone to buy a blue tick verified badge for their account.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar20 December 2022 06:00

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