Following a wildly unsuccessful poll asking if he should step down as head of the social media giant, Elon Musk considers limiting all future Twitter polls, at least those dealing with major policy decisions, to Twitter Blue subscribers.
On December 19, Musk posted the most unwise Twitter poll to date, asking the platform users whether he should step down as head of Twitter. But that’s not all. It would have been absolutely fine to “test the waters,” probe public opinion and whatnot. Instead, Musk took the poll to a whole new level by saying that he would abide by the results when they come in.
And come in, they did. Whopping 17,502,391 voters pitched in, 57.5% of whom said he should step down as head of Twitter.
Following the tragic results of the poll, one user tweeted that such polls should be restricted to paying Twitter Blue subscribers. Musk responded with: “Twitter will make that change.”
Now, a fair-minded reader could be wondering how Musk gets away with publicly claiming he will abide by his own rules, only to go back on his word, without coming off as a power-abusing billionaire. It’s bots. He blames it all on bots.
It’s not the first (or last) time Musk ran unscientific polls on Twitter that were disrupted by “bots.” Previously, he polled users about his subservient proposal for ending the invasion of Ukraine. It was a bust. His poll about reinstating former president Donald Trump’s account was almost a bust.
The latest cause for a poll was Twitter’s decision to ban users from linking to other social media platforms, which was met with intense backlash. The backlash prompted Musk to announce that Twitter users would have a say in major policy changes.
The “free-speech absolutist,” as Musk likes to call himself, is keeping Twitter free speech at notoriously low levels. You don’t have to take anyone’s word for it. It’s easy to observe. When advertisers start abandoning platforms, it doesn’t mean they’re running away from the excess of freedom — they’re running from the excess of bigots who love “free-speech absolutism.”
Whether Musk will rerun the poll if Twitter makes the suggested change, remains to be seen. Here’s hoping no bots intervene this time.