After a long moment of silence and after speaking coldly about the follow-up he intended to give to the poll he himself had started, Elon Musk finally announced Tuesday that he would retire from Twitter as soon as he had “found someone.” crazy enough” to succeed it.
After several weeks of tension and procrastination regarding the future of the social network since its acquisition for 44,000 million euros, Elon Musk asked Twitter users on Monday whether or not he should leave the platform.
A practice that is not unusual for the new owner, who has already used it on several occasions, in particular with regard to the reactivation of the account of former US President Donald Trump, as well as other suspended users.
Each time, the billionaire vowed to abide by the result of the survey he initiated, most of the time with results going in the direction he was considering.
But this time, 57% of the approximately 17 million users of the platform who voted said they were in favor of his departure.
Late in the day in the United States on Monday, from Doha, where he had attended the soccer World Cup final on Sunday, Elon Musk had initially remained silent, before reacting to tweets suggesting that the result of the poll was the result of a machination and then an army of bots that distorted the result.
Early in the day on Tuesday, the head of Twitter had retweeted the result of an opinion poll carried out by the HarrisX institute, with its own sample of platform users, and which was in favor of 61% of the users. interrogated. his permanence as Director General.
“Interesting, this seems to suggest that we do have a small bot problem on Twitter,” the platform’s owner had reacted in response to the institute’s tweet presenting the results, appearing then to consider staying in charge of the social network. .
He also said that any new polls would be restricted to paying Twitter users.
“On the fast track to bankruptcy”
And when various American media claimed on his side that he had actually started looking for a replacement even before the launch of his survey, citing anonymous sources, the billionaire reacted with a simple mocking emoticon through his platform.
However, these rumors and the survey result seemed to have initially been approved by investors, Tesla shares even rose amid growing criticism of Musk’s attention to Twitter since its acquisition, to the automaker’s detriment.
On the contrary, the signs of refusal to leave the head of the social network had been poorly received: the price of Tesla’s shares ended the session on Tuesday with a fall of more than 8%, before the announcement of a future exit. In three months, the manufacturer’s title has lost almost 55% of its value on Wall Street, and more than 33% since the Twitter takeover.
In after-close trading on Wall Street, the stock rose 0.92% to $139.07.
And the social network is not doing much better: in eight weeks the company has seen a number of advertisers withdraw due to the risk that the billionaire’s desire to reduce content moderation there represents for brands.
The group would even be “on the fast track to bankruptcy,” Musk said in a message.
Since the takeover in late October, the head of Tesla and SpaceX has sparked numerous controversies by firing half of Twitter’s workforce, reinstating suspended accounts, suspending those of journalists and seeking to launch a new paid subscription.
Last week, Elon Musk removed and then restored the accounts of several US journalists from CNN, from New York Times Y Washington Post in particular, by causing the European Union and the UN to react.
On Sunday, it was the new rules – that it was now impossible to post a link to a competing network, like Facebook, Instagram or Mastodon – that sparked misunderstanding from users, including Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former boss. Twitter.
After some accounts were suspended under the new rule, including that of investor Paul Graham, Musk qualified his decision, limiting the suspension to accounts whose “primary purpose is promotion of competitors.”
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