Nov 18 (Reuters) – Elon Musk launched a Twitter poll on Friday evening asking his followers to vote on whether to restore former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account on the platform, with initial results showing around 60 % of votes yes.
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” The ballot was open for 24 hours.
Musk, the new owner of Twitter, said in May that he would reverse Twitter’s ban on Trump, whose account was suspended after last year’s attack on the US Capitol.
Musk said earlier today that the decision to bring back Trump’s account has yet to be made and that Twitter has reinstated some controversial accounts that were banned or suspended, including satirical site Babylon Bee and comedian Kathy Griffin. .
Musk’s decision to ask Twitter users for advice on who should be on the platform is part of a huge corporate restructuring, including massive layoffs.
In a memo to remaining employees that was seen by Reuters on Friday, Musk asked those who write software code to report to the 10th floor of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters in the early afternoon.
The billionaire said in a follow-up email: “If possible, I would appreciate it if you could travel to SF to attend in person,” adding that he would be in the office until midnight and return Saturday morning.
He asked employees to email him a summary of what their software code has “achieved” over the past six months, “with up to 10 screenshots of the most salient lines of code.”
“There will be short technical talks that will give me a better understanding of Twitter’s tech stack,” Musk wrote in one of the emails, and asked engineers to report back at 2 p.m. Friday.
The emails came a day after hundreds of Twitter employees reportedly decided to quit the beleaguered social media company after a Thursday deadline from Musk for employees to sign up for ‘long hours at high intensity’ .
The exodus adds to the change and chaos that marked Musk’s first three weeks as owner of Twitter. He fired senior management, including former CEO Parag Agarwal and top security and privacy officials, under the scrutiny of a regulator.
A White House official also weighed in, saying Twitter should tell Americans how the company protects their data.
Tech website Platformer reported on Friday that Robin Wheeler, the company’s top advertising sales executive, had been fired.
Wheeler, who told employees in a memo last week that she was staying, tweeted on Friday: ‘To the team and to my clients…you have always been my first and only priority,’ along with a salute emoji which has been adopted as a mailing for departing employees.
Twitter announced to employees on Thursday that it would close its offices and cut off access to badges until Monday, according to two sources. Reuters could not immediately confirm whether the headquarters had reopened.
By Friday afternoon, the company had begun cutting off access to company systems to some of the employees who had refused to accept Musk’s offer, three people told Reuters.
Another source said the company plans to shut down one of Twitter’s three main US data centers, in the SMF1 facility near Sacramento, to cut costs.
In his first email to Twitter employees this month, Musk warned that Twitter may not be able to “survive the coming economic downturn.” He also said, “We are also changing Twitter’s policy so that remote work is no longer permitted, unless specifically exempted.”
Amid the changes, Moody’s withdrew its B1 credit rating for Twitter, saying it did not have enough information to maintain the rating.
Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Sheila Dang; Additional reporting by Katie Paul; Written by Sheila Dang and Katie Paul; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, David Gregorio, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Daniel Wallis, Sayantani Ghosh and Gerry Doyle
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