Nov 18 (Reuters) – Elon Musk launched a Twitter poll late Friday urging his followers to vote on whether to have former US President Donald Trump’s account reinstated on the platform. Initial results showed that around 60% voted yes.
“Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, a Latin phrase meaning “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” The survey was open for 24 hours.
Musk, the new owner of Twitter, said in May he would reverse the ban on Twitter against Trump, whose account was suspended after last year’s attack on the US Capitol.
Musk said earlier in the day that a decision to bring Trump’s account back was yet to be made and that Twitter had restored some controversial accounts that had been banned or banned, including satirical website Babylon Bee and comedian Kathy Griffin.
Musk’s decision to seek advice from Twitter users on who should be on the platform is part of a huge restructuring of the company, including massive layoffs.
In a memo Friday to the remaining employees, seen by Reuters, Musk urged those writing software code to report to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on the 10th floor by early afternoon.
The billionaire said in a follow-up email, “If possible, I’d appreciate it if you could fly to SF to attend in person,” adding he would be in the office by midnight and returning on Saturday morning.
He asked employees to email him a summary of what their software code had “achieved” over the past six months, “along with up to 10 screenshots of the most salient lines of code.”
“There will be brief, technical interviews that will allow me to better understand Twitter’s tech stack,” Musk wrote in one of the emails, asking engineers to call in at 2 p.m. Friday.
The emails came a day after an estimated hundreds of Twitter employees decided to leave the struggling social media company after Musk set a deadline on Thursday for employees to log in for “long hours of high intensity.” .
The exodus adds to the change and chaos that marked Musk’s first three weeks as Twitter owner. He has sacked top management, including former CEO Parag Agarwal and senior officials in charge of security and privacy, and prompted a review by a regulator.
A White House official also chimed in, saying Twitter should let Americans know how the company protects their data.
Tech website Platformer reported Friday that Robin Wheeler, the company’s top ad sales manager, had been fired.
Wheeler, who told staff in a memo last week that she would be staying, tweeted Friday, “To the team and my clients…You have always been my first and only priority,” with a greeting emoji adopted as a goodbye departing employees.
According to two sources, Twitter told employees on Thursday that it would be closing its offices and restricting access to ID cards through Monday. Reuters could not immediately confirm whether the headquarters had reopened.
As of Friday afternoon, the company had begun cutting off access to company systems for some of the employees who turned down 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 at 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 upcoming economic downturn.” He also said, “We’re also changing Twitter policies to no longer allow remote work unless you have a specific exception.”
Amid the changes, Moody’s withdrew its B1 credit rating for Twitter, saying it had insufficient information to maintain the rating.
Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Sheila Dang; Additional reporting by Katie Paul; writing by Sheila Dang and Katie Paul; Edited by Jonathan Oatis, David Gregorio, Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Daniel Wallis, Sayantani Ghosh, and Gerry Doyle
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