Elon Musk surveyed Twitter users on Sunday, asking whether he should step down as company CEO. More than 17.5 million people responded — and the result was not close.
After 12 hours of voting, Twitter users said by a 15-point margin — 57.5% to 42.5% — that Musk should remove himself as CEO.
Musk has not yet responded to the results of the poll, which he promised to abide by. However, he posted cryptic messages late Sunday suggesting that users outraged at his leadership may not like the alternative.
"As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it," one of those messages said. "Those who want power are the ones who least deserve it," the other said.
Popular podcast host Lex Fridman offered to be CEO, but Musk appeared to persuade Fridman against taking the job.
"Fun suggestion @elonmusk: Let me run Twitter for a bit. No salary. All in," Fridman offered. "Focus on great engineering and increasing the amount of love in the world. Just offering my help in the unlikely case it's useful."
Musk responded, "You must like pain a lot. One catch: you have to invest your life savings in Twitter and it has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May. Still want the job?"
Twitter has faced intense scrutiny in recent days after Musk's decision to ban journalists from the platform for violating a new "doxxing" policy. Those journalists, however, have maintained their innocence, claiming they did not share information about Musk, specifically his location, that he intentionally tried to keep hidden.
The decision to ban people was controversial because Musk says he is a free-speech absolutist.
Criticism intensified on Sunday when Twitter enacted a new policy prohibiting users from using Twitter to promote their accounts on social media platforms considered to be competitors of Twitter. Musk quickly rescinded the policy.
"Going forward, there will be a vote for major policy changes," he said. "My apologies. Won’t happen again."
Musk explained the purpose behind the policy was to prevent people from using Twitter as a free advertiser for other platforms, which he called "absurd in the extreme."