Elon Musk has posted a poll on Twitter asking users to vote on whether former US President Donald Trump, who was banned from the social media site by its previous owners, should be reinstated.
The Twitter boss accompanied it with the words: “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” – a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people is the voice of God”.
Before he was set to buy Twitter, Mr Musk said he would reverse the platform’s “foolish” ban on Mr Trump if he took charge of the company.
“Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots or spam, scam accounts. I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” he said in May.
“I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Mr Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter in January 2021 following the attack by his supporters on the US Capitol that left several people dead.
The tech company said it made the decision after the 6 January riot “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”.
Mr Trump at the time had more than 80 million followers on the platform.
It comes as the billionaire Tesla owner asked remaining Twitter employees who write software code to report to the 10th floor of the office in San Francisco by 2pm local time on Saturday, according to an email seen by the Reuters news agency.
“If possible, I would appreciate it if you could fly to SF to be present in person,” Mr Musk was quoted as saying in the email, adding he would be at the company’s headquarters until midnight and would return on Saturday morning.
On Friday, hundreds of Twitter employees were estimated to have decided to leave the company following a Thursday deadline from Mr Musk that staffers agree to longer, more intense working patterns or quit.
The exodus adds to the rapid change and chaos that have marked Mr Musk’s first three weeks as Twitter’s owner, during which the company’s headcount had already been more than halved by layoffs and other departures to around 3,700.
With so much of Twitter’s workforce now gone, there is speculation that the site will crash during the World Cup – one of the site’s busiest traffic events.
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Social media expert Matt Navarra told the PA news agency that the chances of Twitter being knocked offline have “dramatically increased” in the past 24 hours because of the latest exodus.
He said he believes any imminent blackout is unlikely because certain locks prevent changes to the platform’s base code while Mr Musk reorganises the firm.
“There’s a code freeze in place and Twitter is kind of running on autopilot at the moment with its IT systems, and that’s a strategic move by Elon Musk to protect the stability of the platform while he figures out the next move,” Mr Navarra said.
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