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Twitter users vote for Elon Musk to step down as CEO in poll he launched

The billionaire said earlier that he would "abide by the results" of the Twitter poll, which he launched amid mounting backlash against his leadership of the site.

A clear majority of Twitter users who took part in a poll by Elon Musk voted for him to step down as head of the social media platform, a result he promised to follow through on.

"Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll," Musk tweeted out Sunday as he continued to face mounting scrutiny over his time at the helm of the site.

More than 17.5 million votes were cast in the poll, with 57.5% in favor of the Twitter CEO stepping down, while 42.5% of votes were against the move. The poll closed at around 6:20 a.m. ET.

Musk had yet to comment on the results of the poll as of early Monday morning. “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it,” he tweeted late Sunday.

Musk has previously said he plans to eventually step down as CEO of Twitter and to find someone else to run the company over time.

The poll came as Musk faced growing criticism after Twitter briefly banned users from promoting accounts on other social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram and Truth Social before the prohibition vanished from its policy page.

The restrictive policy had come after after many users started posting links to other social media accounts as they looked to depart Twitter following Musk’s Oct. 27 takeover, which has since seen the reinstatement of some far-right accounts, the suspension of journalists and mass layoffs.

“We recognize that many of our users are active on other social media platforms,” Twitter support had tweeted Sunday. “However, we will no longer allow free promotion of certain social media platforms on Twitter.”

After facing widespread criticism following the announcement, Musk appeared to contradict the policy, saying: “Casually sharing occasional links is fine, but no more relentless advertising of competitors for free, which is absurd in the extreme.”

By Sunday evening, the platform’s page with the new policy language had been replaced with a “page not found” 404 heading, indicating deleted or moved content. References to the prohibition on outside social media also disappeared from Twitter Support’s feed Sunday night without explanation.

The policy had been ridiculed as ironic, coming from a CEO who had vowed to be a "free speech absolutist."

It attracted such swift criticism, including from past defenders of Musk's leadership, that the billionaire vowed not to make further policy changes without an online survey of Twitter users.

 "My apologies. Won't happen again," he tweeted, before launching his new poll asking whether he should step down.

In addition to widespread layoffs, Twitter has also faced scrutiny after botching the introduction of paid verification for users and more recently, suspending half a dozen journalists. Their accounts were reinstated after Twitter users voted in favor of doing so in an earlier poll posted by Musk.