Elon Musk unveils new Twitter Blue policy after humiliating poll results

San Francisco, California - Free speech is no longer free on Twitter, after Elon Musk announced that only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to vote in future policy-related polls on the platform.

Elon Musk announced that only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to vote in future policy-related polls on the platform.
Elon Musk announced that only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to vote in future policy-related polls on the platform.  © REUTERS

They were Musk's first comments since millions of users voted for him to step down as chief executive of the site.

On Sunday, the Tesla boss said he would "abide by" the result of his poll asking Twitter users whether he should step down.

The result was confirmed on Monday morning, with 57.5% of the more than 17.5 million accounts that voted saying he should withdraw from his role.

LeBron James weighs in on son Bronny's NBA draft decision
Bronny James LeBron James weighs in on son Bronny's NBA draft decision

That seemed to have shut up Musk – who normally tweets with every breath – but his silence was finally broken late Monday, when he responded "Interesting" to a suggestion from convicted fraudster Kim Dotcom, founder of the once wildly popular file-sharing website Megaupload, that the results of the poll were skewed by fake accounts.

Replying to another user's suggestion that "Blue subscribers should be the only ones that can vote in policy related polls", Musk said: "Good point. Twitter will make that change."

Musk will now prioritize the voice of the people who buy Twitter Blue

Muk's poll on whether he should step down as Twitter CEO didn't go as expected.
Muk's poll on whether he should step down as Twitter CEO didn't go as expected.  © Chris Delmas / AFP

Twitter Blue is a paid-for subscription which allows anyone to buy a blue tick verified badge for their account.

Musk's poll on Sunday night came after weeks of controversial decisions.

These have included loosening Twitter's content moderation approach and allowing previously banned users – many of them far-right – to return, BUT also banning and then reinstating some journalists reporting on Musk. He also briefly introduced and then scrapped a policy which banned users from tweeting links to certain other social media platforms.

Selena Gomez drops another sultry look at new single: "L'amour tendre"
Selena Gomez Selena Gomez drops another sultry look at new single: "L'amour tendre"

Many online safety groups have accused the billionaire of allowing hate, abuse, and misinformation to more easily circulate on the platform, all while occasionally stoking conspiracy theories and far-right talking points himself.

While it remains unclear who could replace Musk if he does step down, several commentators have noted that the billionaire would still have the final say on major decisions as Twitter's owner.

Cover photo: REUTERS

More on Elon Musk: