Elon Musk cares a lot about Twitter. He’s among the platform’s biggest shitposters, critics and now investors. Last night, his deep love for the social network prompted him to act on a particularly touchy subject: the edit button.
“Do you want an edit button?” Musk asked his 80 million followers in a Twitter poll Monday night. The majority have indicated “yes” (although it was humorously misspelled as “yse”) so far.
On a typical day, the poll wouldn’t really be a big deal. Musk has polled his followers before on everything from Twitter’s algorithm to whether he should sell some of his Tesla stock (OK, the latter poll was actually a big deal). But Musk now owns 9% of Twitter, and (perhaps relatedly!) this survey caught the eye of Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. And Agrawal — who is notably not a shitposter — weighed in.
The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1511143607385874434\u00a0\u2026— Parag Agrawal (@Parag Agrawal) 1649121795
Well, making it all the more confusing is the way Twitter announced an edit button plan last week on April 1. Haha, funny! Obviously Twitter never confirmed whether it was definitely an April Fools' joke, but it told Reuters on Friday that it “may edit our statement later.” Helpful! Then Michael Sayman, a product lead at Twitter, made it all the more confusing by bringing together Musk's poll and the April 1 plans: “For those asking about the edit button, we have an official statement posted on April 1."
Still, whatever happens with an edit button on Twitter doesn’t really matter in this situation. The point is that Musk's thoughts about Twitter matter, and leaders of the platform are learning either to play along with a highly influential shitposter or respond to the whims of a major shareholder.
Musk's plans to be a passive investor in the company mean he likely wouldn’t seek a takeover. (Probably? Though who knows, really.) But while he may be giving some thought to his own social media company, his recent moves and criticism indicates that he might still want to change the platform that already exists — one tweet at a time.