Musk starts Twitter poll on Trump return

Elon Musk has started a Twitter poll asking followers to vote on whether to reinstate former US president Donald Trump's account on the platform, with early results showing roughly 60 per cent voting yes.

"Vox Populi, Vox Dei," Musk tweeted, a Latin phrase that roughly means meaning "the voice of the people is the voice of God". The poll begun late on Friday was open for 24 hours.

Musk, Twitter's new owner, said in May he would reverse Twitter's ban on Trump, whose account was suspended after last year's attack on the US Capitol.

Musk said earlier that a decision to bring back Trump's account was yet to be made, and Twitter had reinstated some controversial accounts that had been banned or suspended, including satirical website Babylon Bee and comedian Kathy Griffin.

Musk's decision to ask Twitter users for guidance on who should be on the platform is part of a huge restructuring of the company, including massive lay-offs.

In a memo on Friday to remaining employees, Musk asked those who write software code to report to the 10th floor of the Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco by early afternoon.

The billionaire said in a follow-up email: "If possible, I would appreciate it if you could fly to SF to be present in person," adding he would be at the office until midnight and would return Saturday morning.

He asked employees to email him a summary of what their software code has "achieved" in the past six months, "along with up to 10 screenshots of the most salient lines of code".

"There will be short, technical interviews that allow me to better understand the Twitter tech stack," Musk wrote.

The emails came a day after hundreds of employees were estimated to have decided to leave the beleaguered company following a Thursday deadline from Musk that staffers sign up for "long hours at high intensity".

The exodus adds to the change and chaos that have marked Musk's first three weeks as Twitter's owner. He has fired top management including former CEO Parag Agarwal and senior officials in charge of security and privacy, drawing scrutiny from a regulator.

A White House official also weighed in, saying Twitter should tell Americans how the company was protecting their data.

Tech website Platformer reported on Friday that Robin Wheeler, the company's top ad sales executive, had been fired.

Twitter told employees on Thursday it would close its offices and cut badge access until Monday, according to two sources.

Another source said the company planned to shut down one of Twitter's three main US data centres, near Sacramento, to save costs.

In his first email to Twitter employees this month, Musk warned Twitter might not be able to "survive the upcoming economic downturn".

Amid the changes, Moody's withdrew its B1 credit rating for Twitter, saying it had insufficient information to maintain the rating.