Elon Musk admits to a ‘massive reduction’ in revenue, prompting Twitter layoffs3 min read
Twitter temporarily closed its headquarters and restricted employees’ access to internal systems on Friday, a week after billionaire Elon Musk took over the social media network.
Musk announced the layoffs shortly after tweeting that the firm had seen “a big loss in revenue, due to activist groups pressing advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content filtering and we done everything we could to placate the activists.” Totally messed up! They are attempting to undermine free speech in America.”
According to internal sources, the “entire” curation team on Twitter had been fired, while system lockouts made confirmation difficult. Twitter’s curation staff is critical in covering “civic integrity” events like elections, breaking news, and sports, ensuring users receive validated content presented as moments, trends, and subjects items. Internally, it is seen as a critical filter against deceptive posts.
Flags from partner news organisations concerning probable misrepresentation on the platform, according to the staffer, went unanswered. “The platform is going to grow more poisonous with less healthy information to challenge the disinformation or misinformation narratives,” stated an anonymous employee.
Some employees awakened on Friday to find their laptops locked and their access to business Gmail and Slack terminated. “Well, this isn’t looking promising,” Chris Younie, who works for Twitter in entertainment partnerships in the UK, tweeted. I’m unable to access my emails. Mac will not turn on. But I’m grateful that this is happening at 3 a.m. I really appreciate your consideration on the time front, gentlemen…”
The policy on misleading content on Twitter involves labelling disputed posts and highlighting contextualising information next to such messages. The employee stated that they were notified through email that their position was being reviewed.
The layoffs were announced in an email to employees on Thursday. “We will go through the arduous process of decreasing our global workforce in order to put Twitter on a healthy path,” the email added. “We know that this will have an impact on a lot of individuals who have made significant contributions to Twitter, but this move is unfortunately required to ensure the company’s continued success.”
The abrupt manner of the layoffs may have also violated California employment law, and Musk is already facing legal action.
Employers with at least 100 employees are required to declare layoffs involving 500 or more employees under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (Warn) legislation, regardless of whether the company is publicly listed or privately held.
According to Barry White, a representative for California’s workforce development department, the government has not received any such notices from Twitter as of Thursday.
Former Twitter senior community manager Simon Balmain told the Guardian he was “shocked, but not surprised” by the company’s rapid employment layoffs. “I had finished work but still had my laptop open and we all received an email from the employer announcing a reduction in head count,” said Balmain, who had been with the company for a year. My laptop flashed and was deleted an hour later, and I lost access to my programmes.”
Twitter employees have been pushed to work 84-hour weeks and managers have slept at the office over the weekend in order to meet Elon Musk’s strict deadlines.