Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, has defended firing roughly half the staff by claiming that he had “no choice” because the company was losing more than $4 million (£3.5 million) each day. Elon musk fired half of the twitter’s employees, causing frustration and confusion.
Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, mentioned “about 50% reduction company-wide” in a tweet.
However, Mr. Musk insisted that the social media juggernaut’s dedication to content monitoring remained “completely unaltered.” The largest individual in the world, Mr. Musk, acquired Twitter for $44 billion (£38.7 billion).
In his tweet, the billionaire asserted that all employees who lost their employment had been given three months’ worth of severance compensation, “which is 50% more than legally required.”
Thousands of Twitter employees across the globe were reportedly losing their jobs on Friday, prompting concerns about what would become of the staff members in charge of removing dangerous content.
Online safety organizations and activists have speculated that Mr. Musk may rescind the permanent Twitter bans imposed on controversial personalities like former president Donald Trump and soften moderation measures.
Musk’s remarks on Friday, in which he attempted to attribute Twitter’s “huge loss in revenue” to “activist groups” that were “trying to kill free speech in America,” fueled these worries.
However, Mr. Roth later that day indicated that the majority of the more than 2,000 content moderators engaged in “front-line review” were unaffected.
He claimed that a “reduction in force” affected 15% of the staff in Twitter’s trust and safety department, as opposed to what he said was a 50% drop throughout the entire organization.
Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.
Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
Combating false information was still a “high concern” during the US midterm elections, said Mr. Roth. On Tuesday, the majority of Americans will cast ballots in an important presidential election.
On Friday, the president expressed his worry over the transaction, stating “Elon Musk goes out and purchases a company that broadcasts lies around the globe… How can we expect children to comprehend the issues involved?”
Notices sent by Twitter to officials in California revealed that around 983 staff members were being laid off in one US state alone as the scope of the employment layoffs became more apparent.
According to documents viewed by the BBC, it involves 784 employees in San Francisco, 106 in San Jose, and 93 in Los Angeles.
The widespread job layoffs were “sadly essential to safeguard the company’s success moving forward,” according to an internal email delivered to employees earlier on Friday. Employees who had been logged out on work laptops and the chat app Slack confirmed it on Twitter.
Again, to be crystal clear, Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged.
In fact, we have actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline *below* our prior norms, contrary to what you may read in the press.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
In posts on the platform, many employees disclosed that they had been let go, creating an image of global layoffs that affected divisions ranging from marketing to engineering. Employees in product development, content curation, and communications were among them.
According to a tweet from a former senior manager at the business, a team that concentrated on research into how Twitter employs algorithms — a problem that was a priority for Mr. Musk — was also fired. However, that was later refuted.
Volkswagen is one of the companies that has stopped investing in Twitter since Elon Musk acquired the social media platform. Currently, almost all of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising.
The largest automaker in Europe stated, “We are actively following the situation and will decide about further steps depending on its evolution. General Mills, a food maker and owner of the Lucky Charms and Cheerios brands followed suit on Thursday.”
— Tara Parker-Pope (@taraparkerpope) November 5, 2022
It stated that it intended to “review [its] marketing budget” and that it would continue to watch Twitter’s “new course”.
General Motors, Audi, the pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer, and other companies have also suspended their paid advertising on the platform.
Mr. Musk has been exploring methods to reduce expenses and profit from the platform in various ways. One of his ideas is to charge customers a monthly subscription fee to be verified on the network.
Additionally, he suggested that users who paid the $8 monthly charge would have their Tweets prioritized in responses, mentions, and searches. This proposal drew criticism from some users on Twitter who said that he was establishing a two-tier system that would favor those who were prepared to pay.
“The areas of Twitter impacted the most by Musk’s cuts include its product trust and safety, policy, communications, tweet curation, ethical AI, data science, research, machine learning, social good, accessibility, and even certain core engineering teams.” https://t.co/zHASUQH6tr
— Matthew Herper (@matthewherper) November 5, 2022
On Thursday, Twitter employees filed a class action complaint alleging that the business was violating federal and Californian law by making significant job layoffs without providing 60 days’ notice.
One week after being acquired by billionaire Elon Musk, Twitter on Friday announced the layoff of thousands of employees across the board in a dramatic round of cost-cutting that could potentially change the way one of the most important platforms runs.
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