- Twitter continues to lose employees after new boss Elon Musk announced a complete restructuring of the company.
- In an ultimatum, he gave the workforce the option of sacrificing themselves for the job or quitting.
- The BBC also reported that Twitter will be closing its offices until Monday.
In a survey released by the Blind app on Friday, 42 percent of 180 respondents wanted to leave the company. Another quarter are reluctant to stay. Employees can use Blind to register with their company email and then exchange information with each other anonymously.
Musk had emailed his staff an ultimatum by Thursday evening (local time). They had to decide whether they would accept “long hours at high intensity” or whether they wanted severance pay with three months’ salary. According to Reuters, Twitter also informed its employees that offices will be closed and entry cards banned until Monday. Twitter portals remained closed on Friday and access cards were deactivated.
“In order to build the leading Twitter 2.0 of the future and thrive in an increasingly competitive world, we must be very strong,” the warning letter said. Musk also announced that Twitter would be “more engineering-focused” under his leadership.
If you want to be “part of the new Twitter”, you have to click on the corresponding link. “Whatever decision you make, we thank you for your efforts to make Twitter a success,” Musk wrote. Reuters reviewed a copy of the letter reported by The Washington Post. A person who received the message on Twitter also confirmed its content.
Many left the company
Technology portal The Verge reported that hundreds of employees quit before the company was completely restructured. An anonymous employee said in the article that several departments important to the operation of the SMS service have partially or completely disappeared. The Associated Press reports that Musk also fired a small group of programmers from the company earlier this week after they messed with him.
Politics finds clear words around the world about Musk’s direction
The turmoil on Twitter has now alarmed politicians. US senators have called on the FTC to examine the operations. Over the past few weeks, the new head of Twitter, Elon Musk, has taken troubling steps that have undermined the integrity and security of the platform.
EU Commissioner Vera Jourova also criticized the owner of the new Twitter: “We want social media that serves people and does not publish harmful content,” the vice-president of the European Commission told news portal ZDFheute.de. Musk fired “very experienced employees who, over years of consulting, understood what we wanted in Europe.”
On the sidelines of the ConCon media fair in Mainz, Jourová also threatened a fine of billions. “When Musk says no way, we also say no way,” the EU commissioner stressed. The EU will not accept if the European information space is once again poisoned by Twitter, for example through Russian propaganda. Jourova said the Digital Markets Act, which came into effect in the EU on November 1 and will be effective from May 2, 2023, gives the EU “teeth”.
The German federal government is also increasingly concerned about the development of the SMS service Twitter. Government spokesman Steffen Heppestreit said Friday in Berlin that the government has not yet decided whether ministries want to stay on Twitter. “We are watching developments on Twitter with growing concern,” he said. A number of ministries already have accounts with rival SMS service Mastodon.
In light of the developments, users are debating whether Twitter will continue to exist. The hashtag #RIPTwitter is trending on the platform as an indication that the SMS service could “die”. Data scientist Melissa Engel, who was fired by Musk, told the Technology Review portal that there was “not enough technical expertise left to keep the site running.”
Musk was quiet about the layoff late Thursday evening. “The best people remain,” he wrote on Twitter. Despite the wave of layoffs, Musk continued, the SMS service is seeing record usage.
After taking over at Twitter less than three weeks ago, Musk initially laid off half of all 7,500 full-time employees. Shortly thereafter, he eliminated the possibility of working from home.
In addition, the self-proclaimed “absolute freedom of speech” wants to relax the code of conduct and make Twitter “the most accurate source of information.” Critics fear the service will become an arena for false reports and conspiracy theories.
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