- Musk is about to cut about half of Twitter’s workforce
- Employees file class action lawsuit against Twitter
- Staff lose access to systems
- Volkswagen withdraws advertisement
Nov. 4 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc announced in an email after it began mass layoffs on Friday, barring entry to its offices and cutting off employee access to internal systems overnight. I alerted to the work situation.
The move follows a week of turmoil and uncertainty over the company’s future under new owner Elon Musk, the richest man in the world.
Musk blamed the losses on a coalition of civil rights groups that have pressured Twitter’s top advertiser to take action if he doesn’t protect its content moderation. The group said on Friday it was escalating their pressure and demanding brands withdraw their Twitter ads globally.
“We will be going through an arduous process of reducing our workforce around the world on Friday to keep Twitter on a healthy trajectory,” Twitter said in an email to staff Thursday night, confirming the layoffs that took place on Friday. announced. Reuters.
The company has been quiet about the size of the cuts, but Musk was considering cutting about 3,700 Twitter staff, or about half of its workforce, according to internal plans reviewed by Reuters this week.
Staff working in engineering, communications, product, content curation and machine learning ethics were affected by the layoffs, according to Twitter staff tweets.
Lawyer Shannon Raj Singh, who has served as acting head of Twitter’s human rights department, tweeted on Friday that the company’s entire human rights team had been fired.
Musk promised to restore free speech while preventing Twitter from descending into a “hellscape”. But his reassurance failed to calm down the big advertisers, who have expressed concerns about his acquisition for months.
Following its Musk acquisition, Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) said on Friday it has recommended its brands suspend paid advertising on Twitter until further notice. The company’s comments echo similar statements from other companies, including General Motors (GM.N) and General Mills (GIS.N).
Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, part of the Civil Rights Coalition, said he knows two major advertisers preparing to announce a moratorium on advertising on their platforms.
Musk tweeted that his team made no changes to content moderation and did “everything they could” to appease the group. You’re trying to destroy your freedom.”
At an investor conference in New York on Friday, Musk called the activist pressure an “attack on the First Amendment.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Access to system disconnect
Dozens of staff tweeted that they had lost access to work emails and Slack channels before receiving official notice.
They used the hashtags #OneTeam and #LoveWhereYouWorked to tweet a blue heart and salute emoji to show their support for each other.
Twitter’s curation team responsible for “highlighting and contextualizing the best events and stories unfolding on Twitter” has been laid off, an employee said on the platform. communications team was also laid off.
A team focused on researching how Twitter employs algorithms has also been eliminated, according to a tweet by a former Twitter senior manager.
Senior executives, including vice president of engineering Arnaud Weber, also parted ways on Twitter on Friday.
Employees at Twitter Blue, a premium subscription service Musk is powering, have also been laid off. An employee with the handle “SillyRobin” who suggested he was fired tweeted, citing Musk’s previous tweet that Twitter Blue includes a “paywall he bypasses” for certain publishers. Did.
“To be clear, he fired the team working on this,” the employee said.
Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, said he, as did Keith Coleman, vice president of the product, who launched a tool called Birdwatch for users to make notes on tweets they deemed misleading. seemed to be continuing his work.
Musk endorsed Ross last week, citing his “high integrity” after he was accused of tweeting criticism of former President Donald Trump years ago. Musk tweets that he loves Birdwatch.
Roth and Coleman did not respond to requests for comment.
In an email to employees, Twitter said it was temporarily closing its offices and suspending access to badges “to ensure the security of each employee, Twitter’s systems and customer data.”
The London and Dublin offices were empty on Friday and no employees were in sight. At its London offices, all evidence of Twitter’s previous occupation of the building has been wiped.
A receptionist at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters said several people were trickling in and working upstairs despite notices to stay away.
On Thursday, employees filed a class action lawsuit against Twitter in violation of federal and California law, alleging that it was conducting mass layoffs without providing the required 60 days’ notice.
The lawsuit also asked the San Francisco federal court to issue an order limiting Twitter’s ability to solicit dismissed employees to sign documents without notifying them that a lawsuit is pending.
Reporting by Sheila Dunn of Dallas, Katie Paul of Palo Alto, CA and Paresh Dave of Oakland, CA.Additional reporting by Fanny Potkin, Rushalti Mukherjee, Aditya Carla, Martin Coulter, Hyunju Jin, Spantha Mukherjee, Arianna McLymore Written by Matt Scuffham Editing by Kenneth Lee, Jason Neely, Matthew Lewis
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