Workers Bolting Twitter After Musk Takeover

Workers Bolting Twitter After Musk Takeover (Newsmax)

By Solange Reyner | Friday, 18 November 2022 02:32 PM EST

Twitter has reportedly lost 90% of its staff since Elon Musk's takeover as CEO.

Musk also announced Twitter's new policy on freedom of speech, saying negative or hate tweets will be "max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter. … You won't find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet," he tweeted.

The news comes a day after Twitter told workers they were locked out of offices until Monday, though Musk sent an email out early Friday asking that any employees who write software code report to the 10th floor of Twitter's office in San Francisco at 2 p.m.

Musk last week gave staff an ultimatum to sign up for "extremely hardcore … long hard hours" or leave the company with severance pay.

Hundreds of employees signaled they were leaving before the Thursday deadline set by Musk, posting farewell messages, a salute emoji or other symbols familiar to Twitter workers on the company's internal Slack messaging board, according to employees who still have access to the board. Dozens also took publicly to Twitter to announce they were signing off after the deadline.

Musk on Friday said the accounts of Kathy Griffin, Jordan Peterson and the Babylon Bee had been reinstated on the social media platform, though a decision on former President Donald Trump's account had not been made.

Twitter had 7,500 employees before Musk's $44 billion takeover, but Musk has laid off about half of the workforce; roughly 2,900 employees were still there before Thursday's deadline. "Multiple critical teams" at Twitter have now either completely or nearly completely resigned, according to a person who spoke with the Hill.

"The best people are staying, so I'm not super worried," Musk tweeted Thursday night in response to the widespread departures, which include many engineers responsible for fixing bugs and preventing service outages, raising questions about the stability of the platform amid the loss of employees.

On Thursday night, the version of the Twitter app used by employees began slowing down, according to one source familiar with the matter, who estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of breaking during the night.

"If it does break, there is no one left to fix things in many areas," the person said, who declined to be named for fear of retribution.

Twitter's London headquarters was also abandoned Friday after Musk's email, with the union representing the U.K. staff demanding answers, reports The Daily Mail.

"We are deeply concerned by further reports of the treatment of Twitter employees. From removal of remote working, demanding commitment to long hours and unsustainable working practices, and now locking employees out of their offices," U.K. General Secretary Mike Clancy said.

"Big Tech barons are not above the law, and we will hold Twitter to legal account where possible." As the resignations rolled in, Musk joked on Twitter: "How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one."

Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was used in this report.