Mass resignations hit Twitter as Musk ‘temporarily shuts’ offices - GulfToday

Mass resignations hit Twitter as Musk ‘temporarily shuts’ offices


Attendees mingle during a break at the first annual Chirp, Twitter Developer's Conference in San Francisco. File / AFP

In yet another mayhem at Twitter, hundreds of employees have resigned ahead of the deadline given to them by Elon Musk to either agree to his “extremely hardcore” way of work or quit the company.

Musk on Friday said he had reinstated certain banned accounts on his site, but said no decision was made on welcoming back former US president Donald Trump.

Musk tweeted that the accounts of comedian Kathy Griffin, psychologist Jordan Peterson and conservative parody site Babylon Bee "have been reinstated," but that the "Trump decision has not yet been made."

Hundreds of employees signalled they were leaving ahead of a Thursday (US time) 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-Twitter This combination of file pictures shows Musk and the Twitter logo outside their headquarters in San Francisco. AFP

“The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried,” Musk tweeted on Thursday night in response to the widespread departures.

“I may be #exceptional, but gosh darn it, I’m just not #hardcore,” tweeted one former employee, Andrea Horst, whose LinkedIn profile still reads “Supply Chain & Capacity Management (Survivor) @Twitter.” She added the hashtag “#lovewhereyouworked,” as did many other employees announcing their choice.


Musk, also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has come under fire for radical changes at the social media company, which he bought for $44 billion late last month.

He had already fired half of the company’s 7,500 staff, scrapped a work-from-home policy and imposed long hours, all while his attempts to overhaul Twitter have faced chaos and delays.

Twitter leadership sent an unsigned email after the deadline announcing that offices would be closed and employee badge access disabled until Monday. No reason was given, according to the employee who took the voluntary layoff on Thursday.

“To all the Tweeps who decided to make today your last day: thanks for being incredible teammates through the ups and downs. I can’t wait to see what you do next,” tweeted one employee, Esther Crawford, who is remaining at the company and has been working on the overhaul of the platform’s verification system.

For employees posting on internal Slack channels, it was not always possible to tell if they were posting salute emojis because they were leaving or out of solidarity with departing colleagues, according to a current employee who spoke on condition of anonymity out of job security concerns, and also an employee taking the voluntary layoff who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality required to get severance pay.

A number of employees also used a private forum outside of the company’s messaging board to discuss their planned departure, asking questions about how it might jeopardise their US visas or if they would get the promised severance pay, according to an employee fired earlier this week.

“And just like that, after 12 years, I have left Twitter. I have nothing but love for all my fellow tweeps, past and present. A thousand faces and a thousand scenes are flashing through my mind right now — I love you Twitter and I’ll forever bleed blue,” posted Satanjeev Banerjee from San Francisco.

“After the deadline hit, hundreds of employees quickly started posting farewell messages and saluting emojis in Twitter’s Slack, announcing that they had said no to Musk’s ultimatum,” reports The Verge. “I have worked here at Twitter for over 11 years. Back in July, I was the 27th most tenured employee at the company. Now I’m the 15th,” posted one employee in Twitter’s Slack.

“I’m not pressing the (yes) button. My watch ends with Twitter 1.0. I do not wish to be part of Twitter 2.0,” another posted.


Much of the fevered talk driving engagement on Twitter late on Thursday was concerning the possibility of the site’s imminent demise. Musk noted the irony by posting the popular meme of an actor jokingly posing over a grave. Both the man and the tombstone were overlaid with Twitter’s logo. The post was “liked” by more than 1 million users.

In a later tweet, sent during Friday’s early hours on the West Coast, the billionaire said: “Record numbers of users are logging in to see if Twitter is dead, ironically making it more alive than ever!”

The troubled social media network’s management told employees on Thursday that offices were temporarily closed and inaccessible, even with a badge, according to Zoe Schiffer, a journalist for the tech industry newsletter Platformer. Schiffer said that Twitter offices will reopen on Nov.21.

“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” Musk wrote in the ultimatum, an internal memo sent on Wednesday and seen by AFP.

“This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade,” he added.


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