Musk’s “Hardcore” Twitter Ultimatum Backfires Spectacularly as Hundreds Resign

Elon Musk’s ultimatum this week to the rest of Twitter’s workforce — to decide to a “hardcore” work tradition with “long hours at high intensity” or depart — has backfired spectacularly as lots of of employees have opted out and are resigning, leaving the corporate with a barebones workers that will not have the capability to maintain the web site afloat.

The roughly 2,000 to three,000 employees left on the firm earlier this week had till 5 pm on Thursday to click on “sure” on a kind committing to the “hardcore” tradition — what Musk calls “Twitter 2.0” — or obtain three months severance. The Verge and The New York Instances have reported that lots of of resignations began rolling in earlier than the deadline; Fortune reported that about 75 p.c of the remaining workers opted out of “Twitter 2.0,” with many of the 25 p.c remaining on work visas, with little selection however to remain.

Musk had already laid off roughly half of the 7,500 employees on the firm shortly after he took the helm and has spent latest days firing employees who’ve criticized him on office messaging platform Slack or on Twitter, that means that there might be solely lots of of workers left on the firm.

Workers and former workers say that Musk has created a particularly dire state of affairs for the web site, basically manufacturing a ticking time bomb counting down the times — or hours — till essential capabilities cease working. The Washington Post reported after the deadline had handed that lots of the groups on essential programs — “like ‘serving tweets’ ranges of essential,” as a former worker stated — not have any workers.

“There isn’t a longer even a skeleton crew manning the system,” the worker stated. “It’ll proceed to coast till it runs into one thing, after which it’s going to cease.”

“Each mistake in code and operations is now lethal,” added a former engineer. Any workers who’ve remained “are going to be overwhelmed, overworked, and due to that extra prone to make errors.”

That Musk seems to be intent on making a poisonous work atmosphere is constant together with his administration model at his different firms. Company employees at Tesla, as an illustration, have reported a “cult-like” tradition of worshiping the multibillionaire among the many workers, whereas employees at Tesla’s California warehouse have sued several times over what they are saying is a heinous tradition of rampant racism and harassment on the warehouse ground.

Most of the groups engaged on Twitter’s content material moderation have been gutted as nicely, workers say. The vast majority of workers who labored to mitigate misinformation, spam and impersonation are gone, in line with The Washington Publish, and roughly half of the belief and security coverage workforce has resigned.

Main advertisers had already put advert campaigns on the web site on maintain, with new options and plans introduced by Musk giving advert corporations representing main manufacturers pause. Earlier than he took over, Musk pledged to revamp the platform’s content material moderation within the identify of supposed “free speech,” which led to a rise of hate speech and racial slurs on the web site.

Latest weeks have seen an extremely haphazard rollout of Twitter Blue, a paid subscription that, for some indeterminate amount of time, allowed customers to purchase a blue checkmark indicating that their account was “verified” — a designation beforehand solely allowed to distinguished political figures, journalists, and different figures that had verified their id.

This function particularly has raised issues not solely amongst advertisers — the highest income stream for the web site — but in addition Congress. On Thursday, a gaggle of six Democratic senators, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), sent a letter to the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) expressing issues in regards to the platform’s “severe, willful disregard for the protection and safety of its customers.” The letter was signed by distinguished lawmakers like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts).

The lawmakers are urging the FTC to analyze the corporate for potential breaches of the FTC’s consent decree prohibiting misrepresentation and mandating info safety on the platform, in addition to for potential violations of client safety legal guidelines.

Musk “has taken alarming steps which have undermined the integrity and security of the platform, and introduced new options regardless of clear warnings these modifications could be abused for fraud, scams, and harmful impersonation,” the lawmakers wrote. “Twitter knew upfront that there was excessive probability the Twitter Blue product might be used for fraud, and nonetheless it took no motion to forestall customers from being harmed.”