Twitter lays off workers as Musk blames activists for ‘massive’ drop in ad revenue

Twitter lays off workers as Musk blames activists for 'massive' drop in ad revenue
Written by admin

  • Musk is trying to ax half of Twitter’s workforce
  • Employees are filing a criminal case against Twitter
  • Employees lose access to systems
  • Volkswagen makes commercials

Nov 4 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc began a major round of layoffs on Friday, warning employees of their job statuses by email after barring access to offices and cutting off workers’ access to internal systems overnight.

The move follows a week of chaos and uncertainty over the company’s future under the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, who tweeted on Friday that the service was experiencing a “huge drop in revenue” as advertisers took a hit.

Musk blamed the losses on a coalition of civil rights groups that pressured Twitter’s top advertisers to take action if it did not maintain content moderation. The groups said they were stepping up their pressure on Friday, demanding that brands pull their Twitter ads globally.

“To put Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of laying off our global workforce on Friday,” Twitter said in an email to employees Thursday announcing the layoffs. Reuters.

The company remained silent on the depth of the cuts internal plans A report reviewed by Reuters this week showed Musk wants to lay off about 3,700 Twitter employees, or about half of its workforce.

Employees in engineering, communications, product, content curation and machine learning ethics were among those who were laid off, according to tweets from Twitter employees.

Twitter’s acting chief of human rights, attorney Shannon Raj Singh, tweeted Friday that the company’s entire human rights team has been laid off.

Musk promised to restore free speech While preventing Twitter from descending into a ‘hellscape’. However, he could not be calmed down major advertiserswho has been expressing concern about its capture for months.

Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) recommended brands stop paid advertising Until further notice on Twitter following Musk’s takeover on Friday. His comments echoed similar statements from other companies, including General Motors Co (GM.N) and General Mills Inc (GIS.N).

Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, part of the civil rights coalition, said he was aware of two other major advertisers preparing to announce they would stop advertising on the platform.

Musk tweeted that his team had made no changes to content moderation and was doing “everything we could” to appease the groups. “It’s so messed up! They (civil rights groups) are trying to destroy free speech in America.”

Speaking at an investor conference in New York on Friday, Musk called the pressure from activists “an attack on the First Amendment.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Dozens of employees tweeted that they had lost access to work email and Slack channels before receiving official notice, which they took as a sign they were fired.

They tweeted blue hearts and hello emojis expressing support for each other, using the hashtags #OneTeam and #LoveWhereYouWorked, a past-tense version of a slogan employees have used for years to celebrate the company’s work culture.

Twitter’s curation team, responsible for highlighting and contextualizing the best events and stories happening on Twitter, has been fired, employees said on the platform. The company’s communications team in India has also been cut, Twitter’s Asia executive said.

A team focused on investigating how Twitter uses algorithms, a priority for Musk, was also eliminated, according to a tweet from a former top Twitter executive.

Senior executives, including vice president of engineering Arnaud Weber, also said goodbye on Twitter on Friday: “Twitter still has a lot of untapped potential, but I’m proud of what we’ve achieved,” he said.

Employees at Twitter Blue, the premium subscription service that Musk is boosting, have also been let go. An employee named “SillyRobin,” who reported being fired, quoted Musk’s previous tweet as saying that Twitter Blue would include “paywall bypass” for some publishers.

“To be clear, he fired the team working on it,” the employee said.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of Safety & Integrity, appeared to keep his job, as did Keith Coleman, VP of Product, who launched Birdwatch, a tool for users to flag tweets they identified as deceptive.

Last week, Musk endorsed Roth, citing his “high integrity” after Roth was called out years ago for tweets critical of former US President Donald Trump. Musk also tweeted that he liked Birdwatch.

Roth and Coleman did not respond to requests for comment.


In an email to employees, Twitter said it would temporarily close offices and suspend access to icons “to ensure the security of each employee, as well as Twitter’s systems and customer data.”

Offices in London and Dublin appeared empty on Friday, with no staff in sight. Any evidence that Twitter once occupied the building at its London office has been removed.

A receptionist at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters said several people had come in and were working on the floors above despite a stay-away notice.

It was a class act given filed against Twitter on Thursday, alleging the company violated federal and California law by laying off workers without the required 60-day advance notice.

The suit also asked a federal court in San Francisco to grant an injunction to restrict Twitter from asking employees to sign documents without informing them of the pending case.

Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas, Katie Paul in Palo Alto, CA and Paresh Dave in Oakland, CA. Additional reporting by Fanny Potkin, Rusharti Mukherjee, Aditya Kalra, Martin Coulter, Hyunjoo Jin, Supantha Mukherjee and Arriana McLymore Writing by Matt Scuffham Editing by Kenneth Lee, Jason Neely and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Paresh Dave

Thomson Reuters

A tech reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area covering Google and the rest of Alphabet Inc. He joined Reuters in 2017 after four years at the Los Angeles Times, focusing on the local technology industry.

About the author


Leave a Comment