A week after he took ownership of Twitter and axed its board of directors, Elon Musk followed up with mass firings of rank-and-file employees Friday, setting off alarm bells among the woke crowd and bringing new pressure from the activist left to boycott the company.
The mass layoffs had been expected and were reported to include up to half of Twitter’s far-left labor force, the Daily Mail reported.
Musk begins mass firings at Twitter
Twitter’s offices were closed globally on Friday when workers were told via e-mail whether they made the cut, the Daily Mail reported.
“These decisions are never easy and it is with regret that we write to inform you that your role at Twitter has been impacted,” read a termination e-mail reportedly sent to some 3,700 people.
Employees began receiving e-mails Thursday night notifying them of the imminent layoffs, and some were locked out of the company’s systems before the hammer fell, according to The New York Times.
Addressing the purge Friday, Musk said he had “no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day” and said all employees let go will receive 3 months’ severance.
The breadth and severity of the firings, which affected entire departments including the “curation” team that “contextualized” breaking news for users, have led to panic on the left about Twitter being overrun with so-called “misinformation” and “hate speech” ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.
Woke mob puts the squeeze on Musk
But Musk has sent mixed signals about content moderation since the takeover, including a meeting with woke activist groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that led some to question if he was backpedaling on his pledge to prioritize free speech.
Musk’s attempts to appease the left apparently failed: the ADL and other groups responded to the mass firings Friday by ramping up pressure on advertisers to drop Twitter. Major companies like Pfizer, General Motors, and General Mills have already cut ties.
In a tweet Friday, Musk complained that “activist groups” are “trying to destroy free speech” and said their actions had already caused a “massive drop in revenue.”
“Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists,” he said. “Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”
In response to a tweet telling Musk to stop appeasing activists, Musk said, “You’re right.” But Musk also emphasized Friday evening that Twitter’s “strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged.”