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Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter: The company is laying off ‘about 50%’ of its employees

The company, bought by Elon Musk, began a wave of layoffs and announced the temporary closure of its offices.

“As announced earlier today, Twitter is cutting its workforce to help improve business health. These decisions are never easy and we are sorry to write to let you know that your Twitter post has been affected. Today is your last day at work (…),” reads one of the letters seen by AFP.

On Thursday evening, Twitter wrote to all of its employees to warn them of impending layoffs, informing them that offices will be “temporarily closed” and access to passes “suspended” to “ensure the safety of every employee and Twitter’s systems and data.”

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“Love for Tweeps”

As of last Thursday, when Elon Musk took control of the company, he dissolved the board of directors, fired executives, took over as CEO and took the company off the stock exchange.

Shortly after the layoffs were announced, Twitter employees took to social media to announce their job cuts, sometimes using the hashtags #LoveWhereYouWork and #OneTeam. “All my thoughts, my respect, my energy and my love for twips (nickname of Twitter employees, approx. ed.) around the world today. Together we have built the most incredible app on the planet,” wrote Damien Ville, general manager of Twitter France, for example, on Friday.

Late Thursday, five recently fired Twitter employees filed a class action lawsuit against the company for failing to receive the 60-day notice period required by the U.S. Warn Act, according to a complaint file seen by AFP. Managers, as well as marketing and design departments, were particularly affected, according to an employee who asked to remain anonymous.

Elon Musk, who first renamed himself “Chief Twit” (“twit” means “nerd” in English) and then “Twitter hotline operator,” invited Tesla developers on Friday to get a look at the work of Twitter employees.

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“Real Time Destruction”

It also launched an overhaul of several products, including a paid subscription and an account authentication system, and set a steady pace. Several engineers slept in the office for several nights.

Thus, the change in corporate culture is confirmed: several executives left this week of their own free will, and more than 700 people have already left this summer of their own free will, according to one employee. We are witnessing the destruction in real time of one of the most powerful communications systems in the world. Elon Musk is an unpredictable and inconsistent billionaire, he is a danger to this platform, which he has no right to lead,” Nicole Gill, co-founder of Accountable Tech, one of the non-governmental organizations that called on advertisers to put pressure on the new bosses, responded. Because the libertarian entrepreneur champions the concept of freedom of expression, which requires loosening the platform’s content moderation rules, risking, according to his critics, opening the door to a resurgence of abuse (harassment, hate speech, disinformation…).

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“This is complete nonsense! »

Several groups have already decided to suspend spending on Twitter ads, including US agribusiness giant General Mills, US automaker General Motors and its German rival Volkswagen.

On Friday, Musk blamed Twitter’s drop in revenue on “a group of activists who lobbied for advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation, and we’ve done everything we can to appease the activists.” “This is complete nonsense! They are trying to destroy free speech in America,” added the cheerful 50-year-old.

Bought by Elon Musk last week, the California company, which at the end of October had almost 7,500 employees, began a wave of layoffs around the world and announced the temporary closure of its offices.

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