At least 50% of the workforce has been impacted by the company-wide mass layoffs, confirmed the Head of Safety and Integrity at Twitter, Yoel Roth. While also addressing speculations about the social media platform’s content moderation capabilities which he claims have remained in place.
Meanwhile, the Tesla CEO and the microblogging platform’s “Complaint Hotline Operator” as he calls himself, Elon Musk, addressed the layoffs and said that “unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day”, in a tweet. He added that everyone who has been fired was offered three months of severance he said was 50 per cent more than what was legally required.
This comes days after Musk took over the microblogging platform and had earlier remarked that the company is witnessing a “massive” drop in revenue which he has blamed on “activist groups” who are apparently pressuring the advertisers. Advertisements account for almost 90 per cent of Twitter’s revenue.
According to reports, several companies including Audi, General Motors, Pfizer and so on have suspended ads on Twitter after the Tesla CEO took over and amid speculations, he will scale back on the security protections of the platform. In a series of tweets, Roth spoke about Twitter’s Trust and Safety and moderation capacity and where it stands today.
In subsequent tweets, he said, “Yesterday’s reduction in force affected approximately 15% of our Trust & Safety organization (as opposed to approximately 50 per cent cuts company-wide), with our front-line moderation staff experiencing the least impact.”
These mass layoffs come ahead of the United States midterm elections which raised concerns regarding its ability to counter misinformation. As several media reports have indicated thousands of Twitter employees have lost their jobs across departments ranging from communications, and content curation to marketing and engineering.
In another tweet, Roth also said that their “efforts on election integrity — including harmful misinformation that can suppress the vote and combatting state-backed information operations — remain a top priority.” Musk also shared the series of tweets and said “Excellent summary of Twitter’s Trust & Safety from the head of the team”, and in another statement reiterated the following:
This comes a day after the company via an email informed its employees that, “In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday.” It added, “We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward.”
During this time Twitter offices had also been shut and badge access suspended, on early Friday, several reports emerged of employees being locked out of their laptops, company Gmail accounts as well as Slack accounts (a messaging app). The layoffs also come after Musk acquired the social media platform for $44 billion and is reportedly trying to make the platform profitable.