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A week after the announcement of the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, the social network began, on Friday, a wave of layoffs around the world. About 50% of the staff will be affected. At the same time, the company temporarily closed its offices.
This is one of the first steps of the new head of Twitter, Elon Musk. Thousands of company employees were ordered to stay at home on Friday, November 4, to find out by e-mail whether they kept their jobs or not.
Twitter, which was acquired by Elon Musk last week, could see its payroll cut in half. To help ensure the safety of each employee and Twitter’s systems and data, our offices will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended,” the California-based company said Thursday in an internal email. the company saw. AFP.
The message indicates to employees that they will be informed by email whether or not their job has been eliminated, without specifying the number of positions concerned.
According to the Washington Post, Twitter’s new boss plans to lay off about 50% of the group’s roughly 7,500 employees. The information confirmed by AFP, which was able to consult a document sent to employees who were thanked on Friday.
As soon as he came to power, he dissolved the board of directors and fired the general manager and other top officials.
Shortly after the layoffs were announced, Twitter employees took to the social network to express their job cuts, sometimes using the hashtags #LoveWhereYouWork and #OneTeam. ).
“Has it started? Happy dismissal eve”, launched Thursday evening Rumman Chowdhury, who presents himself on LinkedIn as director of ethics in machine learning on Twitter, accompanying his publication with a screenshot showing that Access to his work email was rejected.
“All my thoughts, my respect, my strength and my love to the tweeps (nicknames of Twitter employees, editor’s note) around the world today. Together we have built the most incredible application on the planet”, wrote for his part Damien Viel , the general manager of Twitter France, on Friday.
💙 all my thoughts, respect, strength and love to all tweeps around the world today. Together we built the most incredible app on the planet. Let’s be proud of everything we’ve done and how it’s been done 🙏🏻 #lovewhereyouwork
— damien viel (@damienviel) November 4, 2022
A company with a lot of debt
Overnight on Thursday, five recently fired Twitter employees filed a class action lawsuit against the company for not receiving the 60-day notice period required by US law for layoffs. very large (Warn Act), according to the text of the complaint consulted by AFP.
To finance his $44 billion takeover, the flamboyant billionaire heavily lent to the company whose financial health was already fragile as it posted huge deficits in the first two quarters of the year.
Elon Musk contracted loans worth 13 billion dollars, which had to be paid by Twitter and not by the boss of Tesla. He also sold about $15.5 billion of his shares in the electric car maker in two waves, in April and August, and backed loans worth $12.5 billion in his Tesla securities.
On Friday, Elon Musk blamed Twitter’s revenue decline on “a group of activists who pressured advertisers even though nothing changed in content moderation and we did everything we could to silence the activists.”
Twitter’s revenue has dropped significantly, due to activist groups’ pressure on advertisers, even though nothing has changed in content moderation and we’ve done our best to appeal to activists.
It’s a mess! They are trying to destroy free speech in America.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
“This is really nonsense! They are trying to destroy free speech in America,” he concluded in his tweet. The new boss of Twitter must really face the concern of many advertisers, who think about the dangers of relaxing content moderation and a greater place given to hate or violent speech.
Several groups have already decided to suspend advertising spending on Twitter, including American agribusiness giant General Mills, American car manufacturer General Motors and its German competitor Volkswagen.
One of the main ideas presented by Elon Musk since its acquisition is the establishment of an 8 dollar per month subscription that allows users to verify their account, to be less exposed to advertising and to benefit from various other advantages. However, this project has raised a lot of criticism and caution, especially among users who already have a verified account.