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Innovation

The layoffs have started at Elon Musk's Twitter

Twitter is temporarily closing its offices as it plans to announce mass layoffs around the world.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on
elon-musk-twitter
Image: Getty/Anadolu Agency

Twitter has warned staff around the world to expect an email at 9AM PST Friday regarding "Your Role at Twitter" amidst rumours of expected mass layoffs. 

Washington Post reporter Will Oremus published the email sent to Twitter staff on Thursday after many reports that Twitter's new owner Elon Musk planned to cull 50% of its roughly 7,000 worldwide headcount. 

The email states: "If your employment is not impacted, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email. If your employment is impacted, you will receive a notification with next steps via your personal email."

It also told employees that it will temporarily close its offices and suspend badge access in order to ensure the safety of employees as well as Twitter systems and customer data. 

It has asked employees to not discuss confidential Twitter information on social media, with the press or elsewhere. 

Instead of addressing any of the layoff rumors, Musk took to Twitter to rant about activist groups pressuring advertisers and these groups "trying to destroy free speech in America". 

In only 40 minutes of being posted, the Tweet has garnered 32 thousand responses from users who are expressing frustration, confusion or humorous memes poking fun at the entire ordeal. 

Musk has proposed several sweeping changes to Twitter since acquiring it last week for $44 billion. He's also changed his profile name from "Chief Twit" to "Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator" since proposing to charge $8 a month for verified users to retain their Twitter blue check. 

His latest survey asks users whether advertisers should support freedom of speech or political correctness. He had been considering ending Twitter's permanent ban on former US president Donald Trump, but last week sought to reassure advertisers that it won't be a "free-for-all hellscape". After that, General Motors suspended advertising on Twitter and the Wall Street Journal has reported that General Mills and Audi have too, with sources saying Pfizer and Modelez plan to, too.  

Per Reuters, Musk has asked Twitter's teams to slash infrastructure costs by $1 billion by cutting between $1.5 million and $3 million a day from servers and cloud services.   

Musk is also looking at bringing back Twitter's short-form video service Vine, which the company killed in 2016, but now looks promising in light of TikTok's impact on the social media landscape.  

Also: Pay-to-play Twitter verification? No thanks, but here's what I would pay for   

Platformer reports that Revue, a newsletter platform Twitter bought in 2021, will be shut down by the end of the year, while the New York Times reported Twitter is exploring whether to let users pay to send direct messages to high-profile users. 

Per The Guardian, Twitter staff on Thursday evening began reporting on the platform that they'd lost access to their email, laptops and company Slack accounts.

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