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Twitter’s heartless layoffs: the cruel side of technology industry

While layoffs have enveloped the most prominent companies in the deep economic crisis, the worst kind seen is Twitter. Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform has caused a series of chaotic events, including massive and brutal layoffs and controversies over free speech.

Elon Musk has changed the demography of Twitter after its acquisition in a few hours, on Musk purchased twitter for 44 Billion USD, followed by reinstating ex-president Donald Trump on Twitter, and laying off employees without prior announcement has made hell break loose.

It is safe to say that the number of workers quitting has been in direct proportion with Musk making his way into the Twitter headquarters.

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After his ownership, he immediately announced a 75 percent layoff of the staff. Speculations state that 60 percent of the staff were handed the pink slip and were further rehired by Meta and Google.

After his takeover, Musk fired Twitter’s CEO Parag Agarwal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, and Chief legal counsel Vijaya Gadde. The main reason for the layoffs of the employees in the prominent position was attributed to them misleading him about the number of fake accounts on the Twitter platform.

In addition, he fired the entire board of directors, making him the sole director of the social media platform.
Later on October 30, Elon Musk decided to design the company’s blue tick or subscription feature and resign the verification system by charging users for the blue tick.

Initially, the blue tick feature was priced at 20 USD per month, but despite opposition and arguments, Musk revised the plan to 8 USD per month.

Twitter’s doom under Elon Musk:

Musk overworked the employees forcing them to work for twelve hours every day, seven days a week, without any confirmations regarding overtime pay or any job security.

The process of layoffs started on November 4. The main reason stated by him for the restructuring process was the massive loss in revenue, and he mentioned that there is no additional choice. The laid-off employees were offered three months of their salary as severance pay.

The layoffs took place in the entire human rights team, and a strong moderation panel comprising 100 workers was limited to fifteen people. It has been difficult for the safety and trust team, which was reflected by the increasing numbers of racist, antisemitic, and hate-filled tweets on Twitter.

The layoffs were not given a thought. Many employees who were mistakenly laid off by the company were called back after Musk realized that they were an integral part of the company and would help him in meeting his objective of installing new features in the application.

The paid verification feature was an integral drawback. The verification feature was introduced with the motive of differentiating between bots and authenticating humans.
Previously, the blue ticks were considered a symbol of authenticity and granted to people to distinguish the original account from the personified accounts.

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But, the paid verification feature increased the number of parody accounts. It led to many severe repercussions. The prominent Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co.’s stocks declined when a fake tweet spread into the social media platform announcing that insulin is free to use now.

The Blue Tick verification feature has resulted in many advertisers backing down. The turmoil is not taken positively by the debt investors and the credit raters. They have shown a lack of trust in Twitter.

The blue tick verification feature lasted for a few hours, after which Elon Musk had to let go of the feature.
The increasing number of fake accounts on the social media platform led Elon Musk to announce that the impersonator’s account would be suspended permanently without any warning if they were found to be involved in any impersonification act.

Elon Musk once tweeted, ‘Comedy is now legal on Twitter. But, the tables have turned as the owner could not take a joke or impersonation. He suspended the famous comedian Kathy Griffin’s account after she mimicked him.

This questions if Twitter is the platform of free speech.

The launch of the paid verification feature has been delayed multiple times as it would lead to the spread of misinformation and impersonation of high-profile users.
Apart from that, the workers who criticized Elon Musk’s actions on the social media platform were fired from their jobs in an email with no proper specification. People were removed from their position by stating facts about the company if it meant that they were going against Elon.

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After acquiring Twitter, Musk has indicated that the company is on the verge of bankruptcy and that actions must be taken to generate more cash. The facilities like free food and remote work were removed. He has even laid a complete halt in Twitter’s code base and reduced the workforce of the engineering team by 80 percent.

When the people assumed this was the worst thing that could happen, Elon forced the workforce by maniacal tactics, which involved working extra hours or the exit of the employee with three months of severance pay.
Less than half of the employees are on board for Twitter 2.0, which imposes an integral question on how the company will continue regular operations or if they would resort to convincing the top management system to stay on board.

Edited by Prakriti Arora

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