Twitter: Death is everywhere
The platform was live on Thursday evening. #RIPTwitter was the global top trend. Users wrote about what they fear might be the last of their posts.
These employees were responding to dire Twitter news. Scores of remaining employees at the social media company on Thursday appeared to reject owner Elon Musk’s ultimatum to work “extremely hardcore,” throwing the communications platform into utter disarray and raising serious questions about about how much longer it will survive.
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Inside the company’s Slack, a mass resignation effectively occurred after Musk’s 5pm deadline for employees to arrive at a decision passed. Hundreds of staffers appear to have called it quits, accepting Musk’s offer to exit in exchange for three months of severance.
Employees flooded the “#social-watercooler” channel with the salute emoji, indicating that they had chosen not to sign Musk’s pledge. A similar series of events unfolded in the Slack channel earlier this month as Musk eliminated roughly 50% of the company’s then 7,500-person workforce.
A former Twitter executive, who recently exited the company, described the situation as a “mass exodus.” Asked about the situation, the former executive said, “Elon is finding out that he can’t bully top senior talent. They have lots of options and won’t put up with his antics.”
“They will struggle just to keep the lights on,” the former executive added.
This assessment was shared equally by half the former employees and present employees who also made it on Thursday. This was all bad enough considering Musk had already conducted mass layoffs of employees earlier in this month. Twitter asked the employees it let go to return just days later. This has made the current state of affairs even worse.
In fact, Twitter management was in panic mode hours before the deadline passed, people familiar with the matter said, explaining that senior leaders were “scrambling” to convince talent to stay at the company.
Musk seemed to have finally realized the situation, and sent an email all-staff relaxing his anti-remote position. “Regarding remote work, all that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that you are making an excellent contribution,” Musk said in the email.
It didn’t appear to do much good.
Two employees who had decided to reject Musk’s ultimatum on Thursday were quite clear in why they were doing so. “I don’t want to stick around to build a product that’s being poisoned from the inside and out,” one said, adding later that he felt good about making a decision “in line with what I stand for.”
A recently laid off employee who remains in touch with former coworkers said, “People don’t want to sacrifice their mental health and family lives to make the richest man in the world richer.”
Twitter appeared to have figured out the situation and sent an email Thursday night to employees informing them that it had shut down all its offices again and suspend employee badge access. This was apparently to safeguard its data and systems.
Twitter’s already decimated communications department didn’t respond to requests for comment. Musk appeared to agree with the situation via a tweet.
“How do you make a small fortune in social media?” Musk asked. “Start out with a large one.”