Elon Musk has fired thousands of people over the course of the last few days, rendering true his earlier claims of trimming down the Twitter workforce significantly. The layoffs have been enforced at all levels; right from the very top with the firing of the entire Twitter board, to the very bottom, where several contractors have been shown the door rather unceremoniously.
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While various figures related to the mass layoffs are making rounds in the news, most estimates put the number of employees let go by Musk at around at least 3,700 jobs. But perhaps what has been more puzzling and demeaning has been the way in which the employees have been informed of the decision. In fact, there wasn’t an expected email that brought the news to the sacked workforce, only a simple blockade of their access to Slack and email. Casey Newton, tech reporter with Substacker, Platformer, said the number of those sacked could be as high as 5,500, Mashable reported, adding that the morale at Twitter was at its lowest.
It’s no surprise that it is. As the sackings continue, Twitter has asked a number of people to return to work as they were laid off mistakenly. Confusion, thou art Twitter. But all this chaos could prove detrimental for Twitter. Newton claimed in a tweet that those sacked included workers involved in content moderation and core infrastructure maintenance, which could spell doom for the corporation.
The results have already begun to affect Twitter’s public perception. Several celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg, Gigi Hadid, and Toni Braxton have quit the platform, while others like John Oliver used humor to take a dig at Musk.
Over the years, Twitter has become one of the greatest information-sharing and microblogging social platforms with over 238 million users, 206 million of which are daily active users. It has become increasingly relevant for people who want to share real-time information and news developments, opinions, and ideas on a diverse range of issues. Besides, it is a leading platform for global leaders like President Barack Obama and Narendra Modi, opinion makers and thought leaders like Bill Gates, and mega influencers like Taylor Swift and Cristiano Ronaldo to reach millions of followers with a single tweet. Musk himself has enjoyed a massive following, with his tweets leading to notable ups and downs in the crypto and stock markets.
And unlike Facebook which has been marred with accusations of projecting fake news, Twitter has mostly remained reliable. However, critics fear Twitter going from a credible information-sharing platform to an outlet where fake news and hate speech run rampant.
Musk has made his fortune by going against the tide, betting against trends, and treading his own path. His past activities have led to wealth creation at a colossal level and helped create hundreds of jobs in diverse sectors and industries.
From what is known, Musk likes to have things his way. His antics at Twitter could be an effort to stir up a storm that brings widespread destruction. The lull that follows could give Musk the perfect opportunity to build Twitter in his own way, one tweet at a time.