Elon Musk has defended firing half of Twitter’s 8,000 employees, saying “unfortunately, there is no choice.”
Mr. Musk insisted that the platform’s commitment to moderation “has absolutely not changed”.
He tweeted: “Regarding the layoffs at Twitter, unfortunately, when the company is losing more than $4 million a day, there is no choice.
“Everyone who quit was given three months of severance pay, which was 50 per cent higher than required by law.”
Just minutes before Mr Musk tweeted, Twitter Yoel Roth, head of safety and integrity, confirmed that the layoffs affected 50% of the company’s workforce, including around 15% of the trust and safety department.
Frontline auditors experienced “minimal impact”, he added.
Mr Musk retweeted the tweet, calling it an “excellent summary”.
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The words were meant to reassure users, who feared that Musk’s takeover and job loss would undermine audit and security teams and make the platform lawless.
This is especially important ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, where Twitter has been accused of being a factor in the spread of disinformation and abuse.
Jessica González, co-CEO of Free Press, said: “When you reportedly lay off 50% of your staff — including the team that actually tracks, monitors and enforces content moderation and rules — This necessarily means that content moderation has changed. .”
Elimination of the whole team
Several employees tweeted about job losses, saying Twitter had eliminated teams focused on human rights and global conflict, another team checking algorithms for biases that amplify tweets, and a team working to make it easier for people with disabilities. Access to the platform’s engineering team.
The company has Reassure employees last month Musk is reportedly looking to cut 75% of the workforce following his $44bn (£38.4bn) takeover, so there are no plans for mass layoffs.
But Musk fired a number of executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, and sacked the company’s board of directors on his first day as owner.
lawsuit brought by former employee
Employees were later told they would find out about their futures on Friday, with some getting early clues after losing access to their work accounts.
Four former employees have filed at least one lawsuit accusing Twitter of violating federal law by failing to give the required notice to fired employees, The Associated Press reported.
Musk could also be open to discrimination allegations if it turns out that certain groups are disproportionately affected, such as women, people of color or older workers.
‘Such a massive layoff’ requires ‘very careful’
Employment attorney Peter Rahbar told The Associated Press that most employers are “very careful in making layoffs of this magnitude” to ensure they are legitimate and don’t unfairly discriminate or bring unnecessary attention to the company.
“For some reason, he seems to want to fire half the company without any due diligence on what these people do or who they are, and without regard to the law.”
In the UK, Twitter is required by law to give employees notice, according to Emma Bartlett, employment and partnership law partner at CM Murray LLP.
Failure to notify the government in the event of mass layoffs could lead to “criminal penalties”, she said, adding that whether criminal sanctions were ever imposed was another question.
Meanwhile, companies including United Airlines, Audi, General Mills and General Motors said they would suspend ad spending on Twitter.