“We will begin the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday”Twitter told its employees Thursday in an email seen by AFP, confirming the rumors that had been circulating since Elon Musk bought the social network for 44 billion dollars a week ago
. Another document, sent to the employees of the social network who were thanked this Friday, specifies that“about 50% of the staff will be affected” by layoffs.
The new boss of Twitter, also CEO of Tesla, continues to take control of the social network with 230 million users: last week, he had already dissolved the board of directors and fired the CEO and other senior officials.
“Today is your last day of work”
The employees have learned of their dismissal by email : “As announced earlier today, Twitter is reducing its workforce to help improve the health of the business. These decisions are never easy and it is with regret that we write to inform you that your position at Twitter is impacted. .Today is your last day of work (…)”, indicates one of these emails, consulted by AFP.
Half of the employees thanked
According to an internal document consulted by AFP, about half of the 7,500 employees of the social network in the world will be dismissed, confirming information from the Washington Post. “We recognize that a number of individuals who have made notable contributions to Twitter are going to be affected, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success in the future”, the company told employees. Managers, and the marketing and design departments seem particularly affected, according to an employee who wished to remain anonymous.
The wave of layoffs comes just over a week after billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter. Elon Musk, who first renamed himself “Chief Twit” (“twit” meaning “idiot” in English), then “Twitter hotline switchboard operator”, brought in developers the day after the takeover. from Tesla to review the work of Twitter employees. Elon Musk seems to want to make big savings within the company. According to two sources familiar with the matter as well as exchanges via the internal professional messaging service Slack, which Reuters was able to read, Elon Musk asked Twitter teams to find up to a billion dollars (about one billion euros) per year in infrastructure savings.
Employees go to court
The Bloomberg agency also reports that employees of the social network initiated in a federal court in San Francisco a class actionon the grounds that their employer violated California and federal laws on the length of notice before termination. “The ongoing layoff process is a joke and a disgrace. Tesla minions are making decisions about people they know nothing about except the number of lines of code produced. It’s complete nonsense.”tweeted Taylor Leese, the director of an engineering team who said he was fired.
“We are witnessing the real-time destruction of one of the most powerful communication systems in the world. Elon Musk is an unpredictable and inconsistent billionaire, he represents a danger to this platform which he is not qualified to lead” , reacted Nicole Gill, co-founder of Accountable Tech, one of the NGOs that have called on advertisers to put pressure on the new boss. Several groups have already decided to suspend advertising spending on Twitter, including the American agribusiness giant General Mills, the American car manufacturer General Motors and its German competitor Volkswagen.
This Friday, Mr. Musk blamed the drop in Twitter revenue on “a group of activists who put pressure on advertisers even though nothing has changed with the moderation of content and that we have done everything to appease the activists”. “It’s really nonsense! They are trying to destroy freedom of expression in America”, added the bubbling fifties. Because the libertarian entrepreneur advocates a vision of freedom of expression that requiresrelax moderation rules platform content, risking, according to its critics, to open the door to renewed abuse (harassment, hate speech, disinformation, etc.).
“All my thoughts, my respect, my energy and my love to the tweeps (nickname of Twitter employees, editor’s note) around the world today. Together we have built the most incredible application on the planet”, wrote Damien Viel, the general manager of Twitter France.