Just twenty days after the takeover of Twitter by billionaire Elon Musk, the social network is on fire and continues to be drained of its lifeblood. Thursday, November 17, the new boss issued an ultimatum to the survivors of the huge first wave of layoffs, which had hit 3,700 people at the beginning of the month, more than half of the workforce. In an email, the new leader asked employees individually to choose between giving oneself thoroughly, unconditionally “, and leave, by clicking on “Yes” or “No”. A way to purify the company of any force of protest, in line with the dismissal, at the beginning of the week, of dozens of employees – and some in a public way – who had dared to criticize its leadership.
Teams had until 5 p.m. to respond. According to the American press, between several hundred and 1,500 employees clicked on the “No” button. Either, in the worst case, half of the remaining workforce, which means that Twitter could have only 1,500 employees today, against more than 7,000 at the beginning of the month! Those who resigned were offered compensation corresponding to three months’ salary. For their part, those who answered in the affirmative therefore undertake to ” working long hours at high intensity ” to ” building a revolutionary Twitter 2.0 “… But the purge is so violent that the question arises: does Elon Musk want to kill Twitter?
Does Elon Musk want to kill Twitter?
According to messages from employees on the company Slack (the internal messaging system), many engineers have decided to leave, which reduces the number of some teams who manage critical systems to only one or two employees ( !). From now on, the concern therefore relates to the very capacity of the social network to function normally and in a secure manner.
To the point that the hashtags #TwitterDown or #RIPTwitter are essential in “trends” in the discussions of the day. Many users are convinced that Twitter is living its last moments, and some American companies and government organizations are openly switching to another communication platform.
Elon Musk himself, true to his habit of acting like a troll, entertains the idea of the death of Twitter. In this post late Wednesday evening, the Tesla and SpaceX founder takes the stage at Twitter’s funeral rejoicing at his grave. He then posted a skull emoji.
“Mediocre kid in a man’s body, worthless billionaire, supreme parasite…”
For their part, many former employees and users of the social network display their disgust at the extreme brutality of Elon Musk. Many resigners of the day have decided to announce their departure on Twitter. Messages viewed by The gallery oscillate between sadness and gratitude at having worked for a company that is unique in the world and which was, until the takeover, renowned for the quality of its working conditions, and anger and disappointment at seeing the social network with 320 million of users ” ransacked by a madman “.
On Thursday night, anti-Elon Musk slurs were even projected onto the facade of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, right next to the logo. We can see a succession of insults scrolling through it, the inventiveness of which is worthy of the television series. Veep :
” Elon Musk: mediocre manchild, pressurized privilege, petty racist, megalomaniac, worthless billionaire, bankruptcy baby, apartheid profiteer, petulant pimple, supreme parasite, asskisser dictators, lawless oligarch, insecure coloniser, cruel hoarder, space Karen »
Which can be translated as: “Elon Musk: mediocre kid in a man’s body, pressurized privilege, insignificant racist, megalomaniac, worthless billionaire, baby of bankruptcy, apartheid profiteer, petulant button, supreme parasite, licker of dictators’ ass, oligarch without faith or law, fragile colonizer, cruel hoarder, Karen of space » [!]
For their part, dozens of current and especially past employees met Thursday evening in a “Spaces”, the platform’s audio lounges, to support each other and evoke good memories, in a twilight atmosphere. Employees who have chosen to stay have spoken of their unwavering attachment to the social network and their desire to see it survive and even be reborn, even without really believing in it. ” Kudos to all Twitter workers. You have built a vital place of connection and you deserved so much better. (…) Thanks »tweeted the elected Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Twenty days of surreal decisions
Even if the death of Twitter becomes a serious possibility, the social network is not there yet. But in just twenty days, Elon Musk fired more than half of the company’s workforce, launched then stopped, then relaunched, then stopped again his Twitter Blue subscription which proved unsustainable in just a few days due to the surge of fake accounts, and above all, it scared away advertisers en masse when they now account for more than 90% of the platform’s turnover.
Worse, it is difficult to discern a strategy behind the chaos. His vision of an “application for everything”, on the model of Chinese WeChat, seems totally disconnected from reality. And his political commitment to absolute freedom of expression has already stretched its limits with the Twitter Blue fiasco. Elon Musk seems to be driving Twitter into the wall and calling for inevitable clashes with regulators.
And after his latest stunt with the ultimatum to employees, Elon Musk tweeted: “ And… we just hit a new Twitter usage record, lol. »
Then maliciously add “let that sink in”, a reference to the photo he posted on his first day at Twitter, where he arrived at the company’s premises with a sink in his arms. This expression can be translated in two ways: either ” let it infuse meaning that Musk’s actions, however brutal and inconsistent, would only boost actual Twitter usage to better monetize it later; that is ” let it flow”so that Elon Musk is only bringing down Twitter.