Twitter employees brace to find out if Elon Musk will fire them TODAY


UK Twitter employees were today nervously waiting for an email telling them whether they’ve been fired in Elon Musk’s global jobs cull after some woke up to find their work laptops had been wiped. 

The social media giant has offices in London and Manchester, and all employees were expected to receive an email with the subject ‘Your Role at Twitter’ by 4pm UK time today. 

Furious union bosses have described Elon Musk’s mass Twitter sackings as a ‘digital P&O’ situation as they called on the government to show the billionaire ‘no one is above the law’. 

Prospect, which represents tech workers, told MailOnline it is still too early to determine exactly how many staff in the UK have been laid off. 

Are YOU a Twitter employee in the UK? 

Email rory.tingle@mailonline.co.uk  or tips@dailymail.com   

‘We haven’t heard yet. We know that a lot of them have had their phones and laptops locked out and some got letters that there jobs might be at risk,’ a spokesperson said.

‘That’s what we understand at the moment. They say there are going to be layoffs globally and we don’t know how that is going to impact London and Manchester.’

One staffer, Jaseem Abid, said he was on call when his laptop was remotely wiped.

He shared his experience on Twitter, revealing he woke up to ‘no slack/gmail/office access and laptop remotely wiped out’.

‘Got fired without even a confirmation email while sleeping? There is always a new low.’ 

General secretary Mike Clancy compared Musk’s actions to the notorious firing of 800 ferry workers earlier this year, which prompted ministers to weigh in. 

He said: ‘Twitter is treating its people appallingly. The government must make clear to Twitter’s new owners that we won’t accept a digital P&O and that no one is above the law in the UK, including Big Tech barons.’   

Musk is getting rid of 3,700 staff around the world after his $44billion (£38bn) takeover. 

Former employees in America have already sued the platform over the sackings, which they say have been carried out without enough notice, in violation of federal and California law. 

Some British staff were asleep when they said their laptops were ‘remotely wiped’ and their access to Slack and Gmail revoked.

Chris Younie, who works for Twitter in entertainment partnerships, tweeted: ‘Well this isn’t looking promising. Can’t log into emails. Mac won’t turn on. But so grateful this is happening at 3am. Really appreciate the thoughtfulness on the timing front guys…’

Chris Younie, who works for Twitter in entertainment partnerships, tweeted: ‘Well this isn’t looking promising. Can’t log into emails. Mac won’t turn on. But so grateful this is happening at 3am. Really appreciate the thoughtfulness on the timing front guys…’ 

Jaseem Abid revealed he was on call when his laptop was completely wiped, suggesting he had been fired

Jaseem Abid revealed he was on call when his laptop was completely wiped, suggesting he had been fired

Another former employer, who gave his name as James and said he worked in curation partnerships, wrote: 'I feel sorry for anyone that didn’t get fired tbh. Elon will run those left into the ground with his hair-brained ideas. Any kind of Twitter we knew before is dead'

Another former employer, who gave his name as James and said he worked in curation partnerships, wrote: ‘I feel sorry for anyone that didn’t get fired tbh. Elon will run those left into the ground with his hair-brained ideas. Any kind of Twitter we knew before is dead’

One UK employee, whose Twitter bio said she worked in news and entertainment partnerships, tweeted: 'Whatever happens Tweeps, know that you built something special. You made an impact. You're one hell of a #OneTeam'

One UK employee, whose Twitter bio said she worked in news and entertainment partnerships, tweeted: ‘Whatever happens Tweeps, know that you built something special. You made an impact. You’re one hell of a #OneTeam’

Nic Keaney, who works on 'trends', wrote that she was 'so grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing people'

Nic Keaney, who works on ‘trends’, wrote that she was ‘so grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing people’ 

Elon Musk has begun his mass layoffs at Twitter, with the company warning staff to brace for firing notices by email as it temporarily seals all its offices

Elon Musk has begun his mass layoffs at Twitter, with the company warning staff to brace for firing notices by email as it temporarily seals all its offices 

British staff were asleep when their laptops were 'remotely wiped' and their access to Slack and Gmail revoked, according to one staffer. Pictured is Musk on Halloween

 British staff were asleep when their laptops were ‘remotely wiped’ and their access to Slack and Gmail revoked, according to one staffer. Pictured is Musk on Halloween 

The social media giant has offices in London (pictured) and Manchester, although its not clear how many employees it has here

Everything you need to know about Elon Musk’s Twitter sackings: Why is the billionaire firing half of his workforce, what does he want to do with the social media platform – and what will happen to staff? 

How did Twitter get started?

The origins of Twitter date back to 2006, when its founder Jack Dorsey was working at Odeo, a podcasting company. 

After being asked to pitch ideas to his colleagues, Dorsey shared his concept for a new platform which allowed users to share short messages similar to texts. 

In the first ever tweet on March 21, 2006, Dorsey wrote: ‘Just setting up my twttr.’ Twitter made its public debut in July and quickly grew in popularity. 

Why was Musk critical of the platform? 

Musk has long been one of Twitter’s most prominent users, and has regularly tweeted criticism of the platform. 

He’s long claimed it is not sufficiently protective of free speech, focusing on examples such as the ‘incredibly inappropriate’ 2020 blocking of a New York Post article on Hunter Biden, which the company has since said was a mistake.

Musk has also criticised the number of bots on the platform and suggested it was a threat to democracy. 

How did he go about taking control of it? 

On January 31, the billionaire started buying shares of Twitter in near-daily installments, amassing a 5 per cent stake in the company by mid-March. 

In March, he said he was giving ‘serious thought’ to building an alternative to Twitter and began privately contacting Twitter board members, including Dorsey, a friend. 

The next month, Musk was offered a seat on Twitter’s board on the condition he amass no more than 14.9 per cent of the company’s stock, but CEO Parag Agrawal later announced he would not be joining the board after all.

Then, on April 14, Twitter revealed in a securities filing that Musk has offered to buy the company outright for about $44bn (£39bn). This kicked off several months of rollercoaster negotiations, which appeared to fizzle out on May 13 when Musk announced his planned purchase was ‘on hold’ due to a row over bots.  

Several flip-flops followed before he completed his $44bn (£38.1bn) takeover last week. ‘The  bird is freed,’ he tweeted afterwards. 

What changes has he been proposing?

Musk has claimed to be motivated to take over Twitter because it is ‘important for the future of humanity’. The changes he is planning include – 

BLUE TICK FOR $8 A MONTH – Musk wants to bring in a monthly charge for verified users from Monday. This has sparked a backlash, but the billionaire insists it is necessary if the platform is to balance it’s books. 

FREE SPEECH – Musk’s feistiest priority – but also the one with the vaguest roadmap – is to make Twitter a ‘politically neutral’ digital town square for the world’s discourse that allows as much free speech as each country’s laws allow. 

OPEN-SOURCED ALGORITHMS – Musk’s longstanding interest in AI is reflected in one of the most specific proposals he outlined in his merger announcement – the promise of ‘making the algorithms open source to increase trust.’ He’s talking about the systems that rank content to decide what shows up on users´ feeds.

`DEFEATING THE SPAM BOTS’ – ‘Spam bots’ that mimic real people have been a personal nuisance to Musk, whose popularity on Twitter has inspired countless impersonator accounts that use his image and name – often to promote cryptocurrency scams that look as if they’re coming from the Tesla CEO.

AD-FREE TWITTER? Musk has floated the idea of an ad-free Twitter, though it wasn’t one of the priorities outlined in the official merger announcement. He has also spoken out to reassure advertisers Twitter remains a good place to grow their businesses. However, subscribers paying the $8 a month blue tick charge have been promised fewer ads. 

Will Donald Trump return? 

Musk is expected to soon start welcoming back users who were handed lifetime bans from the platform – including former US president. 

However, the billionaire suggested this would not happen until after the Midterm elections. ‘Twitter will not allow anyone who was de-platformed for violating Twitter rules back on platform until we have a clear process for doing so, which will take at least a few more weeks,’ he tweeted on Wednesday. 

He had previously vowed to set up a ‘content moderation council’ and said no major content decisions would be made until it was in place. 

Trump has welcomed Musk’s takeover, saying the platform was not ‘in sane hands’.  

What’s happened to Twitter staff?

As part of his plan to drive down costs since acquiring the social media company for $44bn (£39bn), the world’s richest man plans to cut around 3,700 jobs – about half of Twitter’s workforce.

But employees say the company is eliminating workers without enough notice in violation of federal and California law, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing a class-action lawsuit filed in a San Francisco federal court.

The company warned staff to brace for firing notices in a memo on Thursday night. It said all employees will receive an email alert by 9am Pacific time Friday letting them know whether they still have a job at the company.

Twitter had a global workforce of some 7,500 employees at the end of 2021. The company said its offices will be temporarily sealed and all staff badge access will be suspended in order ‘to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data.’

Staff have now sued Musk in the US for not giving them enough notice.     

What could Musk’s approach to moderation look like?

Musk has been very vocal about easing content moderation policies, noting in April that if a tweet includes contents that are ‘a gray area’ it should stay.

But following concerns from advertisers, Musk released an open letter last week in which he reassured them Twitter would not be allowed to become a ‘free for all hellscape’. 

‘Fundamentally,’ he said, ‘Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise.’

Therefore, much about how Musk will seek to moderate abusive content or disinformation remains unclear. Some Twitter users sought to test his limits today by spreading a fake rumour about Donald Trump being dead. 

 

Simon Balmain, a senior community manager for the platform in the UK, said he believed he had been laid off after being logged out of his laptop and the Slack messaging programme.

‘Everyone got an email saying that there was going to be a large reduction in headcount, and then around an hour later, folks started getting their laptops remotely wiped and access to Slack and Gmail revoked,’ he told the BBC.

‘Most UK folks are probably asleep and don’t know yet. I was working mostly LA (Los Angeles) hours because of the projects I was on, so I was still awake when it happened.’

Another former employer, who gave his name as James and said he worked in curation partnerships, wrote: ‘I feel sorry for anyone that didn’t get fired tbh. Elon will run those left into the ground with his hair-brained ideas. Any kind of Twitter we knew before is dead.’  

As the layoffs began, other sacked employees began posting under the ‘#OneTeam’ hashtag on the platform about their final hours at the company, expressing both sadness and their gratitude for their time working there.   

Twitter’s London headquarters are deserted this morning with no staff arriving as they wait to learn if they still have a job.

The fluorescent lights are on, but all the desks were empty at the modern glass fronted building close to Piccadilly Circus. 

Security staff stood by the entrance with access to the five floors occupied by Twitter accessible only by an electronic swipe card. 

A receptionist at 20 Air Street said most staff worked from home on Friday with only a handful in the office. 

But she had not been told the offices were locked and security staff said they had no instructions to refuse staff entry. The Twitter HQ is in a building owned by the Crown Estate.

Twitter said its offices will be temporarily closed and all staff badge access will be suspended ‘to help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data’.

‘If you are in an office or on your way to an office, please return home,’ the memo said. 

‘In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday. 

‘We recognise that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward.’

The email added: ‘We acknowledge this is an incredibly challenging experience to go through, whether or not you are impacted. 

‘Thank you for continuing to adhere to Twitter policies that prohibit you from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere.’ 

The notification of layoffs caps off a week of high-level purges by Mr Musk, as he demanded deep cost cuts and imposed an aggressive new work ethic across the social media company.

He had already cleared out senior ranks, firing its chief executive and top finance and legal executives. 

Others, including those sitting atop the company’s advertising, marketing, and human resources divisions, departed throughout the past week. 

Prior to buying Twitter, Musk tweeted that the firm under his ownership ‘will be super focused on hardcore software engineering, design, infosec & server hardware’.

Last week he lamented that ‘there seem to be 10 people ‘managing’ for every one person coding’. 

The long-expected layoffs have chilled Twitter’s famously open corporate culture revered by its employees.

Shortly after the email landed in Twitter staff inboxes, hundreds flooded the company’s Slack channels to say goodbye, two employees told Reuters. Someone invited Musk to join the channel, the sources said.

Musk’s first week as Twitter’s owner has been marked by chaos and uncertainty. 

Two company-wide meetings were scheduled, only to be canceled mere hours later. 

Managers have been forbidden from calling team meetings or communicating directly with staff, one senior Twitter employee said, adding they were being monitored.

‘It feels like we’re working among the Gestapo,’ the person said.

Musk has also directed Twitter Inc’s teams to find up to $1billion (£896m) in annual infrastructure cost savings, according to two sources familiar with the matter and an internal Slack message. 

Even as Musk cuts costs, he faces threats to Twitter’s revenue as a growing number of companies pause their advertising on the platform over concerns about whether it will remain ‘safe’ for brands. 

‘We have currently paused paid support on Twitter and will continue to evaluate the situation,’ an Audi spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Thursday, one week after the completion of Musk’s buyout.  

Likewise, a spokesperson for General Mills, which also makes Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and Häagen-Dazs, confirmed a pause, saying: ‘We will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend.’

Carmakers appear especially worried about fair treatment under Musk, who is chief executive of rival Tesla, and last week General Motors announced it had ‘temporarily paused’ all paid advertising on Twitter. 

And Oreo-maker Mondelez International and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have both paused their Twitter ad spending, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the matter. 

Spokespersons for Mondelez and Pfizer did not immediately respond to requests for comment from DailyMail.com on Thursday evening. 

Twitter has stopped responding to all press inquiries, except for the few that Musk answers by tweet. 

He has changed his biography on the app to ‘Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator’, and on Friday appeared to place blame on ‘activist groups pressuring advertisers’.

Musk cited the ‘massive drop in revenue’ and argued ‘nothing has changed with content moderation’.

‘We did everything we could to appease the activists. Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.’ 

Musk last week promised advertisers he would keep Twitter from turning into a ‘free-for-all hellscape’ and is now scrambling to convince them that he will uphold the commitment.

Some advertisers have reportedly vowed to boycott Twitter for good if former president Donald Trump is allowed to return. 

Musk said on Wednesday it would be several weeks before a process is in place to reinstate banned accounts. 

A media buyer at one major ad agency, who declined to be named for fear of reprisal, said the agency would meet with Musk this week to ask how the Tesla boss plans to handle misinformation on the platform.

The buyer also wanted to know how Musk’s pledge squared with his actions, including one tweet over the weekend that spread a baseless conspiracy theory about the attack against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul.

Twitter has shut down all employee access to his San Francisco headquarters (above) and other offices, warning staff to 'go home' and wait to learn of their job status

Twitter has shut down all employee access to his San Francisco headquarters (above) and other offices, warning staff to ‘go home’ and wait to learn of their job status

Staff who have been laid off will be notified of the next steps in a message to their personal email addresses with the subject line 'Your Role at Twitter', the memo said. Pictured: Library image of Twitter's offices in New York

Staff who have been laid off will be notified of the next steps in a message to their personal email addresses with the subject line ‘Your Role at Twitter’, the memo said. Pictured: Library image of Twitter’s offices in New York

Musk speaking to Twitter staff in America. Thousands of employees are waiting to hear of their fate later today

Musk speaking to Twitter staff in America. Thousands of employees are waiting to hear of their fate later today 

Yash Agarwal, who worked in public policy at Twitter, put a brave face on news he was being dismissed today

Yash Agarwal, who worked in public policy at Twitter, put a brave face on news he was being dismissed today 

ELON MUSK CITES ‘MASSIVE DROP’ IN REVENUE AS TWITTER CUTS STAFF 

Elon Musk has accused ‘activist groups’ of ‘pressuring’ advertisers into leaving the social media giant and causing a drop in revenue, as the company carries out sweeping job cuts to save money.

The billionaire tweeted that the groups were trying to ‘destroy free speech’ by raising concerns around his plans to loosen content moderation rules on the site.

In his first tweet since the cuts began, Mr Musk said: ‘Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.

‘Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.’

Online safety groups and campaigners have expressed concerns about Mr Musk’s plans to allow more free speech on the site and reverse permanent bans given to controversial figures – including former US president Donald Trump.

There have been reports that some advertisers have been concerned about the possibility of such figures returning and appearing alongside their adverts on the site.

This is a worry for Mr Musk as advertising currently accounts for almost all of Twitter’s earnings.

Mr Musk is thought to want to drastically reduce costs at the company after completing his 44 billion dollar (£39 billion) takeover of the platform last week and has since tweeted ‘we need to pay the bills somehow’.

Alongside the cuts to the workforce, he has proposed charging a monthly subscription fee for users to be verified on the platform in an effort to create more revenue streams for the company and move it away from its reliance on advertising.

An internal email sent to staff on the job cuts on Friday said the action to cut jobs was ‘unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward’.

Staff have been told that everyone will receive an email by 9am PST (4pm GMT) on Friday, with those who are affected by the cuts set to receive the message on their personal email address rather than the one associated with their work.

Other topics include Musk’s plan to raise the cost of Twitter’s subscription service and serve ‘half as many ads’, and who will serve as advertisers’ point of contact after a procession of senior executives, including Twitter’s ad chief, left since he took over.

The ad agency’s top clients are expected to join the meeting, the media buyer said.

After tweeting in 2019 about his dislike of advertising, Musk is now under pressure to avoid alienating the advertisers who contribute more than 90 per cent of Twitter’s revenue. 

He is spending his first week as chief executive in New York, with venture capitalist friends joining him in meetings to reassure companies that contribute more than $5billion annually to Twitter.

Jason Calacanis, an angel investor and podcast host who is assisting Musk in his first week of ownership, tweeted on Monday that Twitter had a ‘very productive day’ of meetings with advertisers and marketers.

Another media buyer who spoke with Reuters said their agency will not meet with Musk until he articulates a direction for Twitter or provides a substantive update on how the platform will serve advertisers.

Some clients have already begun to pause ad spending on Twitter this week, said the second media buyer, who declined to name the advertisers as the source was not authorised to do so.   

The buyer said some clients had already pulled out of Twitter due to the months-long chaos around the deal, and some in response to concerns about child sexual abuse material on Twitter.

IPG, an advertising holding company that represents major clients including Coca-Cola and American Express, has advised clients to pause their Twitter ads for the next week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Even as Musk took meetings with major agencies and advertisers this week, he took to Twitter on Wednesday night with a poll asking users whether advertisers should support freedom of speech or ‘political correctness’. 

Of more than two million votes, nearly 80 per cent answered ‘freedom of speech’.

‘Those type of provocations are not helping to calm the waters,’ the media buyer said.

More marketers also took to LinkedIn to voice their concerns about Musk’s takeover of the platform.

‘Unless Elon hires new leaders committed to keeping this ‘free’ platform safe from hate speech, it’s not a platform brands can/should advertise on,’ said Allie Wassum, global director of social and integrated media for Jordan shoe brand, which is owned by Nike, in a post on LinkedIn.

Wassum did not respond to a request for further comment.  

Carmaker Audi and General Mills, the packaged-food titan behind Cheerios, have joined a growing list of companies halting their ad spending on Twitter under Elon Musk's ownership

Carmaker Audi and General Mills, the packaged-food titan behind Cheerios, have joined a growing list of companies halting their ad spending on Twitter under Elon Musk’s ownership

Jason Calacanis, who is assisting Musk in his first week of ownership, tweeted on Monday that Twitter had a 'very productive day' of meetings with advertisers

Jason Calacanis, who is assisting Musk in his first week of ownership, tweeted on Monday that Twitter had a ‘very productive day’ of meetings with advertisers

Musk took to Twitter on Wednesday night with a poll asking users whether advertisers should support freedom of speech or 'political correctness'

Musk took to Twitter on Wednesday night with a poll asking users whether advertisers should support freedom of speech or ‘political correctness’



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