American billionaire Elon Musk began firing hundreds of Twitter employees on Friday, four days before the midterm election, including members of the team who work in the US elections and edit the content on the platform of social network.
Tweets flooded the platform on Friday, and several employees used hashtags to share news while other employees said they were abandoned.
Many of those previously laid off have worked in departments senior including public policy, trust, security, communications, engineering, marketing and human resources.
According to a person close to the company who asked for anonymity, half of the team for Twitter’s public policy was excluded, including members of the team who controls the accounts of politicians.
Since buying Twitter last week, the billionaire has insisted on maintaining the company’s content management and disinformation policies and has been trying to placate advertisers who have been waiting for his promises to restore more free content to his news feed.
Late Friday, Musk tweeted that “Twitter’s strong commitment to moderating content hasn’t changed at all.”
However, the layoffs on Friday appear to add fuel to concerns from both users and advertisers that Twitter continues to be in able to monitor who and what appears on its platform. The sweeping layoffs come as the company’s moderation systems are expected to be tested during the midterm elections.
In an appeal to the press, a coalition of civil rights groups and activists called “Stop Poisoning Twitter” has called for a global moratorium on advertising in light of Friday’s mass layoffs.
Some large companies, such as General Mills, Pfizer, and General Motors, have claimed to have suspended ads on the platform.
“With today’s mass layoffs, it’s clear Musk’s actions betray his words,” said Jessica Gonzalez, co-executive director of the Free Press Group.
Musk himself tweeted that the platform had already seen a “huge drop” in ad revenue due to pressure from civic groups on Twitter, saying it was “trying to destroy freedom of expression. in America”.
Later Friday, Musk acknowledged the mass layoffs, tweeting, “There is no choice when the company loses more than $ 4 million a day,” adding that “all off-duty people have been offered a termination offer. which is a 50% increase in the legal requirement.
One of the people fired was Michelle Austin, the company’s former director of public policy and elections now in the United States and in Canada.
Austin tweeted that she was responsible for helping lead policy for the 2022 US midterm election on the platform and tweeted on Friday: “I was responsible for social impact work. in both countries “.
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