Twitter layoffs multiplied on Thursday, the day after an ultimatum from Elon Musk, the owner and president of Twitter for three weeks, who asked employees who survived the first wave of layoffs to choose between giving themselves “fully and unconditionally” and leaving.
“I may be exceptional, but (…) I am not unconditional,” tweeted Andrea Horst, whose LinkedIn profile still displays “Supply Chain Officer (Survivor) on Twitter.”
She added the hashtag “#lovewhereyouworked,” like dozens of other employees who announced their selection on the platform.
According to several US media outlets, hundreds of employees have chosen to leave.
Half of the 7,500 employees at the California group had already been fired two weeks ago by the billionaire, and about 700 had already quit over the summer, even before the takeover was confirmed.
On Thursday evening, many users of the social network, including former collaborators, journalists and analysts, wondered if the end of Twitter was near.
“We just hit a new peak in Twitter usage, lol,” quipped Elon Musk, who bought the platform for $44 billion on Oct. 27.
He also tweeted a skull and crossbones piracy flag and meme (a parody image), featuring a man with a blue bird face, posing in front of a gravesite also masked with a blue bird, as if Twitter was gleefully witnessing his funeral.
On Thursday afternoon, Twitter warned all employees that the company’s premises are temporarily closed and cannot be accessed, even with a badge, according to an internal message published by several US media outlets.
Offices will reopen on Monday 21 November. Thank you for your flexibility. Please continue to abide by the house rules by refraining from discussing confidential information on social media, the press or elsewhere,” the letter read.
Elon Musk on Wednesday asked the social network’s employees individually to commit to “working long hours at high intensity,” “to build the revolutionary Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world.”
“Only exceptional performance deserves sufficient notice,” he said in his internal message, seen by AFP.
Employees had until Thursday afternoon to click the “Yes” box, with the penalty of having to leave Twitter with compensation equivalent to three months’ salary.
A method that runs counter even in the United States, where labor law is less protective of employees than it is in many developed countries.
On Thursday evening, anti-Elon Musk messages were displayed on the facade of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, right next to the logo, including “Elon Musk, shut up,” “Stopoxox Twitter,” or “En before bankruptcy,” according to photos by Jia Fang, a journalist. From the local affiliate of the NBC series.
Dozens of current and former employees met Thursday night in “Spaces,” the platform’s acoustic lounges, to support each other and relive their memories.
Employees who chose to remain spoke of their unwavering attachment to the social network and their desire to see it alive and even reborn.
“Kudos to all working on Twitter. You have built a lively place for communication and deserved much better. (…) Thank you,” for her part, tweeted the elected Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“I have no words, I’m just grateful to be able to say I was able to land my dream job and achieve more than I ever thought possible. It’s been an amazing adventure,” tweeted Deanna Hines-Glasgow, “Ex Tweep,” the nickname for Twitter staff, on Thursday.
“To all the Maghrebis who have decided that today will be their last day: Thank you for being such a great teammate through the ups and downs. One of the few managers who did not quit and was not fired, who still publicly supports Leader Gharib,” said Esther Crawford, director of product development for the platform. Weirdos, “I can’t wait to see what you do next.”
“Music guru. Incurable web practitioner. Thinker. Lifelong zombie junkie. Tv buff. Typical organizer. Evil beer scholar.”