Twitter axes contractors as downsizing continues – media
‘A large number’ of workers in content moderation, real estate, and marketing were reportedly let go
Newly minted Twitter CEO Elon Musk has fired “a large number” of contractors in the company’s content moderation, real estate, and marketing departments, tech reporter Casey Newton revealed on Saturday. The abrupt terminations have those who survived the cuts worrying about their future at the company with no one to report to or even to sign off on their timesheets.
Like the 50% of full-time Twitter staff Musk has laid off since taking control of the company last month, many of the fired contractors only learned they were no longer employed when they discovered their company logins didn’t work, sources told Newton. One worker claimed they only discovered they had been fired by reading the reporter’s tweets, while another contractor allegedly had their credentials deactivated “in the middle of making critical changes to our child safety workflows.”
The bloodbath has left the social media giant in disarray, so much that management has quietly reached out to rehire some employees after realizing they were needed for priority projects, according to Axios. The entire communications staff was fired, meaning media inquiries have gone unanswered. Several more executives, including head of trust and safety Yoel Roth and three senior figures in security and compliance, have resigned.
Musk warned on Thursday that his new company may face bankruptcy, writing in his first note to staff that there was “a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn” unless it could bring in “significant subscription revenue.” The firm’s existing ad-based financial model appears to be collapsing, thanks to an advertiser boycott led by advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League that bristled at Musk’s promise to ease up on the platform’s heavy censorship. While the world’s richest man met with the boycott leaders and promised a crackdown on “hate speech,” the Center for Countering Digital Hate claimed in a report published Saturday that hate speech had actually increased under his watch.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s revamped verification service, which was supposed to bring in cash while democratizing the blue checkmark by allowing anyone to buy one for $8 per month, was paused last week amid a flood of impersonations – including actress Kathy Lee Griffin pretending to be the Tesla CEO himself.