Elon Musk wasn’t lying when he told the story last October Bloomberg that 75 percent of the employees at his newly acquired toy, Twitter.com, would not lose their jobs under his ownership, as The Washington Post reported at the time. Turns out it’s closer to 80 percent. Of the roughly 7,500 people who worked there before the Musk takeover, That reports CNBC Friday that barely 1,300 in all, and fewer than 550 full-time engineers, are left behind in a company’s shell, whether through layoffs or voluntary redundancies.
CNBC also notes that 75 employees are currently on leave, 40 of them engineers, while the Trust and Safety team, which oversees content moderation for the site, has been reduced to fewer than 20 full-timers. This news comes at the end of a seemingly ceaseless string of blunders since Musk announced an unsolicited $44 billion bid to buy the social media site last April.
Aside from firing anyone who wasn’t nailed down, Musk has reinstated numerous far-right and fascist accounts that had previously been permanently banned without so much as a second glance at the “moderate council” he was supposedly about to set up. He’s made critical operational decisions based on Twitter polls — and that’s after trying to reject the deal to buy Twitter in the first place over trumped-up complaints about the prevalence of bot users and how easy it is to poll Twitter. to play.
He has used the banhammer to silence critics, from journalists to students. Musk has brought in employees from his other, unrelated companies, including members of the SpaceX and Tesla teams; and fired employees for questioning his business acumen. Its $8 blue check verification scheme has been rolling out in fits and starts, while ad revenue is reportedly down 40 percent as advertisers try to escape its sinking ship. His first interest payment on the $13 billion debt he used to buy Twitter, valued today at about $15 billion, is due at the end of the month.
But Twitter isn’t the only company that sheds staff like water off a wet dog’s fur. Google laid off 12,000 employees this week, Amazon laid off 18,000 people worldwide and Microsoft cut 10,000 jobs. Between the three, they’ve put about 70,000 people out of work in the past year alone.
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