OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Elon Musk is prepared to make major changes to the workforce at Twitter when he officially owns the company.
The Tesla, Space X, and Starlink CEO plans to cut the workforce by “nearly 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500 workers, whittling the company down to a skeleton staff of just over 2,000, the Washington Post reported. But even if Musk does not complete his purchase of Twitter the report said that the current owners plan to cut the workforce by 25 percent.
The extent of the cuts, which have not been previously reported, helps explain why Twitter officials were eager to sell to Musk: Musk’s $44 billion bid, though hostile, is a golden ticket for the struggling company — potentially helping its leadership avoid painful announcements that would have demoralized the staff and possibly crippled the service’s ability to combat misinformation, hate speech and spam.
The impact of such layoffs would likely be immediately felt by millions of users, said Edwin Chen, a data scientist formerly in charge of Twitter’s spam and health metrics and now CEO of the content-moderation start-up Surge AI. He said that while he believed Twitter was overstaffed, the cuts Musk proposed were “unimaginable” and would put Twitter’s users at risk of hacks and exposure to offensive material such as child pornography.
“It would be a cascading effect,” the data scientist said. “where you’d have services going down and the people remaining not having the institutional knowledge to get them back up, and being completely demoralized and wanting to leave themselves.”
“The easy part for Musk was buying Twitter and the hard part is fixing it,” financial analyst Dan Ives said. “It will be a herculean challenge to turn this around.”
“He’s got to be able to show if he makes those cuts, what happens next?” corporate governance expert Nell Minow said. “What’s he gonna replace it with, AI?”
Social media giant Twitter has quietly made a move that indicates the company is confident Elon Musk’s bid to buy the platform will go through.
“Twitter Inc. froze the equity awards accounts for employees on Monday as the deadline to seal a deal with Elon Musk approaches,” Bloomberg Law reported. “The social media company updated its employee FAQ page this week to alert staff that they won’t be able to access or trade shares from the Equity Award Center. The page said the change was done ‘in anticipation of the closing of the pending acquisition of Twitter by an entity controlled by Elon Musk,’ according to two people familiar with the change. This freeze allows Schwab to perform the final reconciliation of employee accounts.”
“In retrospect, it was inevitable,” Musk noted in a now-deleted tweet that contained a photoshop image of Musk, Kanye West, and former President Donald Trump as the “Three Musketeers” trying to save free speech in the country by buying up or starting social media platforms.
The apparent finalization of Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter comes after rapper West, now formally known as Ye, announced he was buying social media start-up Parler last week.
“Ye has become the richest Black man in history through music and apparel and is taking a bold stance against his recent censorship from Big Tech, using his far-reaching talents to further lead the fight to create a truly non-cancelable environment,” the platform noted in a statement.
“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to express ourselves freely,” Ye noted, according to the statement.
George Farmer, the husband of conservative author and podcaster Candace Owens, noted in a statement: “This deal will change the world, and change the way the world thinks about free speech. Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again. Once again, Ye proves that he is one step ahead of the legacy media narrative. Parlement will be honored to help him achieve his goals.”
Last week, Conservative Brief reported that federal agencies are investigating Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk over his bid to purchase Twitter, according to legal filings by attorneys representing the company.
According to reports, it isn’t clear what federal authorities are investigating. But one report also noted that Twitter is seeking documents related to the probes, though it isn’t clear what is being sought, specifically. The request for documents was filed after Musk said he would buy the platform, noted the Washington Examiner.