Elon Musk Demands Twitter Staff Agree To Long Hours In ‘Hardcore’ Email

Elon Musk continues to play hardball with the remaining workforce at Twitter, ordering them to decide by Thursday if they want to be part of ‘Twitter 2.0.’

The company-wide email in the early hours of Wednesday morning demanded that Twitter’s remaining staff commit to working “long hours at high intensity” or receive “three months of severance,” if they did not consent to these conditions, or support his vision for “Twitter 2.0.”

The ultimatum comes comes just days after Musk, who touts himself as a “free speech absolutist” fired veteran Twitter engineers for criticising or even correcting him on Twitter or the firm’s internal Slack system.

Mass firings

Media reports suggest that over 20 people so far have been fired in the past several days after posting critical comments.

Shortly after doing so, they reportedly received a termination email that stated that “your recent behaviour has violated company policy”.

Musk also this week gutted Twitter’s external contractor teams, whose role was to ensure the platform was free of misinformation and hate, according to multiple US media reports.

Some 4,400 of Twitter’s 5,500 contract workers in the US and abroad had reportedly been let go, without warning or notification.

Elon Musk had already axed 50 percent of Twitter’s workforce, thought to be 3,700 of its 7,500 workforce, dissolved its board of directors, and fired senior management – prompting a mass exodus of leading executives from the platform.

Last week the Federal Trade Commission issued a very public statement, stating it was closely watching Twitter’s moves under Elon Musk with “deep concern”, after the three privacy and compliance officers quit.

Those resignations potentially put Twitter at risk of violating regulatory orders.

Besides the mass firings, Musk also instituted a botched plan to have users pay $7.99 for a “verified” account called ‘Twitter Blue verification’, with no procedure in place for actual verification.

Image credit: Elon Musk

A deluge of impersonators bought the paid subscriber checkmarks to pose as legitimate celebrities, brands and politicians, and in some cases, they posted false information about companies.

This increased the number of big brand names and other advertisers from pulling their advertising spending from the platform.

Musk now plans a revised Twitter Blue Verified release on 29 November.

Twitter 2.0

Now Musk has issued Twitter staff with an ultimatum, in a company-wide email entitled “A Fork in the Road,” CNBC reported.

“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” Musk wrote. “This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”

“Twitter will also be much more engineering-driven,” he said. “Design and product management will still be very important and report to me, but those writing great code will constitute the majority of our team and have the greatest sway.”

“At its heart, Twitter is a software and servers company, so l think this makes sense,” he wrote. “If you are sure that you want to be part of the new Twitter, please click yes on the link below: [Link removed]”

“Anyone who has not done so by 5pm ET tomorrow (Thursday) will receive three months of severance,” he wrote. “Whatever decision you make, thank you for your efforts to make Twitter successful.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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