Elon Musk wasn’t lying when he told it last October Bloomberg that 75 percent of the employees of his newly acquired toy Twitter.com would not lose their jobs under his ownership, eh The Washington Post reported at the time. It turns out to be closer to 80 percent. Of the approximately 7,500 people who worked there prior to Musk’s acquisition, CNBC reports Friday that a total of just under 1,300 and fewer than 550 full-time engineers remain in the shell of a company either through the said layoffs or through voluntary redundancies.
CNBC also notes that 75 employees are currently on furlough, 40 of whom are engineers, while the Trust and Safety team that oversees content moderation for the site has been reduced to fewer than 20 full-time employees. This news comes at the end of a seemingly endless series of failures since Musk announced an unsolicited $44 billion offer to buy the social media site last April.
Aside from firing everyone who wasn’t pinned, Musk has reinstated numerous far-right and fascist accounts that had previously been permanently banned, without even taking a second look at the “moderation council” he allegedly intended to set up. He’s made critical operational decisions based on Twitter polls — and that’s after trying to buy the deal Twitter, initially over fabricated complaints about the proliferation of bot users and how easy it is to buy Twitter polls play to get out of the way.
He has used the banhammer to silence critics, from journalists to college students. Musk has hired employees from his other independent 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 rolled out in spurts while ad revenue has reportedly fallen 40 percent as advertisers try to escape its sinking ship. His first interest payment on the $13 billion debt he leveraged to buy Twitter, worth about $15 billion today, is due at the end of the month.
But Twitter isn’t the only company scouring employees like water from a wet dog’s fur. Google laid off 12,000 employees this week, Amazon cut 18,000 employees worldwide and Microsoft cut 10,000 jobs. Taken together, they put about 70,000 people out of work last year alone.
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