The Elon Musk era of Twitter has begun with chaos and cuts.
“Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists. Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America,” Musk tweeted Friday
Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.
Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
A report in The Wall Street Journal said that General Mills, Mondelez International (the maker of Oreos), Pfizer and others have paused advertising on Twitter awaiting a better understanding of the Musk era’s brand safety rules.
As Musk fulminated about advertising cuts, job cuts became a reality Friday, according to The New York Times.
Previous estimates have suggested up to 50 percent of Twitter’s 7,500 workers could lose their jobs.
“In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global work force,” an email to workers said.
“We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward,” the email said.
Employees were told not to come into the office Friday, regardless of their future status.
“To help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data, our offices will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended,” a Twitter email to employees said, according to the Times.
“We acknowledge this is an incredibly challenging experience to go through, whether or not you are impacted,” the email said. “We are grateful for your contributions to Twitter and for your patience as we move through this process.”
For those who remain, a change in workplace culture is coming.
On Thursday, according to the Times, which cited two people it did not name as its source, workers saw that Twitter’s “Days of Rest,” monthly days off given to employees, were removed from their calendars.
The Journal report, citing a notice from Twitter, said employees given “non-working” status would be paid through their date of being fired, which for at least two individuals would be early next year. Employees getting the ax would also get a month’s pay as severance, the Journal reported.
At the annual Baron Investment Conference in New York Friday, Musk said he wants to allow Twitter users to customize their experience, whether it be “easy listening smooth jazz” or “heavy metal thrash,” according to The Washington Post.
“You should be able to pick your preference and decide if you want sort of full contact battle or do you want, like, ‘no I just want to look at puppies and flowers and nice landscapes and stuff,’” he said.
Musk said content moderation will continue to ban hate speech, saying it would be counterproductive to allow it.
“We’re also going to obviously make Twitter just a way better system,” he said. “I mean it stands to reason that if a social media company is not taking steps to make it positive to be on that social platform then people won’t come or they’ll leave.”
During the conference, Musk said that he “tried to get out of the deal” to acquire Twitter, according to CNN.
“I think there is a tremendous amount of potential … and I think it could be one of the most valuable companies in the world,” he said.
Musk noted at the event that “a number of major advertisers have stopped spending on Twitter” since he bought it.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.