Tech

The tumultuous 20 days since Musk took over Twitter

  Musk understands acquisitions.
  Since he trotted into the Twitter headquarters on October 26 with a sink and a smile on his face, Musk has started his drastic reforms-fired the original CEO and CFO of Twitter, laid off nearly half of the employees to save money, brought Watching Tesla’s “confidant” engineers review the Twitter code, label the tweets released by the White House as “inaccurate”, and stop all media inquiries…
  From personnel management to technical details to content review and advertising placement, it can be said that It is a declaration in detail: nothing can not be overthrown, new Twitter has and only Musk has the final say.
  And this new boss, who is already addicted to Twitter, has sent 92 tweets in a row since the date of acquisition, with an average of nearly 10 tweets per day. All of the above, all show how chaotic and turbulent Twitter just spent the 10th.
“Passionate” layoffs

  The first thing Musk did after taking over Twitter was to change people.
  On October 28, the day Twitter was officially acquired and delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, Twitter’s CEO, CFO, and executives such as legal affairs and policy were fired.
  The management vacancies are filled by Musk’s many “direct descendants”: his personal lawyer Alex Spiro, Andrew Musk, a relative who previously worked at Musk’s brain-computer interface company Neuralink, and the chief operating officer of Musk’s tunnel excavation company Boring. Official Jehn Balajadia and dozens of old acquaintances quickly became internal employees of Twitter and obtained corporate email accounts.
  At the same time, more than 50 Tesla engineers were also transferred to Twitter to review the Twitter code-yes, Twitter programmers were required to print out the code in the last 30 to 60 days and hand it over to the new superior review. It is worth mentioning that an internal employee of Twitter revealed that shortly after the “print code” command was issued, Musk stopped quickly, saying that the printed ones should be torn off, or displayed directly on the computer.
  It is reported that Musk conducted this review mainly to see who can work at the speed and efficiency required by him, and to eliminate some managers who do not often write code…
  On the evening of November 3, Twitter released an electronic message to employees at night. In the email notice, employees will be notified by email whether they will be laid off from the morning of the 4th. Although people familiar with the matter have previously revealed that the managers of Twitter’s product team were asked to lay off 50% of their staff, but when the notice actually came down, everyone was still in danger for a while. So on the same day, some Twitter employees collectively filed a lawsuit in the San Francisco federal court, accusing Twitter of layoffs without 60 days’ notice in violation of federal and California laws.
  Twitter management did not respond to this, but added: (to prevent employees from deleting the database and running away) the company’s office will be temporarily closed, and access to any access cards and other documents will be suspended. On November 4, nearly 3,700 Twitter employees were kicked out in one day. Some employees were even stunned—only to realize they had just been fired after being denied access to company systems like email and Slack.
  According to foreign media reports, the “Ethical AI” team was disbanded. The mission of this team is to make Twitter’s algorithm more transparent and fair.
  There is also a former content marketing manager of Twitter who said that he was fired when he was 8 months pregnant.
  As of June this year, the total number of Twitter employees was more than 8,000, and 3,700 people were laid off, nearly half of them.
  Regardless of how the outside world is clamoring, Musk’s attitude towards this matter is very tough. He tweeted on November 5 that Twitter was losing more than $4 million (approximately RMB 28.74 million) a day and had “no choice” but layoffs. He also said fired employees would receive severance pay equivalent to three months’ salary, 50 percent more than required by law.
  At the same time, Jack Patrick Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and who stepped down as Twitter CEO last year, also stood up and apologized: “From the past to the present, Twitter employees have always been strong. No matter how difficult it is, they will always find Way… I know a lot of people are mad at me. I take responsibility for where you are right now: I let the company expand too fast. I apologize for that.”
  Before the “big layoffs” incident found the most suitable background Pot man, the situation changed again two days later.
  On November 7, according to Bloomberg News, some Twitter employees were “wrongly laid off” in the chaos, and some were found to be indispensable after they left.   Casey Newton, the founder of the technology media Platformer, also revealed that there was a @Everyone
  notice on Twitter’s internal office Slack channel, saying that “now the iOS and Android teams need help.”
Now we are short again. How will this hasty and chaotic layoffs develop in the future? At least for now, there is still no end in sight.
  Because, soon, Musk has another wave of new moves.
“If you’re not hardcore, get out”

  On November 16, at 12:00 in the middle of the night, Musk suddenly issued an ultimatum to the remaining less than 4,000 Twitter employees:
  If you are not hardcore, get out.
  In this sudden midnight email, Musk tried to “beat chicken blood” to all employees:
  ”Next, we will build a cross-age Twitter 2.0 version to succeed in this increasingly competitive world.”
  ”But for To achieve this, we have to become extremely hardcore,” he wrote.
  What kind of hardcore method? Probably the meaning is very close to 996, which is not more familiar to Chinese Internet users. Simply put, it is ultra-long hours and ultra-high-intensity work.
  ”Only the best of the best will be accepted,” said
  Musk, who went on to write that in the coming days, the company would become more “engineering-driven,” even product and design (although “still important”) They all had to make way for the project.
  ”If you accept it, please click ‘yes’ on the following Google form.”
  It must be noted that these existing Twitter employees only have less than a day and a half to consider whether they want to take a walk with the new richest boss. The last “hard core” re-entrepreneurship journey.
  Moreover, any employee who does not click yes will be directly regarded as “getting off the car” and will receive severance compensation of 3 months’ salary.
About account bans and content review

  Tossing the perfect person, Musk did not forget his original intention, and turned his attention to the functions and business of Twitter itself.
  Within 24 hours of taking office, Musk made a number of adjustments to the Twitter business: 1. Replaced the Twitter homepage (Twitter account registration page) that had not changed for many years with “current trends”; A new paid certification model will be launched before March 7, and users need to pay a certain fee per month to maintain the “Blue Label” certification; 3. Increase the subscription price of paid certification from US$4.99 per month to US$8 per month…
  for the price increase payment Attestation, Musk also said: You can scold me all day, but you have to pay $8.
  In this regard, Musk’s explanation is: Twitter cannot completely rely on advertisers, someone must pay the bill!
  In fact, before Musk bought Twitter, he mentioned many times that he wanted to find a “second leg” for Twitter to walk—increasing user payments and reducing advertising reliance.
  He promised investors that Twitter’s advertising revenue would drop to 45% by 2028. In 2021 and 2020, the numbers are 89% and 90%, respectively. The performance of advertisers also shows that Musk’s concerns are not unreasonable.
  With the resignation of Twitter executives and a large number of employees, the adjustment of multiple main businesses, especially the resetting of content review standards, many advertisers have already expressed their attitudes with money: Pfizer, General Motors, Audi, Ford, Brands including Oreo maker Mondelez International, Haagen-Dazs maker General Mills, and United Airlines have all said they will suspend their advertising on Twitter. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand that Musk couldn’t wait to upgrade the paid authentication function in the first week of taking office.
  For Twitter employees, whether it is the deadline for the launch of new features or rumors of 50% layoffs, they can only be made up by working hours. According to CNBC reports, some Twitter employees work 7 days a week and 12 hours a day. Even the Twitter product manager posted a picture of himself sleeping in the office in a sleeping bag on November 2.
  In addition, there has been progress in the banning of Twitter accounts. On October 28, Fox News received the news that “it will not return to Twitter” from Trump, the former top Twitter player, and Musk tweeted that a content moderation committee would be established. And until the committee is established, there will be no decisions on content or account unfreezing.
  But after the establishment of the committee, this function was quickly put into play. For example, on November 4, some netizens discovered that the Twitter account of Musk’s ex-girlfriend Amber Heard was bizarrely blocked.
  On November 19, Musk tweeted that Trump’s Twitter account would be restored. Previously, he conducted a questionnaire survey of Twitter users specifically for this purpose. Trump’s Twitter account was restored minutes later, but as of noon local time on Sunday, he had not tweeted.
  Although the account has been removed, it is clear that Trump has no interest in returning to Twitter.
  Trump said in a speech on the 19th that he “doesn’t see any reason (to return to Twitter)” and said that he would stick to using his own social platform “real social”. Trump believes that “Real Social” has higher user engagement than Twitter, and is performing “very well.”
  In addition, there has been a lot of noteworthy news about the content review issue that Musk promised countless times before acquiring Twitter. On October 30, NBA star LeBron James angrily denounced that after Musk entered Twitter, the platform was accused of seeing a 500% surge in the appearance of racially discriminatory words starting with the letter “N” within 12 hours.
  Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.
  But soon, on November 1st, Twitter made a tough move — on that day, the White House tweeted: “Under President Biden, Social Security payments for the elderly are getting 10-year The largest increase.” And this news was quickly “refuted”: Someone used Twitter’s “Community Notes” function to add annotation information, saying that this increase was also accompanied by inflation, and also linked to the US Social Security Administration website The Legal History page of .
  Musk forwarded and affirmed Twitter’s “Community Notes” function, and at the same time expressed his desire to “make Twitter the most accurate source of information on earth, independent of political factions.”
  On the same day, the White House deleted related tweets.
  On November 2, a piece of news that “Trump is dead” quickly appeared on Twitter. Posted by American comedian Tim Heidecker, he claimed Trump was dead, and a terrible death. Also @Musk, saying that Musk suppressed the news.
  In any case, how to moderate false information, misinformation, hate speech and other problematic content on Twitter after the “absolute liberal” Musk took over Twitter quickly became a hot topic. But obviously, rather than focusing on content review itself, many people would rather turn it into a game of wits and courage with Musk.
Employees: not welcome

  On Thursday, November 17, the day after Musk sent the “hardcore or get out” email, an apocalyptic mood permeated the entire company and Twitter platform.
  A considerable number of employees are too lazy to continue playing with Musk. Even with today’s particularly dire economic market, with major Silicon Valley and U.S. tech companies laying off workers, it’s even harder to find new jobs. But employees have clearly had enough.
  On Thursday, the deadline is getting closer and closer. Musk and his team found that there were not enough people who said yes, and they became nervous.

  How will this hasty and chaotic layoffs develop in the future? At least for now, there is still no end in sight. Because, soon, Musk has another wave of new moves.

  Internal news came out: Musk and the team arranged a large number of meetings with key positions and senior engineers, trying to persuade them to stay yes, so that the calendar on Thursday was fully arranged.
  Musk tried to convince these employees with a variety of jobs and generous compensation. In his plan, the next Twitter 2.0 will do five major things:
  personal blue tick authentication; enterprise user authentication system; DM encryption; tweet reward; long article function.
  However, from the perspective of employees, they can no longer trust Musk. Compared with doing these five things well, it is more likely that Musk, the new boss who is arrogant and passionate about layoffs, will screw everything up.
  Employees bid farewell on Slack and then took to Twitter to post their farewells with their own accounts.
  These testimonials are not long, after all, Twitter is still a 280-character social platform. More people sent photos of their work cards and laptops, accompanied by a short message.
  And that familiar, saluting expression. Due to the large number of opt-outs, many people said that this emoji was swiped that afternoon.
  The words of a Chinese employee may express the aspirations of many former employees:
  ”I will not bow my head, and I will not say yes. Sorry, Mr. Richest, I control my life myself.”
  According to the statistics of Platformer, New York Times, Bloomberg and other organizations , This round of automatic resignation has at least 1,200 employees. This means that the remaining Twitter employees may only be more than 2,000 people. According to insiders, people from several departments resigned collectively, including the payroll team, tax team and financial reporting team.
  Even with so many people resigning and being fired from IT and HR, Twitter has no way of determining who should close access to email, Slack, and other systems in a short period of time. Three employees who resigned Thursday told CNBC they still had access to some of Twitter’s internal systems Friday morning.
  Just on Friday morning, Musk also asked:
  ”What’s the next step?”

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