Elon Musk Defends Firing Twitter Employees But Argues That The Company’s Stance On Moderation Is “Completely Unchanged”

Elon Musk Defends Firing Twitter Employees But Argues That The Company's Stance On Moderation Is "Completely Unchanged"

Even while the firm (Twitter) moved last month to reassure personnel that there were no plans for mass layoffs following Mr. Musk’s $44 billion buyout, the job losses were widely anticipated.

“Unfortunately, there is no choice,” Elon Musk said in defense of firing half of Twitter’s 8,000 employees.

The platform’s dedication to moderation, said to Mr. Musk, remained “completely unaltered.”

Regarding Twitter’s labor reduction, he tweeted: “Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a choice when the firm is losing more than $4 million every day.

Everyone who was let go received a three-month severance package, which is 50% more than what was legally required.

Yoel Roth, the head of safety and integrity at the firm, acknowledged the layoffs had touched 50% of the company just minutes before Elon Musk posted his comments, including 15% of the trust and safety division.

He noted that frontline moderators had felt “the least impact.”

This was retweeted by Mr. Musk, who called it a “great summary.”

Users fearful that Mr. Musk’s takeover and the job reductions would decimate the moderation and safety teams and make the platform anarchic were reassured by the statements.

This is especially crucial in light of the firm’s role in the dissemination of misinformation and abuse leading up to the US midterm elections.

“When you fire roughly 50% of your personnel, including teams in charge of really tracking, monitoring, and enforcing content moderation and guidelines, that necessarily suggests that content moderation has changed,” said Jessica González, co-chief executive of Free Press.

The elimination of entire teams

A number of employees tweeted about their job losses, claiming that the firm had cut teams working on human rights and international conflicts, another team looking into algorithms for bias in how tweets are amplified, and an engineering team working to make the platform more accessible for those with disabilities.

After it was claimed that Mr. Musk intended to fire 75% of the personnel following his $44 billion (£38.4 billion) buyout, the business attempted to reassure employees last month.

But on his first day as the company’s owner, Mr. Musk abolished the board of directors and sacked a number of top executives, including Chief Executive Parag Agrawal.

Ex-employees lawsuit

Later, it was announced to the staff that they would learn their fate on Friday, however, some had already received information after losing access to their work accounts.

According to The Associated Press, four former employees have filed at least one complaint saying that the firm broke the law by failing to give terminated employees the needed notice.

If it turns out that specific groups, including women, people of color, or older workers, were disproportionately harmed, Mr. Musk may potentially be vulnerable to discrimination charges.

The necessity for “great care” in “layoffs of this size”

According to employment attorney Peter Rahbar, most firms “take considerable care in undertaking layoffs of this magnitude” to ensure they are legitimate, don’t unfairly discriminate against anyone, and don’t draw unwelcome attention to the business.

For whatever reason, he appears to wish to fire half the workforce without investigating these individuals’ backgrounds or activities or paying any attention to the law.

According to Emma Bartlett, a partner at the firm CM Murray LLP who specializes in employment and partnership law, The firm is required by law to provide notice to employees in the UK.

She said that failure to inform the government of mass firings could “have criminal penalties attached with it,” but it is unclear whether such penalties would ever be implemented.

In the meantime, a number of businesses, including United Airlines, Audi, General Mills, and General Motors, announced they would stop purchasing ads on Twitter.

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