The movement of employees leaving Twitter is now numbering in the hundreds as a direct response to the latest announcement of Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk. He has started the wave of stricter policies and conditions among which was staffers signing up for “long hours at high intensity, “ or leaving. The ultimate hardcore work environment which is almost the exact opposite of Twitter’s culture right before Musk stepped in for the takeover.
Swift, sudden and scorching. The changes that Twitter is now undergoing have never blighted the company until now. The still-climbing numbers of employees who readily quit their jobs after realizing the repercussions of how Musk will run the company are proof that Twitter’s 2.0 version is a huge undertaking albeit a great risk for a better future.
Earlier on, Musk already fired half of the workforce including the top management and remained steadfast in his vision of future Twitter. Musk also expressed that he was not worried about the resignations as “the best people are staying”.
His nonchalance was also seen in his statements, “We just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage…,” without elaborating. He still met with top employees to persuade them to stay. Twitter also has notified employees who are affected by some offices closing up as well as badge access being cut by Monday. Some employees have also reported being kicked out by security officers in the said affected offices by Thursday evening.
The latest emails that Elon Musk sent include a Friday morning plea:
“Anyone who actually writes software, please report to the 10th floor at 2 p.m. today,” he wrote in a two-paragraph message, which was viewed by The New York Times. “Thanks, Elon.”
Twitter employees quitting: Ripple-effect felt across global offices
Twitter’s global offices on at least four continents have over 110 employees announcing their decision to leave the company. This was seen in public Twitter posts as of a recent count. Meanwhile, on Twitter’s internal chat room over 500 employees also wrote farewell messages.
This movement to leave the company also comes in close after the familiar blue verification tag on safe accounts drastically changed to a USD8.00 monthly fee. This opened a hornet’s nest of various questionable accounts being opened and had the blue checkmark reflecting back. This has been addressed but not without causing stress and demotivation in Twitter’s staff.
Via the workplace app, Blind verifies that employees — using their work email addresses that also allow them to share information anonymously reflected that 42% of 180 respondents showed “Taking exit option, I’m free!”
Only a quarter chose to stay, “reluctantly,” and a meager minority of only 7% opted for “clicked yes to stay, I’m hardcore.”
Outages spiked up
Engineers who are there to make sure bugs are fixed and outages of services are prevented have also left Twitter. This drummed up the flurry of concerns about the app’s stability for the long term and how they will address and stave off the rest of the employees from leaving in haste.
The evening of Thursday, the version of the Twitter app being used by its employees began slowing down this also reflected in the version of the app being used by the public. As folks predicted, the public version of the app indeed experienced outages soon after. As with any app, a source inside Twitter declared, “If it does break, there is no one left to fix things in many areas.” The person chose to remain anonymous fearing any repercussions on the insight they shared.
Looking into the website Downdetector — which tracks app outages — reports of Twitter outages sharply rose from less than 50 to around 350 reports on Thursday evening.
On Signal where there’s a private chatroom of about 50 Twitter staffers showed that almost 40 had decided to leave. In the Slack group for Twitter’s current and former employees, about 360 people joined a new channel titled, “voluntary layoff”. A further poll on Blind asked staffers to estimate the percentage of people leaving based on their perception. More than half of respondents estimated at least 50% of employees will leave.
Changing for the better or bracing for a meltdown?
Wednesday saw Musk email Twitter employees, “Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore.”
The epic email asked employees to click “yes” if they wanted to stick around. If there was no response by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday they would be considered to have quit and given a three-month severance package.
This triggered actions by employees to leave, consult each other in different chat rooms and use Twitter to announce their exit as well as empathetic emojis, and blue hearts flooding the internet. This has been the second time Twitter employees bid farewell.
As the resignations rolled in, Musk cracked a joke on Twitter. “How do you make a small fortune in social media?” he tweeted. “Start out with a large one.”
Could it be that Elon Musk has gone beyond the threshold of moving the company forward toward his vision of Twitter 2.0? In my humble opinion, the urgency of implementing such drastic changes is uncalled for. Despite the size and the revenue generated by Twitter, this is still wholly a service company that is largely dependent on the quality of its employees. It is worth the time to bring everyone on the same page as well as consider insights and concerns aired by tenured employees who have helped build Twitter.
Let us know your take on this folks. Twitter is an important venue where information can be disseminated in a responsible manner. Such a waste if this collapses. Our global town hall might disappear along with how we can stay informed and connected. Hope to see your comments below, we welcome your feedback, ideas and reactions. Thanks!