Twitter-Musk News Timeline: #RIPTwitter Trends After Employees Resign

Twitter’s new proprietor and CEO, Elon Musk, has been making dramatic adjustments since he finalized a deal to purchase the corporate for about $44 billion on Oct. 27. After shedding half the workers, he gave remaining workers an ultimatum to pledge working underneath his new hard-charging tradition or get out. Many, it appears, determined to depart.

Twitter’s saga with Musk, who additionally runs automaker Tesla and aerospace firm SpaceX, was chaotic even earlier than he took management. He signed a deal in April to accumulate the corporate however then tried to again out of it, main Twitter to sue him. After months of pretrial skirmishes, Musk closed the acquisition proper earlier than a court-ordered deadline. 

Here’s the newest information about Musk’s takeover of Twitter:

Nov. 17: Twitter customers worry the tip of the platform is close to. Musk locks workplace doorways as many workers take severance gives. Meanwhile, senators need FTC investigation

Twitter customers began tweeting farewell remarks as #RIPTwitter trended on the platform within the US and different elements of the world. 

Fears a couple of potential collapse of the location got here after a whole lot of workers determined to depart the corporate earlier within the day. One former Twitter worker informed The Washington Post that there is no longer “a skeleton crew manning the system.” “It will continue to coast until it runs into something, and then it will stop,” the worker mentioned. Musk tweeted a meme with Twitter’s emblem on a grave stone. 

The remaining 3,500 someodd workers left at Twitter had a option to make on the finish of the day on Nov. 17: Join Musk’s hard-charging new “Twitter 2.0,” full with minimum-40-hour-workweeks and plenty of different grueling adjustments, or depart with three months of severance.

Up to 75% of remaining workers reportedly went for the exits, in line with Fortune and Bloomberg, creating confusion about what number of remaining individuals would have entry to the places of work. together with what the Verge mentioned had been some “legendary” engineers and coders.

Around the identical time, the corporate reportedly locked the doorways to its San Francisco headquarters till Nov. 21, in line with the tech newsletter Platformer. Twitter, which not seems to have a PR division, did not reply to a request for remark.

All of this occured after Musk softened his stance on how he needed to run the brand new Twitter, at the very least considerably. An e-mail despatched to Twitter workers on Nov. 9 mentioned distant work could be banned, however a message emailed to workers on Nov. 17 had Musk saying distant work will be obtainable if authorised, in line with a report from Bloomberg. 

“All that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that you are making an excellent contribution,” Musk mentioned within the e-mail. He additionally needed workers to have in-person crew conferences at the very least as soon as a month. 

Twitter can also be going through extra scrutiny from US lawmakers. A bunch of Democratic senators despatched a letter to Lina Khan, the chairwoman of the US Federal Trade Commission. Outlined within the letter are what the legislators described as “alarming steps” taken by Musk together with new options which have been used for scams, a rise in hate speech and the removing of cybersecurity executives inside the firm, doubtlessly placing customers’ private information in danger. The senators level out that this motion might imply the corporate is in violation of the FTC’s consent decree to guard this information as a part of a settlement with the fee in 2011. 

“We urge the Commission to vigorously oversee its consent decree with Twitter and to bring enforcement actions against any breaches or business practices that are unfair or deceptive, including bringing civil penalties and imposing liability on individual Twitter executives where appropriate,” the senators mentioned. 

Among the seven Democratic senators are Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey. 

Twitter violated the consent decree again in May when the FTC discovered the corporate used safety information like cellphone numbers and e-mail addresses to focus on promoting at customers. This led to a $150 million settlement paid by Twitter.

Musk appeared to finish the day poking enjoyable at his earlier warning Twitter could go bankrupt.

Twitter did not reply to an earlier request for remark both.

Nov. 16: Musk calls for ‘hardcore’ work tradition. Dorsey’s ‘nope’

Musk emailed all workers to outline his vision for “Twitter 2.0,” which would require an “extremely hardcore” tradition, with lengthy hours and excessive depth, in line with Pragmatic Engineer author (and former Uber engineer) Gergely Orosz. Employees should comply with this on Thursday or depart with three months of severance pay. 

During testimony Wednesday over a Tesla shareholder case alleging that his wage as CEO is extreme, Musk additionally reportedly informed the courtroom that he doesn’t need to be CEO of Tesla, and that his chief government management of Twitter is a short lived association.

“I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time,” he mentioned, in line with CNBC.

Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.

When a follower requested Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey if he’d think about returning as CEO, Dorsey responded with a agency “nope.” There’s no indication that he acquired a suggestion to return — the follower’s question got here after Dorsey engaged in dialog about Twitter’s future and expressed confidence that the location would survive. His earlier tenure as CEO resulted in May 2021, and he left its board of administrators in May 2022. 

Nov. 15: Workers fired for talking about Musk on Slack

Employees who criticized Elon Musk in Twitter’s Slack channels were fired overnight via email, Platformer’s Casey Newton mentioned a tweet. They had been apparently informed their “recent behavior has violated company policy.” It’s unclear how many individuals had been affected.

Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 14: Musk needs better Twitter video help

Speaking by way of video hyperlink, Musk informed enterprise leaders through the G20 summit in Bali that he needs to see Twitter help extra longer-form video to herald extra content material creators. He additionally famous that he is been working “at the absolute most amount … from morning til night, seven days a week” for the reason that acquisition.

Nov. 13: SpaceX reportedly buys main Twitter advert package deal

SpaceX, Musk’s aerospace firm, ordered a Twitter “takeover” promoting package deal for its satellite tv for pc web service Starlink, CNBC reported. This will seemingly promote the service on individuals’s Twitter timelines in Spain and Australia and may value greater than $250,000. It comes after some advertisers paused campaigns because of the upheaval at Twitter. 

SpaceX did not reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 12: Thousands of contract workers seemingly terminated

Twitter minimize 1000’s of contract workers, in line with Platformer’s Casey Newton, Axios and CNBC, with Newton reporting that round 4,400 of Twitter’s roughly 5,500 contractors had been affected. Most did not get any discover and came upon as a result of they misplaced entry to the corporate’s e-mail and inner communications techniques, Newton reported.


The firm did not reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 11: Twitter Blue subscription possibility vanishes

The possibility to enroll in the $8 a month subscription service Twitter Blue is not obtainable on Twitter’s iOS app, as earlier reported by The Verge. The shift comes days after the service launched for Apple gadgets and previous to its Android launch. Attempting to subscribe on desktop directs you to the iOS app.

CNET can affirm that this manifests in two distinct methods: the choice to subscribe has vanished from the sidebar, and tapping the hyperlink offers you an error message. 

A Twitter Blue error against a blue and black background on an iOS version of the app

Trying to subscribe to Twitter Blue on the iOS app resulted on this message on Nov. 11.

Twitter/Screenshot by CNET

“Thank you for your interest!” it reads. “Twitter Blue will be available in your country in the future. Please check back later.”

It’s unclear why the corporate paused signups for the service, however a lot of customers reportedly purchased verification to impersonate brands and celebrities. An internal note posted on its Slack mentioned it stopped individuals from subscribing “to help address impersonation issues,” in line with tech outlet Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer.

Twitter did not reply to CNET’s request for remark.

Nov. 10: Musk bans distant work and warns of chapter, legal professional says he is risking billions in FTC fines

Musk despatched his first emails to workers on Nov. 9, warning that “the economic picture ahead is dire.” He banned distant work until he personally authorised it, in line with Bloomberg, whereas The New York Times reported that he informed employees “the absolute top priority is finding and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam.”

An legal professional on Twitter’s privateness crew posted a message within the firm’s Slack warning that Musk’s concentrate on monetizing its customers is making him take harmful steps, The Verge reported. It’s apparently at explicit threat of incurring billions in fines from the Federal Trade Commission within the wake of a May settlement relating to using private information to focus on adverts.

Twitter’s chief privateness officer, Damien Kieran; Chief Information Security Officer Lea Kissner; and Chief Compliance Officer Marianne Fogarty all resigned, The Verge famous. Kissner’s departure confirmed her departure in a tweet.

Musk additionally reportedly informed workers chapter was a chance, Bloomberg reported, citing an individual conversant in the matter. Two extra Twitter executives — Yoel Roth, the corporate’s head of belief and security, and Robin Wheeler, who led advertising and marketing and gross sales at Twitter — additionally resigned, in line with the report. Wheeler then determined to remain on the firm after Musk persuaded her to take action, Bloomberg reported. Roth, Wheeler and Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro did not reply to a request for remark. 

Nov. 9: Musk tries to reassure advertisers amid confusion about examine marks

Twitter’s rollout of a new verification system is messy. Twitter began including grey examine marks and an “official” label to high-profile Twitter accounts however then scrapped among the adjustments hours later.

In an hour-long dwell audio chat on Twitter later within the day, Musk mentioned the brand new labels are an “aesthetic nightmare when looking at the Twitter feed” and “another way of creating a two-class system.” 

Esther Crawford, who oversees early-stage merchandise at Twitter, tweeted that the corporate would nonetheless be rolling out the “official” label however to authorities and industrial entities first. Twitter additionally began permitting individuals so as to add blue examine marks to their profiles in the event that they pay $8 a month for a Twitter Blue subscription. Scammers are already utilizing the brand new system to create faux accounts. Twitter mentioned it will droop accounts engaged in misleading techniques and impersonation.

In the audio chat, Musk mentioned Twitter’s plans for a content material moderation council and choices by firms to quickly pause their promoting campaigns on Twitter.

“I don’t think having hate speech next to an ad is great. Obviously,” he mentioned. Musk additionally mentioned he thinks it would take Twitter a few months to create a content material moderation council. 

He signaled, although, that he is not planning to decelerate on the subject of altering Twitter. 

“The rate of evolution of Twitter will be an immense step change compared to what it has been in the past,” he mentioned. “You know, if nothing else, I am a technologist and I can make technology go fast.”

Nov. 6: Paid examine marks could also be pushed again, Musk cracks down on impersonation

Paid verification reportedly delayed till after election

Twitter is suspending the rollout of verification badges related to an $8 month-to-month subscription service till after the midterm elections, in line with The New York Times.

Impersonators get the boot

Musk warned that any Twitter account partaking in impersonation with out clearly specifying that it is parody would get hit with a everlasting ban. In response, some customers modified their names to “Elon Musk,” which led to their suspension.

Nov. 5: Paying for examine marks, listening to from Dorsey

Pay-for-verification plan exhibits up in iOS replace

Version notes for the most recent iteration of Twitter’s app for the Apple iPhone confirmed up within the App Store, with a What’s New part that pointed to the verification function. The notes inform customers that “starting today” for those who “sign up now” for an $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription, “your account will get a blue checkmark, just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow.” It seems, although, that this system hasn’t really kicked in but. Read extra right here.

Dorsey weighs in

With information studies saying Twitter had laid off about half its workers, co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey took to the service to supply phrases of encouragement and to position blame on himself.

“I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that,” Dorsey tweeted. He additionally known as Twitter staffers previous and current “resilient” and said, “I am grateful for, and love, everyone who has ever worked on Twitter. I don’t expect that to be mutual in this moment.”

In April, Dorsey expressed his help of Musk taking on the corporate, however he additionally mentioned that in precept, he thought nobody ought to personal or run Twitter and that it ought to as a substitute be “a public good.”

Nov. 4: Musk says Twitter has had ‘large drop’ in income

Since Musk’s takeover, a number of main advertisers, corresponding to Tesla rival General Motors, meals firm General Mills and pharmaceutical company Pfizer, have quickly paused their advert campaigns on Twitter. Musk tweeted that Twitter has had a “massive drop” in income, which he blamed on activist teams pressuring advertisers. Musk did not say in his tweet how a lot Twitter’s income has fallen, nor did he determine the activists. In the tweet, Musk additionally mentioned Twitter hasn’t modified its content material moderation insurance policies. 

Musk additionally made an look on the Baron Investment Conference, the place he famous that Twitter grappled with income challenges earlier than the acquisition and that he tried to get out of the deal.

His remarks got here after Twitter began shedding workers. Musk later tweeted that there was “no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day.” Without specifying how many individuals had been laid off or what proportion of the workforce, Musk added they had been “offered 3 months of severance.” Reportedly, about half of Twitter’s 7,500-person work pressure was laid off.

Civil rights teams that met with Musk spoke out in regards to the layoffs.

“For starters, there is no solution to maintain election integrity in place in case you are slicing capability to do the monitoring in #TwitterLayoffs,” tweeted Rashad Robinson, president of racial justice group Color of Change. The group is a part of #StopToxicTwitter, a coalition of greater than 60 organizations which are urging main advertisers to pause spending and put money into content material moderation. Partners listed on the coalition’s web site embody the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Public Citizen, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The Volkswagen Group and others reportedly paused advert spending due to issues that adverts might seem alongside problematic content material on the platform.

Nov. 3: Musk appears for methods to chop prices, lawsuit filed

Musk needs to chop prices and make Twitter much less depending on promoting. 

Reuters, citing two sources conversant in the matter and an inner Slack message, reported that Musk directed Twitter’s crew to search out greater than $1 billion in infrastructure value financial savings.

The firm is taking a look at different methods to earn a living exterior of promoting, together with “paywalled” movies and paid direct messages, The New York Times reported, citing two individuals with information of the matter and inner paperwork.

Musk is already making adjustments to Twitter’s work tradition. Bloomberg reported that Musk has eliminated “days of rest” from Twitter’s worker calendars and plans to cancel the corporate’s distant work coverage. Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.

Twitter reportedly informed workers in an e-mail that layoffs would occur. A lawsuit looking for class motion standing, accused Twitter of violating the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires giant firms to present least 60 days of advance discover earlier than mass layoffs, as beforehand reported by Bloomberg.

Nov. 2: Musk reportedly plans to chop half of Twitter’s workforce

Musk plans to chop about 3,700 jobs at Twitter, or half of the social media firm’s workforce, Bloomberg reported. Affected staffers are to learn of their destiny by Nov. 4, sources informed the information outlet.

Musk additionally plans to reverse the corporate’s present work-from-anywhere coverage, requiring remaining workers to report back to an workplace, the unidentified sources mentioned.

In one situation for lowering Twitter’s workforce being thought of, laid off employees shall be provided 60 days’ price of severance pay. Twitter customers have been bracing for layoffs since Musk introduced his bid for Twitter in April. One report indicated that Musk deliberate to chop 75% of jobs at Twitter.

Nov. 1: Musk suggests charging for verification

In a sequence of tweets, Musk floated the concept that Twitter cost $8 per thirty days for a verified blue examine mark as a part of its subscription plan. The firm’s subscription service, often known as Twitter Blue, presently prices $5 per thirty days however would not embody verification as a perk.

Twitter presently would not cost to confirm accounts with a blue examine mark, and the badge is meant to be given out to accounts that the corporate determines are “notable, authentic and active.” The blue examine mark is supposed to assist customers decide if an account of a star, journalist or different public determine is faux or not.

Musk tweeted that the value could be adjusted by nation and that the subscription would come with “priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam,” in addition to the “ability to post long video & audio.” He additionally mentioned customers would see “half as many ads.” 

Earlier within the day, The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter Blue subscribers will lose entry to ad-free articles from publishers like Vox, the Los Angeles Times and Insider. There have been numerous studies of various costs for a Twitter Blue subscription, with the corporate additionally reportedly having thought of growing the subscription value to $20 a month.

It’s unclear from Musk’s tweets if verified customers must pay for a subscription or lose their blue examine mark. Musk tweeted there could be “a secondary tag” for public figures, just like the one now used for politicians.

The firm’s chief buyer officer, Sarah Personette, additionally revealed in a tweet that she resigned.

Meanwhile, Twitter mentioned it has eliminated 1,500 accounts since Oct. 29 for posting hateful content material.

Oct. 31: Official CEO, board dissolved, layoff plans, no Trump choice but, content material moderation restricted

Days after naming himself “Chief Twit” on his Twitter profile, Musk confirmed he is the corporate’s CEO by a securities submitting. Other adjustments to Twitter’s management are additionally underway. A associated securities submitting exhibits Twitter’s board of administrators was dissolved the day Musk took over and recognized Musk because the “sole director” of the corporate. 

He additionally reportedly plans to put off 25% of Twitter’s workforce, The Washington Post reported, citing nameless sources. 

Musk, who has beforehand mentioned he would reverse former US President Donald Trump’s everlasting ban from Twitter, remains to be getting questions on whether or not he’ll observe by on that. Twitter booted Trump from its platform in 2021 following the lethal US Capitol Hill riot due to issues that his remarks might incite extra violence. 

“If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if Trump is coming back on this platform, Twitter would be minting money!” Musk tweeted

Twitter additionally restricted some Trust and Safety worker entry to inner instruments, Bloomberg reported, curbing their capability to average content material and tackle misinformation forward of subsequent week’s US elections. They can apparently nonetheless edit or take away posts that would lead to real-world hurt.

“This is exactly what we (or any company) should be doing in the midst of a corporate transition to reduce opportunities for insider risk. We’re still enforcing our rules at scale,” Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security and integrity, tweeted in response to Bloomberg’s story.

Oct. 30: Musk toys with checkmark adjustments and Vine revival, tweets misinformation

Musk has been busy suggesting adjustments to Twitter. He tweeted a ballot about whether or not Twitter ought to deliver again Vine, a short-form video app that Twitter shut down in 2017. 

Twitter additionally reportedly plans to cost $20 per thirty days for its Twitter Blue subscription service, and verified customers would lose their blue checkmark if they do not accomplish that in 90 days, The Verge reported, citing nameless sources. Platformer’s Casey Newton reported that Twitter is considering charging $5 a month to verified customers in the event that they need to maintain their blue checkmarks.

Musk additionally tweeted after which deleted a hyperlink to an article with a baseless conspiracy principle about final week’s assault on Paul Pelosi, the husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in San Francisco. The article got here from a web site known as the Santa Monica Observer. Fact-checking web site Media Bias/Fact Check famous the outlet publishes right-wing misinformation. 

Oct. 29: Twitter battles a surge in racist slurs

Twitter is attempting to fight nameless accounts that began to tweet racist slurs hours after Musk took over Twitter. 

Twitter head of security and integrity Yoel Roth tweeted that the corporate has “seen a small number of accounts post a ton of tweets that include slurs and other derogatory terms.” He added that “more than 50,000 tweets repeatedly using a particular slur came from just 300 accounts.”

“Bottom line up front: Twitter’s policies haven’t changed. Hateful conduct has no place here. And we’re taking steps to put a stop to an organized effort to make people think we have,” he tweeted.

Oct. 28: Twitter to type content material moderation council

Advocacy teams have raised issues that Musk’s management over Twitter would enable extra hate speech and misinformation to floor on the platform. Musk has vowed publicly he would not need Twitter to grow to be a “free-for-all hellscape” however has additionally mentioned that he is “against censorship that goes far beyond the law.”

Musk mentioned the corporate would type a content material moderation council with “widely diverse viewpoints.” The firm will not make any main content material choices or account reinstatements earlier than the council convenes, he tweeted.

A securities submitting on Oct. 28 additionally famous that Twitter’s inventory is being delisted on the New York Stock Exchange. Twitter, a publicly traded firm, turned a personal one. 

Oct. 27: Musk takes over Twitter, fires executives

Musk turned Twitter’s new proprietor and reportedly fired key executives on the firm, together with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of authorized coverage, belief and security.

Earlier within the day, Musk tweeted a letter to advertisers. The billionaire, who as soon as tweeted that he hated promoting, now posted that “advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain and inform you.” 

Musk met with workers all through the week, carried a sink into Twitter’s headquarters as a photograph op and adjusted his profile to “Chief Twit” earlier than information broke that the deal had been accomplished.

CNET workers contributed to this report.

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