Elon Musk defended the mass layoffs on Twitter, saying the laid off employees received a three-month payout from the company, which is losing more than $4 million a day.
The company started widespread downsizing worldwide on Friday, with suggestions that up to half of its more than 7,500 employees could lose their jobs.
Musk tweeted on Friday evening: “When it comes to reducing the strength of Twitter, unfortunately there is no other choice when the company is losing over $4 million a day. All those released were offered 3 months of severance pay.
Musk is believed to want to cut the company’s costs significantly after completing his $44 billion ($39 billion) takeover of the platform last week.
He tweeted a series of messages from Twitter’s chief security officer, Yoel Roth, who said, “Here are the facts about the current state of trust and safety and Twitter’s moderation ability. Although we said goodbye to some incredibly talented friends and colleagues yesterday, our core moderation capabilities remain in place.
“Yesterday’s downsizing affected around 15% of our Trust & Safety organization (compared to around 50% company-wide reductions), with our frontline moderation staff experiencing the least impact.
“Last week, for security reasons, we restricted access to our internal tools for certain users, including some members of my team. Most of the more than 2,000 content moderators working on the frontline review were unaffected and access will be fully restored in the coming days.
“Over 80% of our incoming content moderation volume was unaffected by this access change. The daily volume of moderation actions we take has remained stable throughout this time.”
Musk followed that up with a tweet saying, “Again, to be perfectly clear, Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged. In fact, we’ve actually seen hate speech at times this week drop *below* our previous standards, contrary to what you may read in the press.
He had previously accused “militant groups” of pressuring advertisers to leave the platform, causing a drop in revenue.
The Tesla owner also responded to users’ posts and memes about the ad, saying, “Twitter will not censor accurate information about anything.”
Joe Biden said at a campaign event in Illinois on Friday night: “Now what are we all worried about? Elon Musk, going out and buying an outfit that sends and spews lies all over the world. How can we expect children to be able to understand what is at stake? »
In the UK, the Prospect union, which represents thousands of tech workers, including Twitter employees, said in a letter to business secretary Grant Shapps that the company had acted “unacceptably”. .
Cambridge University law professor Simon Deakin said if 100 or more employees of a company are made redundant within 90 days, the business secretary must be notified 45 days before the first redundancy. When there are more than 20 but less than 100 potential losses, the time limit is 30 days.
Deakin said: ‘If there is no effective notice given here, there could be a fine, so the employer or director could be fined. And the fine currently has no limit and it is a criminal offence.
“If they lay off 100 workers there is a possibility that a criminal offense will be committed, we don’t know the whole story, what the establishment is and maybe they gave notice.”