Thus ends yet another dramatic week at Twitter, which continues to be run to the ground and devolve into chaos.
When Elon Musk sent an ultimatum to Twitter employees in an email to commit to a new “hardcore” culture at a new Twitter 2.0, or resign from their position and accept severance pay of three months, it is likely that he did not expect it to backfire so spectacularly. Most employees, choosing not to commit to “long hours at high intensity,” got involved in the mass resignations from the social media company, which resulted in Twitter disabling badge access and closing all of its office buildings.
The offices will be closed till November 21.
As surprising as it sounds, this is true: Musk’s “hardcore” reset to build a new Twitter 2.0 was far from well received as hundreds – nearly thousands – of Twitter employees chose to resign en masse following his ultimatum. As per the internal email, the new Twitter owner and CEO had imposed a deadline of 5 PM ET, by which employees had to inform via a Google form whether they intended to stay at the company or leave. “Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade,” Musk informed.
Considering the fact that it is the performance and contribution of Twitter’s employees over the past decade-and-a-half that made Twitter into one of the leading social networking platforms, the new “hardcore” reset mentions nothing about increased remuneration as recompense for “higher intensity” work for longer periods of time, and Musk remains vague about the metrics that will decide what counts as “exceptional performance” – it is likely to be at the whims of the billionaire, as usual – it is clear why most employees chose not to be any part of Musk’s Twitter 2.0.
“I’m not pressing the button,” an employee posted on Slack. “My watch ends with Twitter 1.0. I do not wish to be part of Twitter 2.0.” According to Fortune reporter Kylie Robison, nearly 3/4th of the remaining employees tendered their resignations. This includes several “critical” engineering teams – including the team that maintains Twitter’s core system libraries – and employees working in other crucial areas, leading to fears that a lesser headcount could result in the further devolution of Twitter’s content moderation.
What I’m hearing from Twitter employees; It looks like roughly 75% of the remaining 3,700ish Twitter employees have not opted to stay after the “hardcore” email.
Even though the deadline has passed, everyone still has access to their systems.
— Kylie Robison (@kyliebytes) November 17, 2022
Including the mass purge that Musk had initiated recently – where he laid off about half of Twitter’s 7500-strong workforce, along with the dozens of employees who were fired for criticizing or mocking the new Chief Twit – Twitter had around 2,900 employees remaining before the deadline. This could dwindle to 2000 by the end of the day, and if the 75% who tendered their resignations choose to leave, then Twitter’s workforce will have shrunk by 88% ever since Musk took over as the new owner, and we’re barely halfway through the month.
Members of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team were discussing a mass resignation as well, according to people familiar with the matter and who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“I’m delighted to know I have the option to leave,” another employee said as they chose to leave. “I’m not committing to hardcore Twitter.” “It feels like all the people who made this place incredible are leaving,” another Twitter emloyee said. “It will be extremely hard for Twitter to recover from here, no matter how hardcore the people who remain try to be.”
“Twitter just alerted employees that effective immediately, all office buildings are temporarily closed and badge access is suspended,” tweeted Zoe Schiffer, Managing Editor, Platformer, adding that Musk and his team are “terrified” that “employees are going to sabotage the company. Also, they’re still trying to figure out which Twitter workers they need to cut access for.”
We're hearing this is because Elon Musk and his team are terrified employees are going to sabotage the company. Also, they're still trying to figure out which Twitter workers they need to cut access for.
— Zoë Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) November 17, 2022
This development also comes soon after Musk allowed for a slight concession for Twitter employees, where he allowed those who opted to work remotely to continue doing so, if their managers determined they were making “an excellent contribution.”
“Any manager who falsely claims that someone reporting to them is doing excellent work or that a given role is essential, whether remote or not, will be exited from the company,” Musk warned.