Twitter employees today: spoofing new bosses, worrying about being laid off, looking forward to new changes

Today for Twitter employees: spoofing new boss, worrying about layoffs, looking forward to new changes

On April 26, Beijing time, Twitter accepted Musk’s offer to buy the company for $44 billion, bringing the world’s richest man one step closer to taking control of the social media platform. Musk has said he plans to take Twitter private, which would make it easier for him to implement the expected overhaul that would turn the company into a bastion of free speech.

Musk’s stance could be at odds with Twitter’s series of efforts in recent years to reach a wider audience and be friendlier to advertisers, depending, of course, on how “freedom of speech” is implemented. Musk has more than 80 million followers on Twitter. His outsized influence on the platform, and his history of using the platform to “battle” people with differing views from him, magnified employees’ doubts about his imminent rise to power.

“This is a disturbing and uncertain time,” Edward Perez, Twitter’s director of social health product management, tweeted Monday after the deal was announced. “Most of us firmly believe that Twitter is not just a technology platform and that we have a huge responsibility to society. I hope our new bosses understand.”

Twitter’s one-time soul helm, Jack Dorsey, issued a series of tweets Monday night in support of Musk’s “goal of creating a platform with the ‘maximum trust and broad inclusivity'” and shared his vision for Musk’s management of the company .

“In principle, I don’t think anyone should own or operate Twitter,” Jack Dorsey wrote. “Twitter wants to be a public product at the protocol level, not a company. However, I believe Musk can solve Twitter’s operational problems, and he is the only ‘solution’ I trust. I believe he will shoulder its social awareness. duty of.”

Employees at the social media company began predicting their futures under Musk. An employee who claimed to be the company’s product manager tweeted that Musk’s acquisition would help Twitter recruiting: “You’d be surprised how many people wrote to me today, if Musk took over Twitter there would be There are a lot of good people who will consider joining Twitter.”

Some employees expressed the opposite view. One of them said that Twitter employees took seriously its mission to provide a “public conversation” service, and that Musk’s “free speech authoritarianism” ran counter to that mission. For years, Twitter has tried to promote what it calls “healthier speech” on the platform, tightening Twitter content moderation and limiting online violence.

Another employee “welcomed” the new boss, retweeting one user: “If you’ve ever wanted to hire an existing Twitter employee, you can slip into their LinkedIn profile this week.” Employees added their LinkedIn pages and tweeted a spoof: “Fell me, Daddy Musk.”

Some employees are making jokes about it. “Send us all a Tesla!” someone tweeted. Another employee predicted that Canadian singer Grimes, who has two children with Musk, will perform at the company’s end-of-year party. Another employee tweeted a video of actor Will Ferrell, quoting his line from the 2008 film “I Won’t Call Him Dad” — “I won’t call him Dad.”

More former Twitter employees also came to join in the fun. Sriram Krishnan, who led Twitter’s core consumer products team until December 2019, tweeted: “He’s excited for Musk and Twitter.”

“The Twitter social platform is one of the most important social services in the world, it needs reform, and Musk is probably the best candidate,” Sriram Krishnan wrote on Twitter.

Paul Katsen, a former employee who left Twitter in January, told The Wall Street Journal that he was very excited about Musk joining Twitter. He believes: “There is no doubt that Musk has proven that he can enter an industry that has long been without fresh blood to lead, and assemble a high-performing team focused on the long-term mission and resist the noise of the haters/authorities to achieve. Impossible goal.”

In a series of tweets Monday night, Jack Dorsey said in an upbeat tone: “I’m delighted that Twitter will continue to serve the public conversation and look forward to it going from strength to strength.”

Minutes after Musk’s announcement to buy Twitter, employees on the company’s internal Slack communications channel began to say they planned to quit, according to some employees. One employee said that many people had asked openly in internal Slack channels what the acquisition would mean for LGBTQ employees and the company’s plans for gender diversity.

Those concerns may stem in part from problems at Tesla, where Musk is chief executive. In October, a federal jury found that Tesla caused a black former employee to experience racial discrimination at work and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent him from being racially harassed. Tesla said it did not believe the verdict was reasonable. Musk also tweeted a meme mocking gendered pronouns, adding that while he supports the transgender community, he thinks including gendered pronouns on someone’s resume is an “aesthetic nightmare.”

In 2018, Musk was indicted for suggesting that a cave diver in Thailand who criticized Musk was a pedophile. A jury in Los Angeles eventually found that Musk’s use of Twitter was not defamatory.

Employees also said they were concerned about possible layoffs and changes to their restricted stock units after the acquisition.

Twitter declined to comment. Musk also did not reply.

At an all-hands meeting on Monday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said: “There are no layoffs and the company’s priorities will not change until the deal closes,” said the people familiar with the matter. Chairman Bret taylor said: ” The board agreed to sell Twitter because of their fiduciary duty to maximize returns for Twitter investors.”


Today for Twitter employees: spoofing new boss, worrying about layoffs, looking forward to new changes

Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.

Twitter CEO  Parag Agrawal said: “Musk agreed to convert employee stock into cash after the deal closes, and pay out on the same cash-out schedule,” the people said.

“Once Musk takes over, we don’t know where the company will go,” Agrawal said.

According to an employee who heard the remarks, Agrawal repeatedly said that Twitter would only grow when everyone felt it was safe to participate in the company’s operations. There is diversity on the platform, and companies must reflect that diversity in every employee.

One former executive said he hoped Musk would recognize the quality of the company’s team and hear what they could bring to the company before firing anyone.

Taking the company private could be good for Twitter, the former executive added. Public pressure always slows companies down, so with the cover of privatization, companies can move faster, especially on open-source projects, the person said.

Musk has previously said he thinks Twitter should open-source its algorithm, meaning others outside the company will be able to review and suggest changes and optimizations.

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