Twitter temporarily shuttered its offices as an exodus of staff from the troubled social media giant increases, prompting warnings about the site’s ability to stay online during the World Cup.
The company’s decision to close its doors until Monday was apparently prompted by fears that leaving employees could “sabotage” the company.
The latest upheaval comes after hundreds of workers are said to have rejected an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk to sign up for longer, more intense work hours to build a new “extremely tough” Twitter.
The billionaire tycoon, who picked up the platform in a $44 billion acquisition last monthHe said those who didn’t sign up would be fired.
Twitter’s chief emailed staff on Wednesday asking them to click Yes on a form to confirm they would stay with the company under his new rules, and those who didn’t on Thursday night received a three-month severance months.
The number of staff who have decided to leave appears to have taken Musk and his team by surprise.
The employer later backtracked on his insistence that everyone work in the office, and his initial rejection of remote work angered many employees.
Musk’s email bombardment of staff
Musk also softened his previous tone in another email to employees, writing that “all that is required for approval is your manager taking responsibility for ensuring you are making an excellent contribution.”
He added that workers are expected to have “in-person meetings with their colleagues at a reasonable cadence, ideally weekly, but no less than once a month.”
Since taking over Twitter less than three weeks ago, Musk has cut half of the company’s full-time staff of 7,500 and also cut contractors responsible for content moderation and other crucial jobs.
Many have posted on Twitter to say goodbye to colleagues, while there are reports of hundreds of employees confirming in private message channels that they are leaving.
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As a result, concerns have been raised that the platform could struggle to stay online as a large number of its maintainers leave the company and that any issues that arise could take longer to fix without key engineers on site. to deal with problems.
#RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter have been trending on the platform as users consider leaving the site as well, and some have begun to point followers to their accounts on other platforms.
The Tesla and SpaceX boss has continued to tweet during the ongoing turmoil, often mocking concerns raised about the company by posting memes and clarifying the situation.
“How do you make a small fortune on social media? Start with a big one,” he joked.
He also claimed that the controversy was driving more traffic to the site, saying that overnight the company “had just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage.”
But industry expert Matt Navarra warned that the rig was under increased pressure as key engineers in charge of maintaining the site leave as a major event: The World Cup – starts this weekend at Qatar.
He said: “There are reports of equipment that is critical to a number of Twitter infrastructure systems now sitting completely empty; those equipment have been completely decimated.
“And so if something goes wrong or breaks or there’s a sudden spike in activity, then Twitter’s ability to fix or fix it is greatly reduced due to the lack of qualified engineers that the teams have now.” .
Several Twitter users have begun directing their followers to their accounts on other platforms with uncertainty about the site’s ability to stay online.
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Navarra believes that an imminent blackout is unlikely.
He said: “There’s a code freeze in place and Twitter is running on autopilot right now with their IT systems, and that’s a strategic move by Elon Musk to protect the stability of the platform while he figures out the next move. .
“But with the World Cup approaching, it will be a real test of Twitter’s resilience and ability to maintain a platform through a busy period.
“So if there’s going to be a time when it’s going to go offline, I think the biggest risk right now is going to be during some of the key moments of the World Cup.”