Mass layoffs begin at Twitter 

by mcardinal

Vicky Arias, FISM News


Twitter appears set to layoff nearly half of its workforce, or about 3,700 people, as employees began receiving emails of termination this morning.

The tech company temporarily closed its offices, informing employees to expect an email letting them know whether or not they are still employed.

“In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” Twitter stated in an email as reported by Business Insider.

The email continued, explaining that their “offices will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended,” telling staff to “please return home” if they were on their way to work or already at the office. 

The layoffs come just over a week after Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, purchased the company for a hefty $44 billion. In that short time, Musk has fired several top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal.

As of Friday morning, employees began to receive layoff notifications in their inboxes.

According to the New York Times, “one New York-based worker received an email saying their job had been ‘impacted’ but that they would remain employed through a separation date in early February.” In Europe, various employees received an email saying that “it is with regret that we write to inform you that your role at Twitter has been identified as potentially impacted or at risk of redundancy.” 

Twitter employees filed a class action lawsuit against the tech giant on Thursday, citing that Twitter didn’t follow California and federal law which requires employers to provide employees with a 60-day notice of layoffs. The law states that “an employer shall not order a plant closing or mass layoff until the end of a 60-day period after the employer serves written notice of such an order.”

Since the buyout, Musk has instituted several changes at the social media company, with the installation of a “content moderation council” and proposed a monthly fee of, at one point $20 per month, and now $8 per month, to be enrolled in Twitter’s Blue subscription service. Fox Business describes Blue as a service providing “subscribers [with] priority in replies, mentions and search [and] the ability to post long videos and audio.” The service would also include the famous blue check mark, authenticating notable users’ identities.

Additionally, Musk called for the majority of Twitter staff who continue to be employed by the company to return to the office, rather than working from home, and ended the company’s monthly “day of rest.” Twitter’s day of rest, instituted in 2020, consisted of one paid day off per month for all employees, in addition to their regular holiday pay and paid days off and was meant to “help reduce burnout among staffers,” according to the New York Post.

Musk has said he intends to make the platform less restrictive and more open to free speech, a move that has elicited both praise and criticism. While many have celebrated Musk’s self-declared “free-speech absolutist” attitude, others worry that ‘misinformation’ may begin to spread on the platform.

According to a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, “a good first step [for Twitter] would be to emphasize that dissenting views on political topics…won’t be throttled as ‘disinformation.’”