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Twitter News 2022

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In the fall of 2022, Elon Musk bought Twitter. Some of the news leading up to the buyout, and management decisions that followed, resulted in Twitter gaining free headline coverage in multiple news cycles for an extended period. This page was created on 6 Nov 2022.

OVERVIEW — This page provides selected news stories about key Twitter events. They are listed in chronological order with the newest story at the top. Entry headers reference the source and date. There is some initial commentary provided at the top of the page.

ELECTION IMPACT — There is some speculation about the impact on U.S. midterm elections of Musk taking over Twitter. Among his initial management decisions was firing the board and taking over full control of the company, then letting go of 50% of company employees including those responsible for preventing the spread of conspiracy theories. This could help politicians who align with extremism and have supporters fueled by conspiracy theories. Alternatively, or simultaneously, Musk could spark an uprising among those concerned about authoritarian leaders and the already excessive influence that a small number of billionaires have over business and politics.

  • UPDATE: One of of Musk’s enthusiastic fans (a former Republican president) had this to say: “I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs.” [Source: NPR, 28 Oct 2022]
  • UPDATE: Elon Musk took his new megaphone out for a spin on Election Day, and “urged his 115 million followers on Twitter to vote Republican in Tuesday’s midterm elections.” [Source: NYT, 8 Nov 2022] This proclamation somewhat weakens Musk’s claim that he intended for his platform to be politically balanced.

MANAGEMENT STYLE — Musk has a familiar style of management that appeals to some. Leaders who can create a mystique of being unhinged and unpredictable are able to garner support through enticements and intimidation. Authoritarian chaos-makers promote fear and division that some see as a positive. Among those who are fans of this management approach, Musk is admired and seen as exceptionally skilled. According to proponents, fear, divisions, and infighting help destabilize workers, and with so many fires to put out, people are less attentive, concerned, or engaged, so they are less likely to organize. Manufactured crisis situations help serve as a smokescreen to distract from and cover up bigger problems and mistakes. Some would say that this is all just really wonderful. Others find it problematic. This style of controlling, demeaning, quasi-abusive leadership disrupts the normal thought process, so one no longer imagines or remembers any other way of running a company.

CONCERNS — Some have expressed concern about what seems to be the removal of social safety mechanisms, similar to removing pollution controls on a vehicle.

  • “No sooner had Elon Musk signed the deal, he fired around half of Twitter’s staff, by email. Some of those gone include specialists with human rights and hate speech expertise.” [Source]
  • News Excerpt: “Twitter’s Ethical AI team, according to former staff, is no more. Multiple members of Twitter’s Machine Learning, Ethics, Transparency and Accountability (META) team, including its former leader, posted on Twitter saying they were no longer at the company.” [Source]

CONTEXT — For context and contrast, it helps to be reminded of more democratic models of business such as employee owned companies, of which Harvard Business Review states: “Underlying worker ownership is a radically democratic, Jeffersonian ideal—one we strongly endorse… We have recently completed a major study of ESOP companies… Not only have workers gained financially, but we can prove that ESOP companies have grown much faster than they would have without their ownership plans. We have found, moreover, that ESOP companies grow fastest when ownership is combined with a program for worker participation. A synergy emerges between the two: ownership provides a strong incentive for employees to work productively, and opportunities for participation enhance productivity by providing channels for workers’ ideas and talents.” [Source]

IMPORTANCE TO YOU — Some people will think that the fate of Twitter has no impact on their lives. They will either become more active on the platform, or quit in favor of other platforms. However, the broader importance of Twitter on society is with regard to how the authoritarian management style will be perceived and embraced in other sectors. Will other businesses, non-profits, academic institutions, and governments evolve into less democratic entities controlled by strong-willed leaders? What about your place of work? Will you wake up tomorrow to learn that 50% of your workplace has been fired? Some people would like to see a rise of brazen, charismatic, disruptive, intimidating leaders. Others would like to see a world with greater autonomy and self-governance consistent with the goals set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [See UDHR Web | Kindle] Musk through Twitter and other endeavors will undoubtedly shape our society.

  • NOTE: The prediction above, about massive Twitter layoffs emboldening other companies, seems to have come true. Within days, Facebook announced plans to fire thousands of people. [Added 8 Nov 2022 at 5:18 PM CT]

News Timeline

NY Times (19 Dec 2022)

“‘The Last Straw’: Twitter Users Rage Over Elon Musk’s Latest Actions” — NY Times, Kate Conger and Ryan Mac, 19 Dec 2022. [Source]

  • Excerpt: High-profile Twitter users were suspended without warning or explanation, then abruptly reinstated. A new policy to prevent users from sharing links and user names from other social platforms was rolled out, then apparently curtailed. And Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, posted a flurry of messages to his 122 million followers asking them if he should step down as the head of the social media service while lamenting that no one else wanted the job.

CBS (16 Dec 2022)

“Twitter will lose 30 million monthly users over next 2 years, market research firm predicts” — A report from Insider Intelligence says Twitter will lose users and experience flat revenue growth over the next two years. Insider Intelligence principal analyst Jasmine Enberg joined CBS News’ Vladimir Duthiers to discuss the predictions. [Source]

CNN (16 Dec 2022)

“Elon Musk’s Twitter blocked links to rival Mastodon. That could raise alarms among regulators” — CNN, by Brian Fung, 16 Dec 2022 at 4:50 PM EST. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Elon Musk’s Twitter sparked an international outcry on Thursday by suspending a number of journalists at major news organizations who cover him. But a different and possibly related move that Twitter took around the same time, against a fast-growing rival, could open the company up to regulatory scrutiny, some legal experts say. In addition to suspending journalists who had been covering a controversy related to the third-party tracking of Musk’s private jet, the platform also suspended the official Twitter account of rival Mastodon after it tweeted about the ElonJet account.”

Deutsche Welle (16 Dec 2022)

“Has Twitter become too much of a distraction?” — Elon Musk is no longer the richest person in the world. He has seen his wealth cut in half after he purchased Twitter this year. But he is by no means short of cash. He is still worth about 178 billion dollars. Musk lost the top spot to Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury company LVMH. [Source]

Deutsche Welle (16 Dec 2022)

“Twitter: EU threatens Musk with sanctions after suspensions” — Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists who have been covering the company and Elon Musk’s takeover. The move comes a day after the social media platform changed its policies revolving around accounts which tracked private jets, including a jet owned by Musk. Journalist’s whose accounts were suspended include New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, Washington Post reporter Drew Hall, CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, Matt Binder of Mashable, The Intercept’s Micah Lee and Steve Herman of Voice of America. The accounts of independent journalists like Aaron Rupar, Tony Webster and Keith Olbermann were also suspended. A social media company called Mastodon, known to be an alternative to Twitter, was also suspended from Twitter on Thursday. [Source]

Fortune (16 Dec 2022)

“Elon Musk shuts down Twitter Spaces for the entire social media platform after arguing with journalists on one Twitter Space” — Fortune, Vlad Savov – Davey Alba – Bloomberg, 16 Dec 2022 [Source]

  • Excerpt: Twitter Inc.’s live audio service, Twitter Spaces, is down after a number of journalists that had just been suspended from the social network found they could still participate on it. … BuzzFeed News reporter Katie Notopoulos went live on Twitter Spaces to discuss the abrupt spate of bans — which came without communication to either the journalists or their publications — and was joined by Drew Harwell of the Washington Post and Matt Binder of Mashable, two of the suspended reporters. Their tweets were no longer visible and they could not post new ones, however they were still allowed to speak on the Spaces service.

MSNBC (16 Dec 2022)

“‘This Is Off The Rails’: Twitter Suspends Journalists Who Reported On Musk” — Twitter on Thursday evening suddenly suspended several high-profile journalists who cover the platform and Elon Musk, one of the richest people in the world, who acquired the company just a few months ago. [Source]

PBS (16 Dec 2022)

“Twitter faces criticism after suspending accounts of journalists covering CEO Elon Musk” — Twitter is facing intense criticism after a series of moves by billionaire owner Elon Musk. Twitter suspended the accounts of at least eight journalists that had recently posted about Musk or his policy changes on content moderation. Some posted links to an account that tracked Musk’s private jet’s travels through public data. Tech journalist Kara Swisher joined Amna Nawaz to discuss. [Source]

Al Jazeera (20 Nov 2022)

“Can Twitter survive Elon Musk?” — It has been less than a month since Elon Musk took over Twitter – and things do not seem to be going well for “social media’s public square”. With thousands of employees laid off and advertisers pulling money from the platform, many wonder what will be left of Twitter by the time Musk is done? [Source]

CNN (19 Nov 2022)

“Elon Musk restores Donald Trump’s Twitter account” — CNN, Clare Duffy and Paul LeBlanc, 19 Nov 2022 at 9:08 PM EST. [Source]

  • Excerpt: Former US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been reinstated on the platform. The account, which Twitter banned following the January 6 attack on the Capitol, was restored after Twitter CEO Elon Musk posted a poll on Twitter on Friday night asking the platform’s users if Trump should be reinstated. “The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk tweeted Saturday night. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Latin for “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

CBC News (18 Nov 2022)

“Twitter closes offices until Monday as more employees quit” — Hundreds of Twitter employees are estimated to have decided to quit following Elon Musk’s ultimatum that they sign up for “long hours at high intensity,” or leave. [Source]

CNN (18 Nov 2022)

“See how Elon Musk is responding to mass Twitter employee resignations” — Elon Musk is posting jokes on Twitter and claiming Twitter usage is at an all time high as employees are resigning over his ultimatum to work “hardcore.” [Source]

MSNBC (18 Nov 2022)

“Twitter Employees Receive Ultimatum From CEO Elon Musk” — Recent mass layoffs and resignations leave Twitter in chaos and its future uncertain. [Source]

NBC (18 Nov 2022)

Note: The Twitter news portion of the video below begins at 15m 37s.

“Hellscape: Inside The Meltdowns At Twitter And FTX” — Elon Musk said he didn’t want Twitter to become a “free-for-all hellscape” but his short tenure at the top is being marked by chaos – layoffs, resignations, and concerns about security and misinformation. Can the social media giant survive? One giant that didn’t make it – FTX. The crypto exchange went from billions to bankruptcy in a matter of days. How did this stunning downfall happen? Jake Ward explains these meltdowns and their implications with the help of reporters who are tracking every new jaw dropping development. [Source]

TODAY (18 Nov 2022)

“Twitter Offices Temporarily Shut Down Amid Wave Of Resignations” — A new wave of resignations hit Twitter Thursday after Elon Musk asked his employees to commit to an “extremely hardcore” work environment or leave. The future of the social media giant now hangs in the balance after a mass employee exodus. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports for TODAY. [Source]

BBC (17 Nov 2022)

“Elon Musk gives staff deadline to join ‘new Twitter’ working conditions” — New Twitter boss Elon Musk has given staff at the social media company a deadline to tap a link and agree to working for “new Twitter” or leave. The changes include a call from Musk for staff to work at a higher intensity and for longer hours. Those who don’t agree by the end of play on Thursday, staff will be given three months pay and told to leave the company. [Source]

MSNBC (17 Nov 2022)

“New Wave Of Resignations At Twitter” — After Elon Musk gave Twitter staffers an ultimatum, the company is seeing a new wave of resignations. Meantime, FTX and its celebrity ambassadors are facing a class action lawsuit. Jake Ward weighs in on the two tech companies now in crisis mode. [Source]

CNN (16 Nov 2022)

“Scott Galloway on the chaos at Twitter and what it reflects” — Marketing Professor Scott Galloway joins CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and discusses layoffs in the tech world, including Twitter, and what the current chaos at the social media company reflects. [Source]

MSNBC (16 Nov 2022)

“Elon Musk’s Twitter Is Imploding” — Twitter is becoming a deeper, darker cesspool of dysfunction and disinformation, with new owner Elon Musk making things worse every day. Sen. Ed Markey even had a fake Twitter account try to impersonate him. He joins Mehdi to discuss. [Source]

BBC (12 Nov 2022)

“What is Elon Musk doing to Twitter?” — More turmoil is surrounding Elon Musk and Twitter as high-profile staff quit and the rules about verified accounts keep changing. People on and off the social media platform have been raising concerns about the direction Twitter is going in under its new billionaire leader. As part of his shake-up of the platform, Mr Musk began rolling out plans to allow users to buy blue-tick verified status for $8 per month. The move raised concerns that Twitter would be swamped with fake accounts. A US regulator says it is watching events at Twitter with “deep concern” after the platform’s top privacy and compliance officers reportedly quit. BBC Analysis Editor Ros Atkins looks at the twists and turns of Elon Musk’s early days in charge of the social media platform. [Source: BBC]

GMA (12 Nov 2022)

“Twitter staff meeting reveals Musk’s return to work or ‘resignation accepted’ demand” — ABC News has obtained exclusive audio from Elon Musk’s meeting, demanding employees head back to the office. [Source: GMA]

ABC News (11 Nov 2022)

“Elizabeth Lopatto on Twitter turmoil: ‘We are experiencing chaos'” — ABC News’ Kayna Whitworth spoke with Verge senior reporter Elizabeth Lopatto on the current turmoil unfolding daily at Twitter under Elon Musk’s new leadership. [Source]

CNN (11 Nov 2022)

“A day of chaos brings Twitter closer to the brink” — Two weeks after Elon Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter, the future of the company has never looked less certain. In the past week alone, one of the world’s most influential social networks has laid off half its workforce; alienated powerful advertisers; blown up key aspects of its product, then repeatedly launched and un-launched other features aimed at compensating for it; and witnessed an exodus of senior executives. [Source]

MSNBC (11 Nov 2022)

“Twitter Security And Privacy Executives Quit Amid Company Turmoil” — The Federal Trade Commission has now issued a warning amid the departures of security and privacy employees. NBC News’ Ben Collins has more details on the evolution of Twitter’s blue check mark subscription. [Source]

PBS NewsHour (11 Nov 2022)

“Twitter faces uncertain future after tumultuous start to Elon Musk’s ownership” — The brief reign of billionaire Elon Musk at Twitter has unleashed a wave of turmoil throughout the company. Firings, resignations and policy reversals leave the social media giant facing an uncertain future and many are worried about growing risks of misinformation. New York Times tech reporter Mike Isaac joined John Yang to discuss. [Source]

Fortune (10 Nov 2022)

“Musk’s new $8-a-month Twitter verification scheme sparks chaos as fake accounts flood the site impersonating the likes of LeBron James, Joe Biden, and Nintendo” — Fortune, Chloe Taylor, 10 Nov 2022 at 9:40 AM CT. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Twitter recently rolled out its controversial paid-for verifications, making the site’s blue marks of authenticity purchasable for $8 a month. Musk argued that the new system would make the platform more equal between regular users and those who had existing check marks, like celebrities, companies, politicians and journalists.”

Al Jazeera (9 Nov 2022)

“Can Twitter thrive under Elon Musk?” — Since Musk’s $44 billion purchase, hate speech has surged on the website and major companies have pulled their ads. In the past, Musk has called himself a “free speech absolutist” and said he would eventually restore the Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump, who was banned from the platform for spreading false information. [Source]

CNN (9 Nov 2022)

“Twitter briefly rolled out gray ‘official’ check marks. Then Elon Musk changed his mind” — CNN, Brian Fung, 9 Nov 2022 at 12:39 PM ET. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “A new verification mark intended to better identify prominent Twitter accounts has instead become the latest source of chaos at the company under new owner Elon Musk. Just hours after the feature’s debut, Musk abruptly said Wednesday he had ‘killed’ a new, gray verification badge designed to label government accounts, major brands and media outlets, adding to the turmoil at one of the world’s most influential social media companies. The new badge, which consisted of a gray check mark and the word ‘Official’ placed underneath account handles belonging to Twitter, the United Nations and media outlets including CNN, was first introduced on Tuesday evening.”

GMA (7 Nov 2022)

“Chaos at Twitter after mass layoffs” — While nearly half of Twitter’s workforce was laid off on Friday, some workers were reportedly being invited back by Elon Musk’s team.

Al Jazeera (6 Nov 2022)

“How will Elon Musk shape Twitter?” — For a man who likes to make headlines, spending $44bn to buy one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, is one way to achieve that. No sooner had Elon Musk signed the deal, he fired around half of Twitter’s staff, by email. Some of those gone include specialists with human rights and hate speech expertise. Twitter had been moderating content – notably expelling former US president Donald Trump. Some major advertisers now say they are withholding their business until they see what happens next. How social media platform may change is yet to be revealed. [Source]

Fortune (6 Nov 2022)

“Oops. Twitter is already trying to rehire workers Elon Musk fired days ago, sources say” — Fortune, by Kurt Wagner, Edward Ludlow, and Bloomberg, 6 Nov 2022 3:08 PM [Source]

  • Excerpt: “… after laying off roughly half the company on Friday following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition, is now reaching out to dozens of employees who lost their jobs and asking them to return. Some of those who are being asked to return were laid off by mistake, according to two people familiar with the moves. Others were let go before management realized that their work and experience may be necessary to build the new features Musk envisions, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.”

Parade (6 Nov 2022)

“Valerie Bertinelli, Stephen King and Other Celebs React to Elon Musk’s Proposed Pay-to-Play Twitter Verification” — Parade, Nicole Wert, 6 Nov 2022 at 2:54 PM [Source]

  • Excerpt: “…the talk of these changes has been enough to irk many celebrities and politicians, and now they’re speaking out against Musk and his decision to charge a fee for verified accounts.”

BBC News (5 Nov 2022)

“Elon Musk defends Twitter layoffs” — Elon Musk said he had ‘no choice’ but to slash staff numbers at Twitter, because the company is losing more than $4m (£3.5m) a day. Half of the social media site’s staff are being let go, a week after the Tesla boss bought the company. An internal email sent on Friday said the mass job cuts were “unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward”. Mr Musk has been looking for ways to cut costs and make more money on the platform, such as proposing verified users pay $8 (£7) per month to keep their blue tick. [Source]

CNN Business (5 Nov 2022)

“Elon Musk’s Twitter lays off employees across the company”— CNN, Donie O’Sullivan and Clare Duffy, 5 Nov 2022 at 7:46 AM EDT. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Twitter on Friday laid off thousands of employees in departments across the company, in a severe round of cost cutting that could potentially upend how one of the world’s most influential platforms operates one week after it was acquired by billionaire Elon Musk. Numerous Twitter employees began posting on the platform Thursday night and Friday morning that they had already been locked out of their company email accounts ahead of the planned layoff notification. Some also shared blue hearts and salute emojis indicating they were out at the company. By Friday morning, Twitter employees from departments including ethical AI, marketing and communication, search, public policy, wellness and other teams had tweeted about having been let go. Members of the curation team, which help elevate reliable information on the platform, including about elections, were also laid off, according to employee posts.”

Fortune (5 Nov 2022)

“Twitter launches $8 monthly subscription with blue checkmark as Musk moves quickly to overhaul platform” — Fortune, by Associated Press, 5 Nov 2022 at 3:33 PM CDT [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Experts have raised grave concerns about upending the platform’s verification system that, while not perfect, has helped Twitter’s 238 million daily users determine whether the accounts they were getting information from were authentic.”

GMA (5 Nov 2022)

“Massive job cuts at Twitter” — Former Twitter staff are fighting back with a class action lawsuit filed over inadequate notice.

Yahoo (5 Nov 2022)

“Jack Dorsey tweets apology and takes responsibility for mass layoffs at Twitter under Elon Musk” — Yahoo, Jordan Hart, 5 Nov 2022 at 11:05 AM. [View]

  • Excerpt: “Former Twitter employees have been vocal about brutal layoffs under new owner Elon Musk, but the platform’s cofounder, Jack Dorsey, said he’s the one to blame…. Despite the chaotic changes to the staff during the week, former employees also voiced their love for working at Twitter prior to Musk’s takeover.

Fortune (4 Nov 2022)

“The same day he wielded a huge layoff ax, Elon Musk joked to investors about overpaying for Twitter and mused about wealthy people’s work ethic” — Fortune, Alena Botros, 4 Nov 2022 at 6:36 PM CT. [View]

  • Excerpt: “When he wasn’t laying off Twitter employees today, Elon Musk appeared at a conference where he joked that he’d had second thoughts about buying the social media giant he’s now racing to overhaul. … Now, a week into his takeover, Musk is making deep cuts at Twitter. Bloomberg previously reported that he plans to lay off about 3,700 workers, or 50% of the workforce.”

NBC News (4 Nov 2022)

Twitter has begun laying off parts of its staff after Elon Musk’s recent acquisition of the company. NBC’s Jacob Ward reports on how the move has prompted a class action lawsuit for allegedly failing to give the proper notice for a mass layoff.

Ars Technica (4 Nov 2022)

“Twitter shuts offices for day as it cuts 50% of workforce; staff already suing” — Ars Technica, Ashley Belanger, 4 Nov 2022 at 9:47 AM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “A day after it was reported that Twitter would lay off 50 percent of staff, Twitter has temporarily shut down its offices to begin layoffs. Some staff told Reuters that hundreds of employees who got this news yesterday immediately logged into Slack to say goodbyes before access was removed. Other workers told Reuters that the content moderation team is expected to be hit hard by layoffs. One Twitter user whose bio says he formerly served as a Twitter senior community manager tweeted to mark the moment he lost company Slack access. That Twitter staffer assumed that losing Slack access confirmed he was no longer employed but won’t know for sure until today, when employees will find out if they’re fired when they receive an email to their personal inbox. Every employee expected to stick around Twitter will receive an email to their work inbox.”

CNBC (4 Nov 2022)

“Twitter sued by employees after mass layoffs begin” — CNBC, Annie Palmer, 4 Nov 2022 at 9:16 AM EDT. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Twitter was sued by former employees who say they were not given enough notice under federal and California law that they had lost their jobs amid ongoing mass layoffs. The class-action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco federal court Thursday by five current or former Twitter employees, including Emmanuel Cornet, a software engineer known for his satirical cartoons critiquing Silicon Valley, who was fired Tuesday, according to the complaint.”

Gizmodo (4 Nov 2022)

“Welp, There Goes Twitter’s Ethical AI Team, Among Others as Employees Post Final Messages – The watchdog team was responsible for probing Twitter’s algorithm for downstream instances of bias, harm, and abuse.” — Gizmodo, Mack DeGeurin, 4 Nov 2022 at 11:35 AM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Twitter began its highly anticipated mass layoffs Thursday evening by eliminating its top internal critics. Twitter’s Ethical AI team, according to former staff, is no more. Multiple members of Twitter’s Machine Learning, Ethics, Transparency and Accountability (META) team, including its former leader, posted on Twitter saying they were no longer at the company.”

Yahoo (4 Nov 2022)

“A Twitter employee who’s 8 months pregnant says she was locked out of her company laptop the night before mass layoffs were due to be announced” — Yahoo Finance, Jyoti Mann, 4 Nov 2022 at 4:59 AM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “A Twitter employee who is eight-months pregnant said access to her work laptop was cut off on Thursday night, hours after Elon Musk said layoffs would be announced on Friday via email. Rachel Bonn tweeted an image of herself with her nine-month-old baby in front of rows of pumpkins. Her tweet came the same day that Twitter staff were told in a memo that emails would be sent on Friday morning to inform them if they have been laid off.”

Yahoo (4 Nov 2022)

“Elon Musk begins layoffs at Twitter as General Mills and others pause ads” — Yahoo Finance Live anchors discuss the road ahead for Twitter as Elon Musk begins mass layoffs in an effort to pull back on advertising.

Yahoo (3 Nov 2022)

“Twitter — one of the first companies to let staff WFH permanently after the pandemic — plans to order employees back to the office: reports” — Yahoo, Huileng Tan, 3 Nov 2022 at 2:04 AM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Twitter’s remote work policy could be coming to an end after an impending layoff, Axios reported on Thursday. The social media giant plans to cut about 3,700 employees soon after Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the platform, Insider’s Kali Hays reported on Thursday. This represents about half of Twitter’s workforce as of late September.”

Yahoo (2 Nov 2022)

“Elon Musk’s Twitter has identified thousands of employees who will be laid off, representing about 50% of the company’s workforce” — Yahoo Finance, Kali Hays, 2 Nov 2022 at 7:20 PM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Employees at Twitter are getting closer to learning their fate under Elon Musk’s reign. A list of employees who have been selected to possibly get severance from a layoff action was being finalized Wednesday, with about 3,700 people having been chosen to be cut, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans and an internal message seen by Insider. Stack ranking of workers, a type of performance review, has been going on since shortly after Musk formally acquired Twitter last week, as Insider reported. Vice presidents were then tasked with compiling lists of everyone in their departments and choosing between who should be kept at the company and who could be laid off. Those lists were then sent to Musk and his transition team, including his personal lawyer Alex Spiro, as Insider reported.”

Business Insider (1 Nov 2022)

“Elon Musk enlists more than 50 Tesla workers, 2 Boring Company staff, and one Neuralink employee to work at Twitter post-takeover, report says” — Business Insider, Kate Duffy, 1 Nov 2022 at 7:57 AM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Elon Musk has brought some employees from three of his other companies, including Tesla, into Twitter, according to a CNBC report on Monday. More than 50 employees at Tesla have been authorized to work at Twitter, according to internal documents seen by CNBC. The majority of these workers were software engineers from Tesla’s Autopilot team, working on the company’s advanced driver assistance system, per the documents. In particular, the documents said Musk had pulled a handful of senior directors from Tesla to Twitter, including director of Autopilot and TeslaBot engineering Milan Kovac, director of software development Ashok Elluswamy, and engineering, product and design leader Maha Virudhagiri, CNBC reported.”

Business Insider (1 Nov 2022)

“Twitter staff have been told to work 84-hour weeks and managers slept at the office over the weekend as they scramble to meet Elon Musk’s tight deadlines, reports say” — Business Insider, Grace Dean, 1 Nov 2022 at 6:17 AM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Staff at Twitter have been clocking up much longer hours than usual since Elon Musk took over, CNBC reported. This comes as staff face the looming threat of layoffs amid the tech mogul’s planned overhaul of the company. Twitter managers have told some staff to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week — equivalent to 84 hours a week — to meet Musk’s deadlines, CNBC reported, citing internal communications.”

CNBC (1 Nov 2022)

“Twitter tells worried employees their vested shares will be paid in coming days” — CNBC, Lora Kolodny, 1 Nov 2022 at 9:19 PM EDT. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “After Elon Musk closed his $44 billion purchase of Twitter last week, employees at the company braced for job cuts. Some told CNBC they were worried about losing their equity compensation if Musk sent them packing before their shares vested the first week of November.”

Yahoo (31 Oct 2022)

“Elon Musk dissolves Twitter’s board upon taking over, considers reviving Vine” — Yahoo Finance anchors Rachelle Akuffo and Dave Briggs discusses Elon Musk gaining control of Twitter on Thursday.

The Verge (30 Oct 2022)

“Elon Musk wastes no time changing Twitter” — The Verge, Alex Heath, 30 Oct 2022 at 2:53 PM CDT. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Less than 24 hours after completing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk decided to change its homepage. He requested that logged out users visiting Twitter.com be redirected to the Explore page that shows trending tweets and news stories, according to employees familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to speak without the company’s permission. Before, visiting Twitter’s homepage while logged out showed only a sign-up form, encouraging the creation of an account to view tweets. Musk’s directive, which was implemented late Friday, required VP involvement to override a code freeze put in place to prevent rogue staffers from making changes during the takeover process. Though Musk didn’t widely articulate a reason for the change, to the employees who observed it, the message was clear: no more sacred cows. Inside the old Twitter, such a decision would have been fought over between teams for weeks. But this was the new Twitter.”

Engadget (29 Oct 2022)

“Elon Musk has reportedly ordered layoffs across Twitter” — Engadget, Igor Bonifacic, 29 Oct 2022 at 6:11 PM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Elon Musk has ordered company-wide layoffs at Twitter, according to The New York Times. On Saturday, the SpaceX and Tesla executive reportedly told managers to begin drawing up lists of employees to cut. Twitter did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. The Times could not determine how much of Twitter’s workforce Musk plans to let go – though some teams will be more affected than others. Before completing his $44 billion takeover of the company, Musk reportedly told investors he planned to lay off as much as 75 percent of Twitter’s 7,500-person strong workforce. In meeting with staff, Musk is said to have told employees he wouldn’t cut the company’s headcount so dramatically.”

Business Insider (29 Oct 2022)

“Elon Musk names himself CEO of Twitter on internal company profiles” — Business Insider, Kali Hays, 29 Oct 2022 at 6:09 PM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Elon Musk is officially chief executive officer of Twitter. Musk, who on late Thursday closed on his deal to acquire the social platform, quickly moved to oust Parag Agrawal as CEO and other executives. As of Saturday afternoon, Musk has been set up under internal profiles at Twitter, including a company directory and Slack, with the CEO title, two people familiar with the changes told Insider. A few days before the deal closed, Musk changed his Twitter bio to read only “Chief Twit.” He told employees during a meeting in June that he expected to be the leader of Twitter, but said the title of CEO was not important to him.”

Business Insider (28 Oct 2022)

“Fired Twitter CFO, who’s getting a $25.4 million golden parachute, says ‘the past 6 months have pulled on every mental muscle I’ve developed in 48 years’” — Business Insider, Grace Kay, 28 Oct 2022 at 10:42 AM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Twitter’s former CFO Ned Segal said goodbye to the company in a Twitter thread on Friday morning, revealing the mental toll he experienced from Elon Musk’s back and forth around the deal. Segal was with the company for over five years before Elon Musk ousted him on Thursday — the same day he sealed his $44 billion deal to take Twitter private. ‘The past 6 months have pulled on every mental muscle I’ve developed in 48 years,’ Segal said. ‘You learn so much when times are challenging and unpredictable, when we are tired or feel our integrity questioned. Our team remained kind, respectful, and steadfast. They’re lifelong friends.’”

MSNBC (28 Oct 2022)

“Elon Musk Is In, Top Executives Are Out: The Issues Elon Faces With Twitter” — Sources say the billionaire immediately fired three of the company’s top executives – including the legal and safety officer who was involved in the decision to permanently ban former President Trump. The Washington Post’s Elizabeth Dwoskin and the New York Times’ Kara Swisher join.

NPR (28 Oct 2022)

“Elon Musk says Twitter restored Ye’s account without his knowledge before acquisition” — NPR, Juliana Kim, 28 Oct 2022 at 5:35 PM ET. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “On his first full day as the owner of Twitter, Elon Musk says the company will form a ‘content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.’ Musk says the company will not make major decisions on content or reinstating suspended accounts until the council convenes.”

Wall Street Journal (28 Oct 2022)

“Elon Musk vs. Twitter: Inside the 6-Month Battle” — Musk made a bid for the company in April, then tried to abandon the deal in July. Elon Musk has purchased Twitter, ending a monthslong saga over whether or not he would go through with his offer to acquire the social media platform. WSJ takes an inside look at the tweets, texts and filings to see exactly how the battle played out.

Bloomberg (27 Oct 2022)

“Why Did Elon Musk Walk Into Twitter With a Kitchen Sink?” — Elon Musk walked into Twitter’s headquarters on Wednesday carrying a kitchen sink. He posted the video to his own Twitter account. He changed the profile description to read “Chief Twit.” Musk is expected to close the deal to buy Twitter by 5 p.m. New York time Friday. Ed Ludlow reports on “Bloomberg Technology.”

CNBC (26 Oct 2022)

“Elon Musk carried a sink into Twitter on Wednesday as deal nears close” — CNBC, Lauren Feiner, 26 Oct 2022 at 3:47 PM EDT. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “With just a few more days left to complete his acquisition of Twitter and stave off a new court date, billionaire Elon Musk walked into the company’s San Francisco office on Wednesday with what appeared to be a porcelain bathroom sink in his hands.”

Fortune via Yahoo (2 Nov 2022)

“Tesla’s Elon Musk faces trial, again—this time over his $56 billion paycheck that’s the ‘largest in human history’” — Fortune, Christiaan Hetzner, 2 Nov 2022 at 8:38 AM. [Source]

  • Excerpt: “Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter is already off to a rocky start, and his decision to bring in Tesla employees could come back to haunt him. The multitasking CEO faces yet another trial before the very Delaware judge who forced him to honor his contract with Twitter’s board to purchase the social media company. This time, however, it’s about something much more personal: his own pay. Starting Nov. 14, Elon Musk as well as present and former directors must stand before the state’s Court of Chancery’s Kathaleen McCormick to defend a mammoth compensation package handed out in 2018 that entitled him to up to $55.8 billion in stock options.”

Elon Musk Clarification Tweet

On 27 Oct 2022, amid much news and speculation about his motives, Elon Musk offered the following clarification that he posted on his Twitter feed. [Source] The message is provided below as a starting point and for contextual reference. Of the ‘good cop – bad cop’ routine, this statement from Musk is his good cop persona. Considerate. Inclusive. Not impulsive. Moving forward from 27 Oct 2022, and as the new vision for Twitter evolves, we will see how much of the stated goals and purpose are affirmed by actions.


I wanted to reach out personally to share my motivation in acquiring Twitter. There has been much speculation about why I bought Twitter and what I think about advertising. Most of it has been wrong.

The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence. There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.

In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fueled and catered to those polarized extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost.

That is why I bought Twitter. I didn’t do it because it would be easy. I didn’t do it to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love. And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility.

That said, Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences! In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.

I also very much believe that advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain and inform you; it can show you a service or product or medical treatment that you never knew existed, but is right for you. For this to be true, it is essential to show Twitter users advertising that is as relevant as possible to their needs. Low relevancy ads are spam, but highly relevant ads are actually content!

Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise. To everyone who has partnered with us, I thank you. Let us build something extraordinary together.

Document History

  • 12 Nov 2022 at 19:11 — Document updated to include stories since 6 Nov . Other updates were made over the past few days to reference evolving news.
  • 6 Nov 2022 at 7:34 AM — Document initially created and posted.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com