Elon Musk wasn’t lying last October when he told Bloomberg that 75 percent of the employees at his newly acquired toy, Twitter.com, wouldn’t lose their jobs under his ownership, as The Washington Post had reported at the time. Turns out, it’s closer to 80 percent. Of the roughly 7,500 people working there before Musk’s takeover, CNBC reports Friday that barely 1,300 in total, and fewer than 550 full-time engineers, are left at the husk of a company, either through said layoffs or voluntary resignations.
CNBC also notes that 75 employees are currently on leave, 40 of which are engineers, while the Trust and Safety team, which oversees content moderation for the site, has been culled to fewer than 20 full-timers. This news comes at the end of a seemingly ceaseless string of blunders since Musk announced an unsolicited $44 billion bid to buy the social media site last April.
Aside from firing everyone that wasn’t nailed down, Musk has reinstated numerous far-right and fascist accounts that had previously been permanently banned without so much as a second glance at the “moderation council” he was supposedly going to establish. He’s made critical operational decisions based on Twitter polls — and that’s after trying weasel out of the deal to purchase Twitter in the first place on trumped up complaints regarding the prevalence of bot users and how easy it is to game Twitter polls.
He’s used the banhammer to silence critics ranging from journalists to college kids. Musk has brought in employees from his other, unrelated companies, including members of the SpaceX and Tesla teams; and fired employees for questioning his business acumen. His $8 blue check verification scheme has haltingly rolled out in fits and starts, this while ad revenue is reportedly down 40 percent as advertisers look to escape his sinking ship. His first interest payment on the $13 billion debt he leveraged to purchase Twitter, which is today valued at around $15 billion, is due at the end of the month.
But Twitter isn’t the only company shedding staff like water off a wet dog’s coat. Google laid off 12,000 employees this week, Amazon disemployeed 18,000 people globally, and Microsoft eliminated 10,000 positions. Between the three, they’ve put about 70,000 people out of work in the last year alone.
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