Elon Musk has begun laying off thousands of Twitter workers after warning the social media company is losing more than $4m a day due to a “massive drop” in advertising revenues.
The tech billionaire began pushing forwards with plans to lay off around half of Twitter’s 7,500 staff, just more than a week after completing his purchase of the San Francisco company.
In a tweet, Musk said he had “no choice” but to reduce the size of Twitter’s workforce, as he accused “activist groups” of “pressuring advertisers,” leading to a “massive drop in revenue”.
Twitter’s new owner added that “everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance,” which the billionaire claimed is “50% more than legally required”.
The lay-offs have already seen Twitter staff locked out of their work laptops and removed from the company’s slack channels, accord to tweets from the company’s workers.
Tweets by Twitter staff showed jobs had been cut in the firm’s communications, content curation, human rights and machine learning ethics departments.
In a tweet, one former attorney in Twitter’s human rights department, Shannon Raj Singh, said the entirety of Twitter’s Human Rights team “has been cut”.
Twitter’s head of safety & integrity, Yoel Roth, said approximately 15 per cent of his Trust & Safety department had been cut, with front-line moderation staff experiencing the least impact.
Following the news on Friday, US president Joe Biden hit out at Twitter in claiming the social media platform “spews lies all across the world”.
Speaking at a fundraiser, Biden said: “Elon Musk goes out and buys an outfit that sends – that spews lies all across the world.”
“There’s no editors anymore in America,” Biden said. “There’s no editors. How do we expect kids to be able to understand what is at stake”.