Twitter pushed to brink amid exodus? Rows that erupted under Elon Musk watch

Updated on Nov 18, 2022 10:57 AM IST

Elon Musk has been criticised for his high-handedness ever since he took over Twitter.

Twitter’s new owner and CEO Elon Musk had slashed half of the workforce. (File) (MINT_PRINT)
Twitter’s new owner and CEO Elon Musk had slashed half of the workforce. (File) (MINT_PRINT)

Twitter seems to be embroiled in a fresh controversy after it was reported that hundreds of employees chose to quit over a new ultimatum by Elon Musk on “hardcore” work or resign with severance pay. While reports said that huddles were held soon after such departures happened with top executives, the world’s wealthiest person - on his official account - gave no hints of the latest turmoil. “Twitter is like open-sourcing the news,” he said in one of the tweets. "How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one. (sic),” he said in another. To one of the users, complaining about the bad media coverage, Musk said he won’t complain because the social media platform is witnessing “all-time high usage”.

Meanwhile, the social network is witnessing farewell posts, memes and all other sorts of reactions amid exodus reports. "To all the Tweeps who decided to make today your last day: thanks for being incredible teammates through the ups and downs. I can't wait to see what you do next. (sic)," tweeted Esther Crawfor, who has been working on the overhaul of the platform's verification system as per news agency AP.

"I'm told that in Twitter's slack, scores of staffers have posted the Salute emoji, as many appear to reject Musk's "hardcore" ultimatum. (The salute emoji has been what tweeps post as they exit.) A former exec who recently left described to me what's occurring as a "mass exodus." tweeted CNN's Oliver Darcy. Journalist Mehdi Hasan has been speculating what happens if Twitter dies. "What’s interesting is that Musk bought the site to own the libs, and conservatives cheered him on, but if Twitter now dies - what do conservatives do? You think Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley won’t miss Twitter? Ben Shapiro and Matt Walsh? They, like the rest of us, live for it. (sic)" he wrote in one of the posts. Some users - mocking Musk - wrote that this was the end.

This is of course not the first controversy that has unfolded under Musk’s watch.

In less than three weeks of Musk’s takeover, the social network has been in news and is being talked about everywhere - including Twitter - over the decisions he has been taking. One of the most prominent decisions was the Blue Tick fee. After a $8 fee was imposed for the verification tick, multiple parody accounts - including an account of Jesus - surfaced, prompting questions about the move. Then, the world’s richest person introduced the “Official” batch for accounts. Another decision - which had sparked massive criticism - was the firing of about 50 per cent of the staff at the social media platform soon after the acquisition.

The network has accounts of top world leaders among others. There have been concerns about content moderation and free speech ever since he announced his intention to buy the network.

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