By: Samuel Lin
On October 27th, Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion dollars. In the following days, he began his campaign to radically change the company through staff cuts and new programing.
After Musk took over Twitter, many top executives got fired, including former CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, while the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Customer Officer quit. Furthermore, Musk is planning to fire 3,700 employees which is nearly half the Twitter workforce.
Former CFO Ned Segal tweeted after he got fired, "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." Segal has great hope for Twitter.
During Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, Twitter employees were locked out of their company emails before the layoff. On Friday at 12:00 pm, Twitter employees will receive an email about their employment status. In the meantime, Twitter managers have been asked to create a list of productive workers and non-productive workers, which will determine who gets fired. Rumor has it that Musk is replacing some of these workers with Tesla engineers who will work on the Twitter code.
Some unhappy employees will sue Elon Musk if the mass layoff takes place in violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act). The WARN Act states that workers must be given a 60-day advance before a mass layoff that affects more than 50 people and a third of the workforce. So, if Musk fires about half the workforce, it will be a valid basis for a lawsuit
“Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, has made clear that he believes complying with federal labor laws is ‘trivial,’” said Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, who filed the lawsuit. “We have filed this federal complaint to ensure that Twitter be held accountable to our laws and to prevent Twitter employees from unknowingly signing away their rights.”
Besides firing workers, Musk is changing how to get a blue “verification” check mark next to a person’s name. Initially, the blue “verification” check mark was to prevent identity theft of famous athletes, celebrities, and others. They would have to complete a short application form to get a blue check.
Musk is creating a new “Twitter Blue” subscription for $8 a month. The subscription will be the only way for a user to get the blue “verification” check mark next to their name. The subscription will also allow subscribers to post longer videos or audio on Twitter, as well as receive half as many ads.
There is opposition to the “Twitter Blue” subscription due concern for identity theft and misinformation.
"With disinformation as an issue that a lot of platforms are struggling with, verification is one of the ways that journalists, academic researchers and some users use to filter out disinformation or low quality information," Nu Wexler, the former Twitter Head of Global Policy Communications, said. "If you're offering up blue checks for rent, it makes it harder to sift through disinformation and find high quality information."
"Twitter's current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn't have a blue checkmark is bulls***. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.” Musk posted on Twitter, in defense of his new “Twitter Blue” subscription.