Twitter lays off staff including whole ethics team, temporarily closes offices

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Twitter has started laying off parts of its workforce, including its ethics team, and has temporarily closed offices in London and other locations.

Twitter lays off staff
Twitter lays off staff


In an email to employees, the company said it would inform them by noon ET on Friday about staff cuts. "In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday," said an email seen by Reuters.

It's the latest step in the Elon Musk/Twitter saga after the billionaire purchased the company for $44 billion.

Changes at Twitter

Musk plans to lay off approximately 3,700 Twitter employees, about half the workforce, to cut costs and introduce a new plan for the staff. The employees most affected by the layoffs include those in product and content curation, communications, and engineering.

Twitter also laid off its entire ethical AI team called Machine Learning, Ethics, Transparency and Accountability (META). META formed in 2021 to audit the company's algorithms and investigate potential unintended harms and abuses.

In one example, Twitter stopped using an automated cropping algorithm after META researchers found evidence of racial bias.

Twitter said employees not getting laid off would be notified via their work email addresses. Staff who Twitter had laid off would receive an email to their personal address with steps on what actions to take next.

As a result of the layoffs, some employees have filed a class action lawsuit against Twitter. It alleges that Musk didn't give staff enough notice of their firing per the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and California WARN Act.

These acts require companies to give employees at least 60 days of advance notice before a mass firing occurs. The former employees filed the suit in US District Court in San Francisco and named five workers as plaintiffs.

Side effects

Some advertisers have been pausing their campaigns on the platform over the uncertainty surrounding Musk's vision for Twitter. He promised to restore free speech and blamed the drop in advertising revenue on activist groups in a tweet on Friday.

Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.

Extremely messed up! They're trying to destroy free speech in America.

-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk)


Musk also wants to create a subscription to charge users for the blue verified checkmark, and some people have received fake account verification emails since the announcement.

Ironically, employees of Twitter Blue, the subscription service that the company rolled out in 2021, were also let go. "Just to be clear, he fired the team working on this," one employee said.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    mbs will now be in charge of ethics at Twitter.
    daventmaytwokatmewbulk001darkvadersoundsgrandwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 28
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 527member
    Don’t agree with Elon on everything but This is good.

    my Twitter account was banned by this so called ethics team for posting article suggesting natural immunity from Covid infection maybe more powerful than these 500 shots and boosters ….

    article was done  by a Stanford doctor who happens to disagree with the current government! And they ban me?

    have not gone back to Twitter since and now it does seem like people who had natural immunity from Covid are not getting as many second infections as people who are boosting every time …

    I digress..
    ad0niramlibertymattersmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon9secondkox2watto_cobrasteven n.
  • Reply 3 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Madbum said:
    Don’t agree with Elon on everything but This is good.

    my Twitter account was banned by this so called ethics team for posting article suggesting natural immunity from Covid infection maybe more powerful than these 500 shots and boosters ….

    article was done  by a Stanford doctor who happens to disagree with the current government! And they ban me?

    have not gone back to Twitter since and now it does seem like people who had natural immunity from Covid are not getting as many second infections as people who are boosting every time …

    I digress..
    Well, that’s the thing about science and scientific peer review. One doctor’s opinion is not enough unless his peers review his work and agree. And Twitter was right in banning you for spreading disinformation about the virus. And now you are continuing to spread more disinformation about so-called natural immunity. You can cite as many unscientific studies and anecdotal reports as you want but it doesn’t change the science. All it does is place the people who listen to it at more risk.
    cdyOfergregoriusmStrangeDaysmagman1979diz_geekchiastompybadmonkflashfan207
  • Reply 4 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    mbs will now be in charge of ethics at Twitter.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I was reading on the BBC this morning that many of the employees were notified they were getting laid off, by their company computers having been remotely wiped. 

    Just a piss poor way to handle staff, but then Musk is known for this. I’m sure the remaining staff are feeling REALLY secure. I would not be surprised if a lot of them jump ship as soon as a recruiter calls, and they will be calling. So all of the people who know how to keep Twitter systems working will be gone.

    Yeah this is going to end well. /s
    edited November 2022 Oferchiatdknoxlolliverdarbus69ronndaventmaytwokatmewdarkvader
  • Reply 5 of 28
    cdycdy Posts: 13member
    Madbum said:
    Don’t agree with Elon on everything but This is good.

    my Twitter account was banned by this so called ethics team for posting article suggesting natural immunity from Covid infection maybe more powerful than these 500 shots and boosters ….

    article was done  by a Stanford doctor who happens to disagree with the current government! And they ban me?

    have not gone back to Twitter since and now it does seem like people who had natural immunity from Covid are not getting as many second infections as people who are boosting every time …

    I digress..
    Did you read the article before commenting, or were you simply in a rush to spread more of your disinformation, so chery picked details from the article (as most disinformationists do)? The "META" team wasn't the one that banned you.
    edited November 2022 Ofermagman1979badmonkstompyflashfan207tdknoxblastdoordewmelolliverdarbus69
  • Reply 6 of 28
    Like the Russian Asset, Musk will be taking his orders from Putin and MBS. They have something on Musk, too.
    ronntwokatmewwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    Appleish said:
    Like the Russian Asset, Musk will be taking his orders from Putin and MBS. They have something on Musk, too.

    Never attribute to malevolence that which can best be explained by incompetence."--Greenfield's First Law of Political Analysis

    edited November 2022 baconstangdarbus69tmaytwokatmewAlex1Nwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 28
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,066member
    The entire ethics team…
    Why have ethics (or a conscience for that matter) in business? /s

    Let the planet take a few more for the team (and by “team,” I mean the gargantuan egos that are collectively burning the planet to the ground).
    baconstangdarbus69watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    mac_dog said:
    The entire ethics team…
    Why have ethics (or a conscience for that matter) in business? /s

    Let the planet take a few more for the team (and by “team,” I mean the gargantuan egos that are collectively burning the planet to the ground).
    I’ve said for years that the term Business Ethics was an oxymoron. 
    baconstangentropysAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    designr said:
    DAalseth said:
    mac_dog said:
    The entire ethics team…
    Why have ethics (or a conscience for that matter) in business? /s

    Let the planet take a few more for the team (and by “team,” I mean the gargantuan egos that are collectively burning the planet to the ground).
    I’ve said for years that the term Business Ethics was an oxymoron. 
    And why do you say that?
    Businesses are simple organisms that feed on money. They do whatever they can to get and keep money. If they can do it by positioning themselves as the consumers friend and doing things to make them look like an ethical company, they do. If they do it by defrauding contractors, employing labour in other countries that are treated terribly, and polluting the environment, they do it. But the end goal is the same, to collect money and grow. You might as well discuss the ethics of an amoeba, because at the end of the day a business will never violate the simple desire of any organism, to go on existing and to grow. 

    I came to this conclusion by working for decades in a series of companies, small, large, international, neighbourhood, in multiple industries. They all shared this same goal, and the facade they presented to the public was just camouflage. 
    lolliverbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingamAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 28
    A great move by Elon.  Fire the woke.  They've ruined the Internet.
    designrbloggerblogwilliamlondonwatto_cobrasteven n.
  • Reply 12 of 28
    @Madbum censorship is the way all of authoritarians.  'Disinformation' is just the latest rhetorical trick to make it look like the censors are the 'good guys'. Glad to see you and others are not fooled.  Free speech is a central American value, always has been, always will be.  
    designrMadbumbloggerblogmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonwatto_cobrasteven n.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    designr said:
    DAalseth said:
    designr said:
    DAalseth said:
    mac_dog said:
    The entire ethics team…
    Why have ethics (or a conscience for that matter) in business? /s

    Let the planet take a few more for the team (and by “team,” I mean the gargantuan egos that are collectively burning the planet to the ground).
    I’ve said for years that the term Business Ethics was an oxymoron. 
    And why do you say that?
    Businesses are simple organisms that feed on money. They do whatever they can to get and keep money. If they can do it by positioning themselves as the consumers friend and doing things to make them look like an ethical company, they do. If they do it by defrauding contractors, employing labour in other countries that are treated terribly, and polluting the environment, they do it. But the end goal is the same, to collect money and grow. You might as well discuss the ethics of an amoeba, because at the end of the day a business will never violate the simple desire of any organism, to go on existing and to grow. 

    I came to this conclusion by working for decades in a series of companies, small, large, international, neighbourhood, in multiple industries. They all shared this same goal, and the facade they presented to the public was just camouflage. 
    Okay. So you're suggesting that someone cannot be in business and operate ethically (treat employees, customers, suppliers, and partners well)...offering a fair product or service at a reasonable price? This is inherently impossible? Because that's what a contradiction in terms essentially means.

    P.S. I have similarly worked for decades in various businesses. Some did operate ethically. Others not. My experience suggests it is not an impossibility.

    I’m saying that while a business may do that, they aren’t doing it to be ethical. They are doing it to make a profit. That’s the niche in the business ecosystem that they are trying to exploit. It’s easy to see animals in the wild as good and bad, but in reality a squirrel is no more ethical than the owl that tries to kill it. Each is trying to survive. Similarly the nice coffee shop on the corner that treats its customers right and uses free trade coffee, is no more ethical than a rapacious international coffee chain that uses child labour to pick it’s beans. Each has found a way to survive, to make a profit. And if push came to shove the manager of the nice little place on the corner would sell out to the conglomerate if the price were right. Business Ethics is a fig leaf used to hide the ugly truth.
    edited November 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 28
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,259member
    The purging of current staff is no different than when a new and usually well-heeled home buyer purchases a property that contains an existing house that many of us consider perfectly acceptable and immediately proceeds to tear the whole house down to the ground. The new owner then rebuilds a new and oftentimes much more elaborate house on the same property. Frankly, I see this scenario play out quite often, even in rural and semi-rural areas.

    The rationale of course is that the new property owner values something about the property beyond the value of the original house that was sitting on the property. It can also be the case that trying to renovate the old house wasn't seen as a viable option for many reasons. The basic architecture and structure may never have fit the new owner's requirements regardless of the amount of renovation performed. Maybe the foundation was decrepit. We don't know, but the new owner knows and is really not obligated to explain their motivations or actions to any of us. It's their property and they can do with it as they please, as long as they don't violate any building codes.

    The same thing must be true for Musk and Twitter. He's stripping it down to the studs. What we don't know is why and he's not going to tell us unless he wants to. Of course it sucks for all those whom he has deemed to be expendable and worthy of tossing in the roll-off dumpsters he brought in as soon as he put down the sink. At least those who've been shown to the dumpster are getting a few months of salary to bridge them over to their next career endeavor. I doubt that any prospective employers will view the cast-offs as being personally responsible for being discarded. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time but still have their skills and experience to get them into their next gig. I wish them all the best.

    So ... what is Musk going to build on top of the stripped down and skeletal remains of the company that he just spent $47 billion dollars acquiring?
    edited November 2022 MadbumAlex1N9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 28
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,271member
    dewme said:
    The purging of current staff is no different than when a new and usually well-heeled home buyer purchases a property that contains an existing house that many of us consider perfectly acceptable and immediately proceeds to tear the whole house down to the ground. The new owner then rebuilds a new and oftentimes much more elaborate house on the same property. Frankly, I see this scenario play out quite often, even in rural and semi-rural areas.

    The rationale of course is that the new property owner values something about the property beyond the value of the original house that was sitting on the property. It can also be the case that trying to renovate the old house wasn't seen as a viable option for many reasons. The basic architecture and structure may never have fit the new owner's requirements regardless of the amount of renovation performed. Maybe the foundation was decrepit. We don't know, but the new owner knows and is really not obligated to explain their motivations or actions to any of us. It's their property and they can do with it as they please, as long as they don't violate any building codes.

    The same thing must be true for Musk and Twitter. He's stripping it down to the studs. What we don't know is why and he's not going to tell us unless he wants to. Of course it sucks for all those whom he has deemed to be expendable and worthy of tossing in the roll-off dumpsters he brought in as soon as he put down the sink. At least those who've been shown to the dumpster are getting a few months of salary to bridge them over to their next career endeavor. I doubt that any prospective employers will view the cast-offs as being personally responsible for being discarded. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time but still have their skills and experience to get them into their next gig. I wish them all the best.

    So ... what is Musk going to build on top of the stripped down and skeletal remains of the company that he just spent $47 billion dollars acquiring?
    More importantly will anyone care what he builds. It is going to have lots of stairs he fired the accessibility team. 
    darkvadersoundsgrandAlex1N9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 28
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,259member
    mattinoz said:
    dewme said:
    The purging of current staff is no different than when a new and usually well-heeled home buyer purchases a property that contains an existing house that many of us consider perfectly acceptable and immediately proceeds to tear the whole house down to the ground. The new owner then rebuilds a new and oftentimes much more elaborate house on the same property. Frankly, I see this scenario play out quite often, even in rural and semi-rural areas.

    The rationale of course is that the new property owner values something about the property beyond the value of the original house that was sitting on the property. It can also be the case that trying to renovate the old house wasn't seen as a viable option for many reasons. The basic architecture and structure may never have fit the new owner's requirements regardless of the amount of renovation performed. Maybe the foundation was decrepit. We don't know, but the new owner knows and is really not obligated to explain their motivations or actions to any of us. It's their property and they can do with it as they please, as long as they don't violate any building codes.

    The same thing must be true for Musk and Twitter. He's stripping it down to the studs. What we don't know is why and he's not going to tell us unless he wants to. Of course it sucks for all those whom he has deemed to be expendable and worthy of tossing in the roll-off dumpsters he brought in as soon as he put down the sink. At least those who've been shown to the dumpster are getting a few months of salary to bridge them over to their next career endeavor. I doubt that any prospective employers will view the cast-offs as being personally responsible for being discarded. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time but still have their skills and experience to get them into their next gig. I wish them all the best.

    So ... what is Musk going to build on top of the stripped down and skeletal remains of the company that he just spent $47 billion dollars acquiring?
    More importantly will anyone care what he builds. It is going to have lots of stairs he fired the accessibility team. 

    Yes, we will care. We care about Tesla. We care about SpaceX. We care about Starlink. We care about Elon Musk. Whether we like Elon Musk or despise him, or whether we like or despise his business and/or personal practices and behaviors, what he does matters because it affects other people. We have to care. If everything he does could not possibly affect anyone other than himself, yeah, then we could not care. I don't like bad weather, but I care about the weather forecast because it can affect me, good or bad.
    Alex1N9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 28
    @Madbum censorship is the way all of authoritarians.  'Disinformation' is just the latest rhetorical trick to make it look like the censors are the 'good guys'. Glad to see you and others are not fooled.  Free speech is a central American value, always has been, always will be.  
    You make it sound like there is no border to what free speech encompasses. Is there a „limit“ to what counts as free speech? What about slander? What about personal insulations, or threatening? Request to conduct something illegal? What about values, such as respect and responsibility - aren‘t these things that are a prerequisite for free speech as a value? 
    ronndarkvaderwilliamlondonAlex1N9secondkox2Fred257watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 18 of 28
    DougUTDougUT Posts: 7unconfirmed, member
    Already closed both of my Twitter accounts. No need for it anymore. I'm so sick of all the bull**** social media sites anyways. 
    darkvaderthtwilliamlondon9secondkox2Fred257watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 28
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 578member
    WARN probably not necessary if he can show company was in a serious financial condition. From what I saw everyone received a 3-month severance package which is way more than most us would ever get. I’m self-employed so my severance is zero!!

    Like most companies since the recovery from 2008 started there are too many employees working at most large companies. Definitely people working with little accountability or oversight or performing unnecessary jobs. That is what happens in good times. I’ll add that most people know if their job is absolutely necessary for their company to function, but there maybe exceptions for self-consumed people who think their work is vital. If you work in engineering you were much more likely to stay employed than someone in ethics, diversity, content management, etc. 

    For the famous people and companies who recently quit or who are threatening to quit you will be back as there is alternative. 
    designrwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 28
    A great move by Elon.  Fire the woke.  They've ruined the Internet.
    Sure, it’s always the other guy’s team and never the collective whole of humanity that bears the responsibility to maintain a civil society.  I could go on and on about how ‘your team’ did this and mine doesn’t do that, citing examples of how “Libs getting owned” by toxic abuse is practically a Republican pastime, but what a waste of life to spend more than one second tossing good faith evidence into a bad faith, reductionist black hole
    thtmattinozwilliamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobrajony0
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