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‘No choice’: Musk defends layoffs on Twitter, says company is losing $4m a day

UPDATED: Nov 5, 2022 07:43 IST

By India Today Web Desk: Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, has claimed that the large series of layoffs at the microblogging platform was necessitated by the millions of dollars the company was losing every day.

To soften the blow, he said that all those who lost their jobs were offered three months of severance pay, “50% more than the legal obligation”.

“When it comes to reducing the strength of Twitter, unfortunately, there is no other choice when the company is losing over $4 million a day. Everyone who exits has been offered 3 months of severance pay, which is 50% more than the legal requirement,” Musk said in a tweet.

The Twitter job cuts came a week after the billionaire business mogul took over the platform after a $44 billion takeover. From firing executives to proposing a new content moderation board, a lot has happened with Musk at the helm.

In the days following his takeover, reports surfaced that he planned to cut at least about half of Twitter’s jobs in a bid to cut costs and save money. After denying the reports, Musk did an about-face and began laying off employees on Friday.

“In an effort to put Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global workforce on Friday,” Twitter said in an internal memo to staff hours before the first round of mass layoffs began.

READ | Elon Musk to Twitter employees, go home if you come to the office: read the email confirming the layoffs

The cuts appear to be as wide as they are deep, affecting everything from Twitter’s trust and safety teams that handle content moderation to its marketing department. According to reports, the company’s entire human rights team has been fired.

Following the layoffs, Twitter employees sued the tech giant, filing a class action lawsuit arguing that the company was carrying out mass layoffs without providing the required 60-day notice, in violation of federal and California laws.

ACTIVISTS TO BLAME FOR DROP IN REVENUES?

Significantly, the Tesla CEO blamed “activist groups lobbying advertisers” for a “massive drop in revenue.” He, however, did not elaborate on Twitter’s declining revenue, or identify the activist groups in question.

Musk tweeted that his team made no changes to content moderation and did “everything we could” to appease the groups. “Extremely messed up! They (civil rights groups) are trying to destroy free speech in America.

Speaking at an investor conference in New York on Friday, Musk called the pressure from activists “an attack on the First Amendment.”

It’s also worth noting that several big advertisers such as Tesla rival General Motors, food company General Mills and pharmaceutical major Pfizer have temporarily suspended their Twitter ad campaigns since Musk took the reins.

(With contributions from Reuters)