Elon Musk told prospective investors that he plans to eliminate nearly 75% of Twitter’s staff as part of his deal to take over the social media company, The Washington Post reported.
According to the Washington Post report, Twitter had already anticipated cutting funding to its infrastructure sites, including its data centers. Musk has said that, as the owner of Twitter, he would loosen content moderation policies and potentially pivot the company to a subscription-based profit model.
The Guardian reported that job cuts are expected in the coming months no matter who owns the company, according to the report, which cited interviews and documents. According to The Guardian, the news of Musk’s plans, should he ultimately take over the business, come at a difficult moment for Twitter. The company said in July that it had already “significantly slowed hiring” amid a wider economic downturn in the tech industry, where many companies have announced recent hiring freezes and layoffs.
In addition, the acquisition drama with Musk has fostered low morale, leading employees to quit in droves. Twitter has been embroiled in a legal battle with the billionaire for months after Musk tried to walk away from the $44bn takeover deal, before reversing course earlier this month and saying he would go through with it after all.
Bloomberg reported that Twitter, confronting reports that Elon Musk aims to gut its workforce as part of his takeover, told staff that there haven’t been plans for companywide layoffs since it signed a deal to be acquired by the billionaire.
Mashable reported that Musk might not even get to own the company until he passes muster with the Biden Administration – which is planning a “national security review” of Musk’s Twitter deal, alongside his Starlink satellite network.
I think Mashable has the best take on this situation: Musk really really doesn’t like content moderation. He doesn’t see why there should be consequences for hate speech, or even actual insurrection. He seems to believe that Donald Trump belongs back on Twitter even as the two feud. He thinks it’s fun and edgy to tweet (and delete) pictures of himself with Ye (fka Kanye West) immediately after the troubled rapper made anti-semitic comments.
Personally, I think that if Elon Musk does purchase Twitter, it could cause the user experience to be even more chaotic than it currently is. Elon Musk has a history of abruptly changing his mind about things that affect a lot of people without warning. Stability is important, and too many changes could potentially influence people to seek out other types of social media.