A large number of Twitter’s contract workers discovered they were suddenly terminated this weekend after they lost access to Slack and other work systems, according to internal communications shared with CNBC by full-time Twitter employees.
CNBC reported that 4,400 of its 5,500 contract workers were cut, according to Platformer, which first reported the cuts. CNBC has not confirmed the total number.
Some of Twitter’s contract workers were based overseas in India, among other locations. Full-time employees, who asked to remain un-named since they were not authorized to speak on behalf of Twitter, said that they had no internal notice before contractors they were collaborating with were let go.
Twitter has dismissed all of its internal communications team, according to these employees. They also cracked bitter jokes that media outlets covering the company are now filling the role of internal communications.
Mashable reported that Casey Newton, a tech reporter who writes the Substack, Platformer, reported that the contractors were not warned but rather stripped of access to Slack and email.
The “cuts [were] expected to have significant impact to content moderation and the core infrastructure services that keep the site up and running,” Newton wrote on Twitter. Axios later confirmed that Twitter had laid off a large number of contractors including folks in content moderation.
Engadget reported that the move to cutting the contractors is expected to significantly impact Twitter’s ability to moderate content and keep its platform up and running.
According to Engadget, Twitter also appears to have provided no notice to those who lost their job this weekend. Many found out when they weren’t working for the company anymore after they abruptly lost access to Twitter’s internal systems. “One of my contractors just got deactivated without notice in the middle of making critical changes to our child safety workflows,” one manager posted in the Slack (according to Newton).
Engadget also reported that some workers are now worried they may not get paid for their last two weeks of work. Following Twitter’s November 4th layoffs, many contractors ended up on teams with no full-time staff, leaving no one to sign off on their time sheets.
Personally, I think it’s awful to abruptly fire a bunch of people without notice, especially if those people are the ones who know how to keep Twitter functional. I also find it horrifying to contemplate that at least one of the people who was working on child safety workflows was cut before completing them. We are likely living through the last days of Twitter being a functional website.