More than 110 Twitter employees announced their exit from the social media company on Thursday after new owner Elon Musk gave a Thursday deadline. On Wednesday, the tech billionaire sent an email to workers in which he warned that the work environment would be more intense and that employees who wished to stay should click “yes” and that those who failed to respond by 5 pm on Thursday evening would be considered to have quit and given their severance package.
“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” part of Musk’s letter read.
By Thursday afternoon, the company’s internal chat rooms were filled with salute emojis and blue hearts to indicate the many people leaving the company. The Twitter bios of many people exiting the company newly reflected changes such as “hardcore,” “softcore engineers,” or “ex-hardcore engineers” in apparent taunts to Musk. About 500 employees wrote farewell messages on Thursday.
In a private chat undertaken by about 50 Twitter workers on Signal, about 40 of them said they were leaving on Thursday – one of them revealed. In a Slack group, about 360 Twitter workers stated they were exiting on a “voluntary layoff” and numerous respondents on a Blind poll said they figure about 50% of Twitter’s remaining employees would leave shortly.
It appears that many of the people leaving the social media company are engineers in charge of fixing bugs and service outages. This has raised concerns about the company’s ability to stabilize the platform’s operations, prevent hate speech, fight bots, and make the site generally safe for users worldwide. On Thursday night, a website that tracks service available on other websites, Downdetector, reported that about 350 people reported a service outage on Twitter.
Although Musk does not seem fazed by the number of people leaving his newest company, he tweeted on Thursday that “the best people are staying…we just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage” without going into technical details. He already communicated to staffers who chose to stay to be ready for “long hours at high intensity” or use the door.
“How do you make a small fortune in social media?” Musk tweeted on Thursday when internal stats started showing the rising exodus of employees from his company. “Start out with a large one.”