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More Twitter employees are fleeing after Musk’s “hardcore” ultimatum

Twitter continued to bleed engineers and other workers after the new owner Elon Musk gave them a choice: promise “hard” work or resign with severance pay.

Hundreds of employees said they were quitting before Musk’s Thursday deadline, posting salute emojis or other symbols familiar to Twitter employees on the company’s internal Slack message board. However, it wasn’t always possible to tell whether they were doing so because they were leaving or out of solidarity with colleagues who were leaving, according to a current employee, who also spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, and a former employee who spoke to on condition of anonymity due to the confidentiality required for receiving severance pay.

Some took to Twitter to announce they were quitting after the deadline. A number of employees took to a private forum outside the company’s message board to discuss their planned departure, asking questions about how it could jeopardize their U.S. visas or whether they would receive promised severance pay, according to an employee previously fired at this week.

Twitter management sent an unsigned email after the deadline saying offices would be closed and access to employee badges disabled until Monday. According to the employee, who took voluntary leave Thursday and spoke on condition of anonymity, the reason was not given because of the confidentiality required to receive severance pay.

It is not yet clear how much exactly from Twitter already exhausted staff Musk accepted his offer, and the latest round of departures means the platform continues to shed employees just as it prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. one of Twitter’s busiest events, which can overwhelm its systems if things go wrong.

“To all the tweeps who decided to make today your last: Thank you for being incredible teammates through the highs and lows. I can’t wait to see what you do next,” tweeted one employee, Esther Crawford, who stayed with the company and worked on an overhaul of the platform’s verification system.

Since joining Twitter less than three weeks ago, Musk has laid off half of the company’s full-time staff of 7,500 and countless contractors responsible for content moderation and other important efforts. He fired top executives on his first day as Twitter owner, while others left voluntarily in the days that followed. Earlier this week, he began firing a small group of engineers who spoke out against him publicly or on Slack’s internal messaging system.

Then on Wednesday night Musk sent an email to the rest of the staff on Twitter, saying it was a software and server company and asked employees to decide by Thursday evening whether they wanted to remain part of the business.

Musk wrote that employees “will have to be very tough” to create a “breakthrough Twitter 2.0” and that success will require long, high-intensity work hours.

But in an email Thursday, Musk backed off his insistence that everyone work from the office. His initial rejection of remote work alienated many employees who survived the layoffs.

He softened his earlier tone in an email to employees, writing that “all that is required for approval is that your supervisor takes responsibility for you making an outstanding contribution.” Workers should also have “in-person meetings with your colleagues at a reasonable frequency, ideally every week but at least once a month.”

As of 7:00 p.m. PT, the #1 trending topic in the United States was “RIPTwitter,” followed by other social media names “Tumblr,” “Mastodon” and “MySpace.”

Twitter did not respond to a message seeking comment.


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