Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, considers himself a free speech absolutist, which is one of the reasons he claims he acquired Twitter. However, as Twitter employees are realizing, his principles of free speech do not appear to extend to those who work for him.
On all accounts, many of Twitter’s remaining employees, notably Twitter engineers, seem to be losing faith in him. Following Musk’s public firing of a Twitter engineer via a tweet yesterday, it’s now alleged that more than a dozen employees have been fired for either expressing critical comments about Musk’s leadership or supporting those who submitted unfavorable comments.
Musk announced Monday that he had fired at least one engineer who had publicly challenged him on Twitter.
The new layoffs reflect Musk’s decision to fire over half of all Twitter staff to reduce costs. On their verified accounts, some Twitter employees confirmed the firings.
“Looks like I just got fired for s—-posting too,” one individual commented in response to another who reported being sacked.
One affected employee, who apparently reacted angrily to Musk’s comments blaming performance issues on Twitter’s structure, also stated that he had been “officially fired” by the firm, despite having spent 12 “wonderful years and three weeks of chaos.”
According to multiple sources, one recently fired employee, who requested anonymity, claims that “a handful of people” were fired not for tweets but for internal Slack conversations that criticized or derided Musk’s ideas.
“In the before times, we had open lines of communication between employees and leadership,” he says. “Free to voice our opinions and dissent. That seems to be gone now, but I don’t know many people who actually want to stay. Almost every person I know (there are some exceptions) is basically biding their time until they can jump ship.”
The layoffs are just the latest wave of instability to hit the tech titan since Musk took it private in a $44 billion deal a few weeks ago and rapidly enacted a slew of platform changes.
Musk has certainly done far more damage to his investment than any employee could by firing the entirety of the C-suite, laying off thousands of other employees, and tweeting thoughtlessly.
For someone who brags about “free speech” and boasts that “Comedy is now legal on Twitter,” he’s rather unwilling to tolerate criticism or take a joke. He won’t be the first CEO to be undone by a taste for incompetence if he’s only left with workers who don’t call his shitposts out for what they are.