Elon Musk has sent his first email to Twitter employees, warning them to prepare for a “dire” economy and putting an immediate end to remote work.
In the email sent to Twitter staff late Wednesday evening, Musk warned that a weaker economic environment in the US would mean difficulties for the company’s advertising business. “Frankly, the economic picture ahead is dire, especially for a company like ours that is so dependent on advertising in a challenging economic climate,” he wrote. “Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand-based rather than performance-based, which makes us doubly vulnerable!”
In a public Q&A on Twitter Spaces Wednesday, Musk told advertisers that he had heard their concerns and that there have yet to be any changes to the platform’s content moderation policies. Musk has previously blamed “activist groups” for pressuring advertisers to drop campaigns (without offering any evidence for this claim) and accused these same unnamed groups of “trying to destroy free speech in America.”
Meanwhile, Twitter’s most visible change to its verification system—allowing anyone to pay $8 for a badge that previously denoted an official account—has already allowed countless users to masquerade as brands and celebrities.
He also told employees that, starting November 10th, they are expected to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours a week and that he would only approve remote work on a case-by-case basis. “If you are physically unable to travel to an office or have a critical personal obligation, then your absence is understandable,” he wrote.
Twitter previously had a “work from anywhere” policy that it adopted during the pandemic. Musk has signaled his opposition to remote work at Tesla but said in June in a Q&A with Twitter employees that “exceptional” workers would be allowed to continue the practice.