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Elon Musk’s Twitter layoffs are creating the perfect midterm storm


Now we have just over a week left Elon MuskThe current Twitter user and the richest man in the world, who opened a bid to buy the platform by insisting that he is not doing it to “make money”, and is taking drastic measures to improve his rating. profit rate. Billionaire reported plan cut up to half of the company’s workforce — meaning up to 3,750 jobs — with at least some of those expected to happen. the end Friday. He’s also integrating Twitter’s “blue check” verification program into the Twitter Blue subscription service, according to arrive The New York Times, this can cause a host of user and content moderation issues.

On Twitter before Musk, verification badges were offered to celebrities, journalists, politicians, and other public figures as a way to distinguish their accounts from those of impostors. (To prove their identity, verified users are often required to submit a photo of their government-issued ID and other identifying information.) But under the new Twitter Blue system — it will come out. launched Monday in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — anyone can get a verification badge for an $8 monthly fee, negating the original purpose of the verification.

Needless to say, the product’s November 7 launch date has raised clear red flags. It will come into effect a day before midterms, whose results are expected to be challenged by a flurry of right-wing misinformation. “Twitter explodes about 100 hours before what is certain to be the most widely contested and highly contested election in (modern) US history will inevitably happen next week in ways that we cannot afford. predictable,” tweeted network security expert Garrett Graff. Pay-to-check services can help bad actors spread election lies more effectively, allowing them to pose as political candidates, prominent journalists or election officials.

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As for the layoffs, the company’s management informed employees on Thursday that the cuts were designed to “put Twitter on a healthy path,” before announcing that offices of the business will be temporarily closed to employees until the shaking is over. In a company-wide memo on Thursday, Twitter asked employees to pay attention to a Friday email revealing whether they still had jobs.

In return, Twitter was hacked with a class action Thursday accused the company of violating federal and state laws that require at least 60 days’ notice before mass layoffs. The plaintiffs demanded that Twitter meet minimum notice and that it was barred from issuing additional separation agreements to employees targeted in layoffs without telling them the aforementioned laws and the lawsuit. . “Plaintiffs are very concerned that Twitter will continue these rounds of layoffs without providing the necessary notice,” the lawsuit states. saved in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California by five current or former employees.

The internal devastation of the company could also affect the midterms, as staff layoffs have resulted in less content oversight. “Twitter was probably the fastest response to my misinformation in the 2020 presidential election,” Bloomberg reporter Davey Alba tweeted. “Currently? Comms is dark.… I must say I’m worried for next week’s election not even starting to include it.” On Friday, NBC’s tech and extremism reporter Ben Collins echoed similar concerns and shared election-related concerns he had heard from current and former Twitter employees. “Using Twitter as a trusted source of information on Tuesdays would be a nightmare,” Collins saidwho noted that employees had warned that Musk had “cut the moderation staff so severely that there was no way for them to catch up on these lies.”

For his part, Musk has guard his vision for the platform, spent the last 24 hours feeling sorry with angry conservatives on Twitter and branded his critics as anti-freedom. “Twitter has experienced a massive revenue drop as activist groups pressure advertisers, although nothing has changed with content moderation and we have done everything we can to appease the activists.” . he tweeted Friday. “Extremely messy! They are trying to destroy freedom of speech in America.”

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