Elon Musk eviscerated amid meltdown at Twitter. We’ll survive, he says – Times of India


WASHINGTON: Elon Musk is getting absolutely eviscerated on Twitter amid apprehensions of a meltdown of the social media platform he bought for $44 billion just about two weeks ago.
Large scale resignations and a revolt are being reported at the Twitter HQ in San Francisco after Musk fired half the 7500 staff hours after his acquisition and ordered others to “go extremely hardcore” and put in long hours to build a “Twitter 2.0,” giving them a 5 pm Thursday deadline to quit or stay.
Dozens of employees, including senior executives are reported to have chosen to quit, walking out of or hanging up on a meeting convened by Musk. Some of them expressed their resentment on Twitter itself, although it was hard to discern the authenticity of their posts given the chaos that reigned online and offline, including employees being locked out of the office and denied badge access due to security concerns.
“People don’t want to sacrifice their mental health and family lives to make the richest man in the world richer,” one staffer told a local media outlet. “Elon Musk literally broke one of the biggest social media sites on the planet in less than a month.
My 14 year old niece could of done a better job,” another tweet read. Twitter itself was flooded with humiliating memes showing Musk as a clueless plutocrat destroying the 16-year old social media platform in less than 16 days.
Musk responded to some of the concerns and jibes with a mix of cheeky humor and serious reassurance. “How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one,” he tweeted amid the fracas, repurposing Richard Branson’s remark about starting an airline. At the same time, he bragged about the surge in usage, tweeting, “And … we just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage lol…let that sink in.” He also told one user concerned that the platform would die that “the best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”
On the platform itself, #RIPTwitter was the top trend worldwide, as users caustically bid goodbye to online friends and wrote what they feared might be their last posts. When a Musk fanboy accused the “far left” of “desperately praying for Twitter to be a disaster,” Musk responded, “Record numbers of users are logging in to see if Twitter is dead, ironically making it more alive than ever!”
The jokes and jabs aside, there was genuine concern in techdom about the future of what is arguably one of the most powerful channels of communication, and one used by the most powerful people in the world which is also accessible to the least powerful. One analyst pointed out that in 2005 Rupert Murdoch paid $580million for Myspace and sold it for $ 35 million in 2009 and in 2013 Yahoo paid $1.1billion for Tumblr and sold it for $3 million in 2019, wondering about the future of Musk’s $ 44 billion venture, seen by many as a misadventure.
As critics dredged out Musk’s past, including his academic record, saying he had been deceitful, one post showed Twitter’s chyron hijacked to described him as an “apartheid profiteer” “lawless oligarch” “mediocre manchild” and “petty racist” among other epithets.
Amid fears that Twitter would shutdown anytime because of large scale firings and departures, the platform appeared to be working fine as of Friday noon, leading one Musk supporter to point out that it was able to function with just 1000 employees in 2012 and that it could survive with that number. “Don’t wanna jinx it, but there’s a chance we can keep Twitter alive …,” Musk responded. He has previously argued that the company was overstaffed and employees got too many unnecessary or undeserving perks, including lavish, overpriced meals.
Amid all the boiling resentment and tumult from critics and dissenters, Musk too appeared to realize he had pushed too hard and too fast on some of his decrees. He reportedly dialed down on his directive for in-person hardcore work and anti-remote stance, telling staff in an email, “Regarding remote work, all that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that you are making an excellent contribution.”





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