Thursday was another day of chaos at Twitter as Elon Musk continues his master class in how not to take over a company, and it sounds like Musk was backpedaling on his big-boy ultimatums and negotiating with some fleeing workers to stay. And of course someone began projecting a scroll of insults directed at Musk on the side of Twitter headquarters.
Following the 2 p.m. PT deadline for all remaining Twitter employees to click yes on an online form — in order to abstractly commit to being more "hardcore" and working longer hours on a skeleton crew for a narcissist with a Twitter addiction and zero people skills — it sounds like a lot of people decided to quit! So many, in fact, that Musk may have realized his error, and the New York Times reports that he was looking to persuade some departing workers to stay. "Musk and his advisers held meetings with some Twitter workers whom they deemed 'critical' to stop them from leaving," the Times reported, via four sources.
Also, Musk sent around another confusing email that seemed to backpedal on his strict no-more-working-from-home policy, saying that all that was required to continue remote work was a manager attesting to the quality of a worker's contributions.
Reportedly, "hundreds" of Twitter employees took Musk's offer of three months severance and jumped ship, and Musk and his transition team curiously then decided the Twitter building in San Francisco would be locked for the weekend starting Friday morning, with all badge access disabled.
Update: Between 1,000 and 1,200 employees reportedly took their severance and ran, as Fortune reports. That would put the company's total remaining workforce at ~2,500, or about one-third of what it was 10 days ago. And it seems like the doors at Twitter HQ aren't locked to everyone — Musk sent out an email early today calling in all employees who "write software" to report to the 10th floor by 2 p.m. The Times further reported that some employees were being asked to fly in from other cities to report to HQ in San Francisco.
Reuters reported that this along with Thursday departures of key engineers was causing alarm bells within the company's remaining workforce about the stability of the platform itself. Per Reuters, "the departures include many engineers responsible for fixing bugs and preventing service outages" and "the version of the Twitter app used by employees began slowing down [last night], according to one source familiar with the matter, who estimated that the public version of Twitter was at risk of breaking during the night."
Self-described "projection activist" and SF artist Alan Marling was back at it projecting insults on the side of Twitter HQ Thursday evening. Marling did this early last week as well, just as the layoff rumors were swirling, projecting "Elon's hellscape" with an arrow pointing at the Twitter sign. And last night he projected a scroll of insults aimed at Musk that went as follows: "Mediocre manchild, pressurized privilege, petty racist, megalomaniac, worthless billionaire, bankruptcy baby, supreme parasite, petulant pimple, apartheid profiteer, dictator’s asskisser, lawless oligarch, insecure colonizer, cruel hoarder, space Karen."
#StopHateForProfit is an ongoing campaign to hold social media companies accountable for hate on their platforms. Social media must prioritize people over profit, and they must do it now. https://t.co/iTppJzGgCw pic.twitter.com/yfcQc6jmqB— Æ Marling (@AEMarling) November 18, 2022
Someone is projecting multiple messages onto Twitter headquarters building in SF from a neighboring building. pic.twitter.com/VuFqLvDyxT— Gia Vang (@Gia_Vang) November 18, 2022
As Marling told SFGate last week, "As humans we have a moral duty to defend our neighbors against hate speech and white supremacy. Elon Musk seems committed to using Twitter to amplify conspiracy theories and white supremacy.”
Meanwhile, Musk continues to try to move the narrative his own way — after firing Twitter's communications department! — with tweets about how great everything is going and how Twitter usage is at an all-time high.
Let that sink in …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
Yep, nothing to see here, folks!