Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk says “general amnesty” for banned accounts will start next week for those who “have not broken the law or engaged in gross spamming.” He surveyed users about whether Twitter should offer amnesty, seemingly ignoring the fact that such polls can easily be mocked by bots. More than 72 percent of the 3.2 million votes approved Musk’s amnesty proposal.
Musk reinstated Donald Trump’s account last weekend after a similar poll. Trump has yet to tweet after getting his account back, though he has continued to post on his own app, Truth Social. Late last week, Musk reinstated the accounts of comedian Kathy Griffin (who was subject to Musk before her account was suspended), right-wing provocateur Jordan Peterson, and the conservative satire website Babylon bee.
The people have spoken.
The amnesty starts next week.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2022
The latest twist in the Twitter saga comes a day after the company fired about 50 more engineers without notice, according to reports. They were fired immediately after the company launched a code review program where engineers are asked to submit samples of their work every week. Dozens of engineers were fired by email the night before Thanksgiving because their “code was not satisfactory,” according to On the edgeIt’s Alex Heath.
Others received a warning for their performance. “Please note that failure to meet expectations may result in termination of your employment…please use this opportunity to restore our trust and demonstrate your contribution to the team and the company.” this warning email has been read.
The fired engineers were reportedly offered four weeks of compensation if they sign a separation agreement and drop any claims against Twitter. They had remained with the company after Musk laid off about half the workforce. Last week, he asked other employees to commit to working on his vision for an “extremely hardcore” Twitter 2.0. Those who quit (about 1,200 of the 3,900 still with the company as of early last week) were let go with the promise of three months’ severance pay.
The latest batch of layoffs comes just two days after Musk is said to have told employees that the layoffs had taken place and that Twitter was hiring by focusing on “people who are great at writing software.” One of Twitter’s engineers thrown away on Wednesday is Ikuhiro Ihara, who led a push to double the character limit on tweets to 280 in 2017. Twitter also fired Ying Xiao, a senior machine learning researcher who a colleague described to PlatformerZoë Schiffer as “the best ML modeler” around. It seems that some of the fired engineers were on H1B visas and now face a race to find new work if they want to stay in the US.
One of the people fired in Musk’s latest purge was Ikuhiro Ihara, a highly respected senior software engineer who helped lead the push to expand tweets to 280 characters. https://t.co/6NYEV2Pl4b
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) November 24, 2022
Schiffer also reported that Twitter cut vacation pay for its remaining performers just before the holiday weekend. The move came even two weeks after the company dumped thousands of its contractors. Musk is said to have reduced bonuses for employees this week as well, including daycare benefits, home Internet costs and training — effectively slashing workers’ compensation packages.
The measures are part of an intense push by Musk to cut costs at Twitter, which owes at least $1 billion in annual interest on loans it took out to buy the company. Earlier this week, it was reported that Twitter was pressuring suppliers and contractors for payments, with some owing millions of dollars in back wages. Twitter no longer has a communications department that can be reached for comment.
Happy Thanksgiving! 🇺🇸♥️🇺🇸
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2022
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