back to article Elon Musk reportedly outlines horrible Twitter layoff process

Twitter owner, sole director and – according to his Twitter profile, now also "Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator" – has reportedly informed company staff that layoffs begin tomorrow. Accounts of an internal email detailing the layoffs have reached The New York Times and The Washington Post, both of which report that as of …

  1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
    Alert

    Strange

    That this was ever a thing. While I watch on with great interest and popcorn, any impact to Twatter will have no impact to me. i've never been on it and never will. But, I sure enjoy the blathering I hear about it.

    Sites like this that are not real time is as social as I like to get because, let's face it, most people suck. I prefer to keep my distance from them, and I'm sure they feel the same.

    Popcorn icon, please.

    1. HereIAmJH

      Re: Strange

      Never had a Twitter account. Or Facebook. So doesn't really matter to me if Twitter survives. From a purely technical viewpoint (as career IT), I have to wonder if we are watching Twitter implode. Will there be outages in the next few days as all the corporate knowledge gets let go or leaves on their own? "Systems are down because Dave always took care of that, and Dave is gone......" I've worked at a company that had recurring layoffs and brain drain was painful. Morale is going to be horrible, and rumors are that Musk has already decreed 80 hour work week death marches to meet his deadlines. Anybody with any kind of skills will be mass mailing their resumes to all those recruiters that are always flooding our inboxes. It would be interesting to see statistics on the number of Twitter employees that have updated their LinkedIn profiles this week.

      He's cutting payroll to reduce expenses. But if he loses the confidence of the advertisers where won't be revenue.

      On top of that, social media sites provide a platform. Content creators are what brings in the eyeballs. Piss off the content creators and they will find another platform. Or more likely, they are already also on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, etc, and Twitter just becomes irrelevant. Then Twitter won't have to page views to support their ad pricing.

      Maybe I'm just underestimating the loyalty of Twitter users. Dunno. Feels like a train wreck.

      1. First Light

        Re: Strange

        It's already happening in India this morning it is down for PC users.

        https://www.business-standard.com/article/technology/twitter-down-for-some-users-across-globe-including-india-details-here-122110400235_1.html

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strange

      Stranger still is that it was taking 7500 employees to run a junk site like Twatter. What do the other 7400 do?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Strange

        Moderation?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Strange

          Interestingly, on the BBC R4 news yesterday, someone now ex-Twitter pointed out the "one" person responsible for dealing with celebrity accounts abuse has been "let go". With the Football World Cup about to start in Qatar very soon. So, who's going to deal with that now? Will the "slebs" now have the same issues as the "plebs" when it comes to complaints about abusive tweets? That's not going to encourage them to pay for a blue tick.

      2. trevorde Silver badge

        Re: Strange

        sell advertising

      3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: Strange

        I thought it was just me wondering that.

  2. Decani
    Meh

    Just started twittering this week...

    I've had an account for 10 years but never used it. Having forced time off for surgery meant I had a rummage and amongst oceans of dross there is very good content from people I admire in our field; Alan Hollub, Martin Fowler, Lukas Eder, etc.

    It's been stimulating and I wish I'd been active years ago; I believe I'd be less cynical and burned out about the job I still find fascinating given the chance.

    Ironic that his takeover and the possible car crash caused me to engage with it!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Just started twittering this week...

      I bothered signing up after Elon's first announcement early this year. Had his offer to buy it been canceled, I would have deleted my account. Now I'm watching things unfold, and it seems to have already changed in subtle ways. Fewer "bots" are a possibility already, based on my perception of the level of trolling and the nature of it (compared to a couple of weeks ago anyway).

      If it is worth while I think more people might like the *new* *improved* version.... or hold even more contempt for it.

      whatever.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just started twittering this week...

        Honestly, I've noticed distinctly more bottery and trolling this week than last ...

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Just started twittering this week...

        Elon Musk reported to have fired Twitter curation team responsible for tackling misinformation

        And 5 days before US mid-term elections. Amazing coincidence.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Some people go to car races to see the accidents

    Some go on Twitter to see the train wrecks

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Some people go to car races to see the accidents

      You don't need to be on Twitter to see it crash.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Some people go to car races to see the accidents

      train wrecks. I have a nice meme graphic for that. Usually it is accompanied by a rough quote from a Futurama episode where the giant brains made everyone stupidER. "Let's send more trains!"

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Some people go to car races to see the accidents

        it wuz the guvuner lady wut dun it!

  4. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Looks like Twatter has been severely mismanaged.

    Musk isn’t hanging about…

    1. Doctor Tarr

      ‘ Looks like Twatter has been severely mismanaged.’

      Managed so bad it was only worth $40+Bn

      1. just another employee

        "Worth" - to those who think losing ~$0.25bn a year is 'good business'.

        Sounds like far too many people making a living of some other fools money.

        Oh wait.... maybe that IS 'good business' .....

        1. HereIAmJH

          Turning a profit

          "Worth" - to those who think losing ~$0.25bn a year is 'good business'.

          How many years did it take Amazon to show a profit? Is it truly a loss if the business is worth more year after year? Looking at one line on the financials is not always a good indication of how the business is doing.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Turning a profit

            There is a small difference between "open a store, sell everything at cost and destroy all competition - until we are the only store" and we just bought a company for 1000x earnings, work out a way to make this pay !

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Managed so bad it was only worth $40+Bn

        To a pothead who fell for Hyperloop.

        1. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

          Things are only worth whatever someone will pay.

          How many of us are thinking we missed out on a bargain there?

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >To a pothead who fell for Hyperloop.

          Or a car company that got governments to stop planning high speed rail because it was going to be obsoleted by this hyperthing

      3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        That wasn't the company being managed it was the stock market and the VCs. I get seriously worried about those people "managing" all that money with their brains turned off.

      4. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Maker cap is a poor indicator of company soundness.

        To The Reg: Why not remove the ability to downvote? It's just silly how people downvote without even thinking. It just sours the debate.

    2. breakfast Silver badge

      The impression everyone who actually uses Twitter is getting, is that the mismanagement is just getting started.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Stop

        not "everyone"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          OK, everyone but Musk disciples. Happy now?

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          not "everyone"

          Ok - everyone other than the 'conservative' idiots who have a fetish for thinking that the 'libs' who run the mainstream media hate them..

          So Bob - why are you not on Parler/Truth Social or one of the other failing 'conservative-friendly[1]' services?

          Oh yes - it's because they are manifestly crap and only populated by mouth-breathing freezepeach types that wouldn't recognise reality of it jumped out in front of them waving a big neon sign saying "Hello - I'm reality"!

          I do have to admit that there are equally-bad morons that the other side of the US political spectrum (ie - akin to the UK Conservative party). It's just they tend to be fixated on other things other than their perceived persecution.

          [1] Which inevitably means tolerance for extreme right-wing beliefs and behaviours and extreme intolerance for anything resembling balance.

    3. Blank Reg

      "Twatter has been severely mismanaged"

      Elon - "Hold my beer"

  5. crayon

    "Yeah, sorry, Elon: looks like not everyone is observing those policies right now."

    Just fire them, ……… again, if necessary.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Free speech maximalist

      More evidence for what Elon means by that: "I say whatever I want and you shut up and do as your told."

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      being laid off entitles you to unemployment compensation, which is billed to the company that did the layoff. If you get work within the next 6 months, that bill to the company no longer exists. It is in the best interest for the company to give you a nice reference for your next gig.

      being fired gets you an accompanied speed-walk carrying your personal things in a box, right out the front door, and not a very nice reference for future employers that want to know why you left. NO unemployment is paid by the company or government.

      If there is a reason to FIRE rather than LAY OFF, guess which route will be taken?

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Yeah, and firing people is really easy.... in some jurisdictions. Not in most parts of Europe (but then I don't know how much staff they have here). There is things like giving proper warning etc. It is not as easy as his Muskness would like it.

        Laying off people takes time (at least here), depending on how long you have been here they need to continue paying you for a couple of months - and they usually walk you out of the building with your personal effects in a box, and tell you not to come back and not to use any IT system of your soon-to-be ex-employer.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Does anyone know if this has happened to any of the French employees? If so, it's an early Christmas for them. French redundancies can be eye watering expensive*, not following the rules will incur serious fines that'll make even EM wince.

          *Multiples of annual salary & pension uplifts if you've been long enough in service.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Not to mention the federal and California WARN acts, which require 60 day notice of mass layoffs; Shitweasel Musk is looking at some breathtaking fines from California, class action lawsuits, and other penalties for pulling this crap.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              From the reports I've seen, at least in some jurisdictions if not all, Twitter will be paying full salaries till Feb'24. That might get him off the hook for some of the redundancies in some countries. They *may* be classed as still employed by Twitter until then, or at least "paid in lieu of notice". Skipping the legal notifications is a different kettle of fish though. Being notified of your redundancy by discovering you can no longer log into your work accounts is an especially shitty way of doing it.

      2. trindflo Bronze badge

        Retroactive firing when possible

        @Bob, You make an interesting point about the advantage to EM if he fires anyone he can, but if you've already begun the layoff process can you go back and retroactively fire them? Maybe in the states with the current SCOTUS this will become a new precedent.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
  6. xyz Silver badge
    Coat

    Have they been flicked the bird?

    Squawk

  7. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Twitter the next Starship

    Burning on the launch pad?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twitter the next Starship

      And we can build this dream together

      Standing strong forever

      Nothing's gonna stop us now

      Oh, sorry, wrong Starship.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    Long hours, understaffed, stupid policies, must dance for Musk to keep job

    Yep, sounds like just another day in a Musk-owned business. Welcome to the club Twitter.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator"

    I'm sorry, aren't you supposed to be managing Tesla 40 hours per week already ? Minimum ?

    Oh, silly me, that's for the peons (aka everyone but you).

    But really, hotline operator ?

    Do you really think anyone's going to buy that bullshit ?

    Well, at least you might have done one good thing for Twitter : kill it.

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: "Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator"

      "Do you really think anyone's going to buy that bullshit ?"

      It's a joke.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator"

        joke for me, but somehow, I don't feel it's a joke for those that've just been offered a sudden 'opening career opportunity'.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator"

        It's an Elon joke, which means it's only funny for the surprising number of morons for whom Musk can do no wrong. For anyone else, this is the kind of joke a sociapath would make when he's kicking people out without respecting the law.

  10. Peter Prof Fox

    Takeover tumble

    (Oblig. Never twitted.) It is sad when pioneers who struggled to bring something useful to the rest of us are elbowed aside by accountants who think they can milk the project and charge for previously free stuff or remove essentials or initiate a paradiddle of marketing-driven changes with little relevance to the core users.

    On the other hand, this is Twitter. An opportunity, if ever there was one, to learn from the mistakes of others and build something better. Not sad at all.

  11. Khaptain Silver badge

    The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

    If Elon Musk can remove the political bias, clean up the cruft inside the company, and actually produce what he says he wants to produce, then I think the Twitter has a chance of becoming a usuable platform.

    I am happy to see that someone is putting his money where his mouth is in order to attempt to re-establish some kind of normality..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

      I'm happy to see that someone was forced to put his money where his mouth was.

      1. Excused Boots

        Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

        I mean really, does anyone here think that Elon really ever wanted to own or run Twitter? Of course not, his mouth simply ran away before his brain properly engaged; 'funding secured' anyone!

        But this time, alas, it has blown up in his face and he's stuck with it. Which is slightly reassuring if we believe that the LAW is actually universal and applies to everyone irrespective of how many billions they are (on paper) worth!

        I think the issue with very, very wealthy people is that they tend to accrue hangers on who simply say what they think the boss wants to hear, rather than what they really NEED to hear. So if someone close had said 'Elon, you are coming across as a fucking idiot, just stop now, you twat', it would all have worked out much better!

        Alas no, it's a shame that the positive contributions he has made to human endeavour will be completely overshadowed by short term fuckwittewry.

        C'est la vieu.

        And yes, I'm sure there will be more than a few downvotes for this comment - I would be genuinely interested in knowing why, and what their counterpoints are - I suspect I am going to be disappointed though.

        John

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

          "I think the issue with very, very wealthy people is that they tend to accrue hangers on who simply say what they think the boss wants to hear, rather than what they really NEED to hear. So if someone close had said 'Elon, you are coming across as a fucking idiot, just stop now, you twat', it would all have worked out much better!"

          Generally, they don't "accrue" people like that. It's more Darwinian. If you tell the boss things s/he doesn't want to hear, you don't last long in their employ. At least not when the boss is a sociopath type.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

      I don't use Twitter, but I find it interesting that both the left and right are accusing it of political bias...

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

        Do you know of someone on left that was suspended/cancelled ? Or that has their tweets removed..

        We all know the right wingers that were removed or have their Tweets redacted/removed..

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

          Do you know of someone on left that was suspended/cancelled ? Or that has their tweets removed..

          Not me. But I don't recall anyone on the left posting the sort of things which got those on the right suspended and cancelled.

          The right presumes "acceptability" is wherever they stand and thus inevitably feels persecuted because it isn't.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

            Wasn't Twitter (and possibly Facebook) one of the main means of communication for the organizers of the Summer 2020 protests and riots? Were they planned and advertised on Twitter? Shouldn't the propagators of such - that caused the rioting and looting and burning in big cities - have had their accounts suspended and cancelled?

            And what about all the crazy anti-Trump postings after the 2016 election? Madonna wanting to "burn the White House down". Or Kathy Griffin's disturbing Trump-head photo? I hate Trump like a fucking herpes sore, but what happened to the accounts of these people on the left after they did what they did? Freedom of speech is a protected legal issue, but when did our society decide that such things were socially acceptable coming from either side (including Trump's disgusting "grab them by the pussy" quote)?

            I've said for years - we need to destroy the Internet. It's too strong a tonic for humanity and brings out the absolute worst in us as a society.

        2. Empire of the Pussycat

          Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

          Do you know of someone on left that should be suspended/cancelled ? Or that should have their tweets removed..

          We all know the right wingers that were removed or have their Tweets redacted/removed for spouting lies, hatred and inciting violence/insurrection

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

            Oddly those on the left calling for exactly those things don't ever get silenced.

            1. willyslick

              Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

              Possibly because those on the the left are not preaching hate and racism, trying to restrict voting rights and attempting to incite an insurrection - could it be that?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

                All we've had since 2016 is hate from the left. Now they are trying to be nice with the covid amnesty but no-one is buying it.

                The restriction of voting rights is a fever dream by the left. Even the lefts favourite socialist (but not really) European countries have restrictions on voting that are tougher than the US.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

                  "The restriction of voting rights is a fever dream by the left. Even the lefts favourite socialist (but not really) European countries have restrictions on voting that are tougher than the US."

                  Evidence?

                  FWIW, most European nations have very few restriction on who can vote. At town/city level, proof of residence is about all you need, not even citizenship. Likewise when voting for MEPs at EU level. Most require citizenship to vote for national government representatives and that right is NOT removed just because some voters may be in prison, unlike most/all of the USA.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

                    Stop moving the goalposts :) Convicted felons have had restricted voting rights in the US for a LOOOOOOOONG time! I'm not saying its right, the whole US custodial system is pretty much broken at every level.

                    Voting rights are not being unduly restricted in the US. There is simply a fundamentally broken electoral system that favours VAST bureaucracy and complexity in order to employ a vast number of people.

                    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                      Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

                      "Voting rights are not being unduly restricted in the US. There is simply a fundamentally broken electoral system that favours VAST bureaucracy and complexity in order to employ a vast number of people."

                      I didn't say they were unduly restricted in the US. I was disputing the claim that they are more restricted in Europe than the US. On the other hand, your statement above seems to confirm that voting is more restricted in the US than it ought to be even if only by incompetent bureaucracy rather than ill intent.

                      AIUI, in the US, the onus is on the person to register as a voter. In the UK, at least, every residential address is regularly sent a form (annually, more or less) listing those who live there that are registered to vote, which can be ignored if there are no changes, or any new eligible voters can be added to the form and sent back to the returning officer to update the Electoral Register. It's generally very simple although in some cases new residents at the address may need to go in and show ID to prove who they are and there eligibility to vote

              2. Pirate Dave Silver badge

                Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

                "Possibly because those on the the left are not <snip>"

                Nah, probably because those on the left have fewer guns and less ammo.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

                  You'd be surprised.

                  https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article268246652.html

                  1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

                    Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

                    Yeah, "nutter" is one of the things that cuts across party lines. We've got plenty here on the right, good to see the left is trying to keep up.

          2. TheMeerkat

            Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

            When you talk about your political opponents “lies” fir which they should be cancelled, you are showing your own side dictatorial and anti-democratic tendencies.

            How do you think all those dictatorships explain why they killed free press in their countries as not by using exactly the same argument as you do?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

          > We all know the right wingers that were removed or have their Tweets redacted/removed..

          ... for cause. Yes. Congratulations on your powers of observation.

      2. Excused Boots

        Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

        When both sides accuse you of bias, it is a good indication that you are right all along!

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

          Good point. On the other hand, being accused of bias by both sides doesn't mean you are not biased. It just means you are not biased *enough* to either the left or the right since the people accusing of bias are invariably the extreme left or right :-)

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

      f Elon Musk can remove the political bias

      And what perceived bias would that be eh?

      (I'm asking - not that I expect to receive a coherent and reasoned answer merely a regurgitation of the Faux News stuffed talking head rhetoric)

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

        Within the last two years it definately wasn't in anyones interest to say anything about Vaccines, Masks, the Virus or alternative solutions. It's only now coming to surface that much of what was said were political lies..

        Try saying anything opinionated about people that believe that they are the opposite sex... Or about the medical practicioners cutting up childrens bodies for the sake of ideology. It's got nothing to do with hate, it's just about having an opinion.. On the next few years the lawsuits will be flowing and the tide will turn on this ideology. For the moment it's being used as a political means to gain votes and outcast the naysayers..

        Try having an opinion about BLM, the organisation, and where the money actually goes... Try asking about Black on Black death and not getting booted out. .. Try asking the poor folks in the suburbs how much their lives have improved due to BLMs's "campaign"... .. Again it's a political agenda.

        There are far more subjects but these are the easy, popular ones.

        Elon Musk understood how the governments and big business directly or indirectly have been using Twitter et al as a means of political persuassion.. Why would Jack Dorsey be backing Musk on this. Dorsey left Twitter probably due to the fact that he didn't want to have to deal with the 3 letter agencies, he understood where things were going.. Musk has got enough fuck you money that he doesn't have to care, so he's decided to kick back at the institutions.. Why would that be a bad thing for anyone ?

    4. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

      Clean up the political bias?

      Care to explain what that means?

    5. just another charlie

      Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

      Your in the wrong place for that kind of talk. This lot would vote Biden in again if they could. Try telling them that the newyork post tried to publish an article on Twitter which exposed Bidens son Hunter for the influence peddling crack head he is by detailing his lost laptop, only twitter censored the article and any other factual anti democrat articles too. And they will just call you a Musk fanboy or something similar. They dont care about freedom of speech, they been totally brainwashed by the BBC for their entire lives because the BBC is a non biassed and factual news source dont you know.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: The blue bird rises like a Phoenix

        Well, why do the Republicans have a demented racist narcissist moron as their figurehead? Of-effing-course I'd vote Biden or just about anyone not Republican if I could.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitter on Azure certifications

    The only time I was close to setting up a Twatter account was during the AZ-303 Azure solution architect training. I was very good, with lots of exercises.

    At one point, the exercise went on this way:

    - set up an Azure function

    - configure it to use your twitter account

    - configure it to scan whatever other twitter account and re-tweet whatever it says

    - like it or not depending on words used

    I ended up not having this twitter account, just read the training steps ...

    That's where I understood that most twitter activity is not directly resulting from human activity but bots.

    It's 10 mins to set up such a bot to do whatever. That's how you see "people" re-tweeting at any minute day and night ...

    Yes, Musky, the Chief Twat, bought this thing WAY too much !

    1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

      Re: Twitter on Azure certifications

      I like the assumption that everyone taking the course will have an account and familiarity with Twitter. Reminds me of one job offer which was contingent on me providing my propective employer with access to my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. I pointed out that:

      1) I don't have accounts on any of them.

      2) It breaches the terms and conditions of those sites to give them my credentials

      3) I was declining the job offer as they sounded like control freaks

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Twitter on Azure certifications

        "2) It breaches the terms and conditions of those sites to give them my credentials"

        Maybe, just maybe, however unlikely, that was a test :-)

        (Yes, I know, far to many reports, especially of US employers, asking exactly for those credentials in all seriousness.)

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Twitter semi-randomly mucking about

    I hope this puts a stop to the semi-random crap Twitter tried, like "hey let's 'subscribe' you to topics, none of which you're not interested in!"

    No. I'm following people & organizations I'm specifically interested in. Get that trash out of here.

    "Hey let's randomly reshuffle your timeline so it's no longer a timeline to show 'top' tweets!"

    No. Now I'm pissed off because stuff I'm interested in now only randomly appears when I refresh.

    I actually stopped bothering for 5-6 months until they added an option to "show tweets as they occur"

    Now I look at it about once every 3-4 days, when I used to be on there daily.

    The only thing twitter is "good" for, is for a place to bitch about poor service, since most companies don't have a support center any more.

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Twitter semi-randomly mucking about

      A while back we tried to set up a twitter account to promote an open source project. The first problem was that it forcibly truncated the project name making it meaningless. The second was that it tampered with the logo by cropping it into a circular image with blurred border into which only part of the logo fitted. Attempting to correct this by deleting and retrying the logo few times caused the account to be locked, and we never got a response from the twits when we challenged this. Net result - no usable twitter account for the project, although the residue of this debacle is probably still present somewhere on the platform (probably still locked and, we hope, invisible).

  14. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Putting aside for a moment any debate on what value Twitter adds (or doesn't add) to society as a whole...

    I'm not familiar with the law around takeovers, competition, etc. for here in the UK, never mind the USA, but I have a genuine question here. Twitter in it's pre-Musk state was employing thousands of people, then Elon comes along with an unsolicited offer to buy the company. He then lays off all those workers, seemingly without any thought of social responsibility. I appreciate that business is business, and bottom line needs to be protected, but if something similar happened in the UK would some regulatory stop the takeover on the grounds is damaging for so many people?

    1. Quando

      Most of the US runs on ‘at will’ employment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment) so employees can be fired for no reason at any time, so the takeover is just continuing the situation that existed before.

      For Twitter employees in the EU there might well be a different process to go through, I know when I’ve been at companies doing mass lay-offs in the UK pre-brexit there was a 30 day consultation period, and it was roles not people that were cut - so you sometimes had a chance to try for a remaining position if they are reducing say developers from 10 to 6.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        "employees can be fired for no reason at any time"

        that is actually not true. "wrongful termination" is still a legit reason for a lawsuit. And nobody wants to work for a company that is that 'unstable' with its employees.

        Then again I work mostly as a contractor and am used to projects lasting for a time, then I leave and go elsewhere as there is no more work for me to do. Personally, i like it BETTER that way.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Wow... Looking at the utter lack of workers rights:

          - At-Will Employment and Wrongful Termination

          - Yes, At-Will Employees Can Sue For Wrongful Termination

          And then you get out-of-work white MAGA men with guns wondering about upset with women and non-whites, I guess because wrongful termination due to discrimination is one of the few straws people can try clutch on to to keep their job. They shouldn't be upset with women and non-whites, they should be upset with how businesses treat workers and the lack of workers rights.

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Yup, there's a reason why companies over there are hostile to the idea of unionisation. It's astonishing anybody wants to go to work, but I guess it's a case of having to put up with it in order to pay the bills.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You realize that at-will employment and laws didn't begin in 2016, right?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Not sure that is correct

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                It's a state-by-state law. It's been around in various forms (according to your reference) since 1870. That said, I didn't have to look it up. I had to deal with it in the 1990s and again in the mid-00s when I was an administrator. I was acutely aware of it in the mid-1990s as an employee when I needed extended time off to care for an elderly parent and used the federal Family Leave Act. So, yeah, it's been around for a long time and it depends on the state in which you are employed with some specific rules which were made federal.

          3. DJO Silver badge

            The lawsuits have already started:

            https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/04/twitter-sued-by-former-staff-as-elon-musk-begins-mass-sackings

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There is already a class action suit filed for him doing a repeat of what he did at Tesla: ignoring applicable laws. Even in the US, workers do not go completely unprotected.

      In California there's a law that requires to give workers SIXTY DAYS notice before layoffs. Quote from the BBC:

      "The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act restricts large companies from mounting mass layoffs without at least 60 days of advance notice.

      The lawsuit asks the court to issue an order requiring Twitter to obey the WARN Act, and restricting the company from soliciting employees to sign documents that could give up their right to participate in litigation."

      Translated: the suit also tries to prevent Musk from deceiving people into signing away their rights. I assume that at a minimu that gves people 60 days more salary, but we'll have to see how this goes. It could get a lot more expensive for Musk, and that's without any guarantee that the service would become financially viable after all now his deserved reputation + likely resulting lack of moderation is scaring away advertisers.

      That's what you get when you start believing your own hubris.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It does rather look like the actions of someone who's a bit of a psychopath

        1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

          I think a lot of us had concluded he's a psychopath long before this episode. The saddest thing for me is he's often presented as a "typical" person with Asperger's. Thankfully there are decent people out there with Asperger's showing that Musk's disgusting behaviour is not an intrinsic part of his autism (see Dave Plummer for example).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          “ a bit of a psychopath”?

          And Stalin was a bit of a monster…

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I assume that at a minimu that gves people 60 days more salary, but we'll have to see how this goes."

        I've seen reports Twitter will pay salary to Feb'24. That may satisfy US law, or at least ameliorate the fall-out, but I don't think it will fly as well in EU countries or the UK. I've no idea if or how it might affect things elsewhere in the world though.

    3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

      There have been many instances in the UK of a company being taken over with the new owners promising no redundancies or factory closures followed a bit later by redundancies or factory closures.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a Twitter account but haven’t posted anything for ages. It’s main value to me is to get notifications of local travel issues (the local police and transport operators post updates to Twitter) - more accessible and immediate than Facebook (besides which, I deleted that account several years ago). However, I think it’s now time to delete my Twitter presence…

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've never used it but...

    Love to see the traditional "I've never used Twitter but here's what I think..." opinions. But another way to think about it is: Maybe if you don't know anything about it beyond its reputation, perhaps you don't need to share your opinion? What can you possibly add to the conversation? But people still do it, like a dog replying to every single article about aeronautical engineering because they once heard their owner say the word "plane".

    As someone who uses it daily I think it's fair to say Twitter is a hellsite, but I've learnt a huge amount from being there. Yesterday it introduced me to the concept of the Trust Thermocline, something that I immediately recognised but had never seen named before. No other site compares for a mix of super-insightful threads, incredibly fast on-the-ground news when significant things happen, and absolutely ridiculous shitposting. It's been great and it's been awful but this feels like a death-spiral and people are leaving daily, it may be that the final great achievement of Twitter will be to lose Elon Musk $44 billion.

    Still, it's a massive site and it has/had some good engineers, this is a great time to be recruiting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've never used it but...

      What I learned from the 20 minutes I was on Twitter is that avoiding it is a good way to aid your concentration and not waste your time on fluff. Realtime is too interruptive.

      As for the great time for recruiting: if these people were not tied to the US we would have been interested as we'll need a good 30 or so in the next few months, and probably that again in a year, but we cannot risk any US influence in what we're doing - we had enough trouble keeping investors out with US ties (although it was kinda fun to see the shocked faces when their bids gets rejected, they're WAY to used to win a bid by merely offering more money). As we're in Europe, we take the law seriously and the US Cloud Act as well as the absence of any GDPR/DPA level privacy protection for users has become a major concern for our lawyers so they also ruled out anyone who could be leveraged.

      It's a shame, but them are the breaks.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I've never used it but...

      I have a suspicion that those who are engineers (i.e. do not need to "learn to code") will mostly be retained, but those who have high salaries for "moderating content" are all in the first wave of layoffs.

      The average salary at Twitter is in the $140k/year range from what I have read. "Content Moderator" is probably NOT worth that much, especially when their activity gives the comopany such a bad reputation that Elon buys the company out to STOP them from doing it.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I've never used it but...

        >I have a suspicion that those who are engineers (i.e. do not need to "learn to code") will mostly be retained,

        The ones that can code might take a look at Musk's "engineers will be working 84 hour weeks and sleeping in the office" and decide to walk.

        1. Ian Mason

          Re: I've never used it but...

          I've seen this before. The good ones who can will walk off. The crap ones who can't just walk off will stay.

          Suddenly the company finds itself with only junior staff and has to scrabble to hire new staff, this immediately in the wake of demoralising and very public lay-offs. That in turn will mean that any decent candidate out there will decline any approaches unless they come with "danger money" salaries and cast iron contracts with nasty penalty payments for the company if it indulges in messing them about in the future.

          Elon why is your foot bleeding, and is that burnt cordite I can smell?

      2. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: I've never used it but...

        Remember Bob, Average not Median salary.

        If a few people at the top earn $10 million, a lot more earning $50k,can bring the average to $140k quite quickly.

        It's always better to look at the median salary if you can find it. Still a quick 2 minute google search failed to find any info on the median for the while firm and some very shoebox medians for very specific job positions. So not particularly useful.

        Still it's always good to remind people average does not equal median...

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: I've never used it but...

          "Still it's always good to remind people average does not equal median..."

          Yes, although I don't remember the examples given, I do very much remember a maths teacher at school demonstrating the difference between mean, mode and median and how vastly different the results can be using each method :-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've never used it but...

      "Maybe if you don't know anything about it beyond its reputation, perhaps you don't need to share your opinion?"

      Twitter is a platform to allow the poorly-informed to share their worthless opinions. It's a bit rich to complain when someone does it about the site itself, don't you think?

      "As someone who uses it daily I think it's fair to say Twitter is a hellsite, but I've learnt a huge amount from being there."

      So you have swum through the sewage of this "hellsite" and come up with a few golden nuggets. Well done. You'll understand why I won't shake your hand.

    4. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I've never used it but...

      Hey, I'm an auditor. It's my job to have an opinion on stuff that I don't use and don't know how to use. Pays pretty well.

  17. jmch Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Wrong defintion of Inflation

    "bills that are likely to increase over the next few months as central banks use interest rate hikes to (hopefully) curb inflation"

    What you probably mean is to curb the rise in the cost of living. "Inflation" is the expansion of money supply by central banks 'printing money'*, or allowing banks to loan out more money than they normally could by relaxing balance sheet requirements. If central banks really wanted to curb inflation they can do so incredibly easily by *stop effing printing money* or even better start destroying some of the magically created money by tightening balance sheet requirements and 'destroying'* previously magicked-out-of-thin-air fiat money.

    Raising interest rates is putting a sticking plaster over a gunshot wound. And the central banks were the ones with their finger on the trigger!!

    * not really printed or destroyed of course, just 'loan' numbers on a balance sheet

  18. MJI Silver badge

    Deleted ages ago

    I had an account, just used it to talk to a few people.

    Authors I have read

    Some scientists in news

    A celeb who borrowed a friends car for aTV shoot (she was lovely)

    Then the daily emails started, unsubscribed.

    Then I got recommended twerps to follow, after saying NO EMAILS (Z rated non entities)

    Account deleted

  19. willyslick

    Not sure whats better - losing one's job, or getting to stay to work for the most prominent t a**hole right-wing billionaires who has known now for a few months that he made a big error on vastly overpaying for a drain-circling, money-losing, indebted venture, and seems likely to take it out on the remining emplyees (80-hour weeks, etc).

    Either way its a grim scenario - I predict that in 2 years Twitter will have basically lost all relevance - it's in a race to the bottom with Facebook.

    My guess all along was that Musk was using the Twitter investment to diversify his wealth out of Tesla without alarming Tesla's investors (and tanking the stock) - likely scanario for me is that they both tank, as I think the guy, while certainly a clever engineer, has liitle clue about how to actually run a company.

    Time will tell - my guess is he bankrupts all his companies, and with this qualification under his belt, goes on to become the Republican candidate for president who will "run politics like a business". Which basically means, for the benefit of the already rich guys.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >goes on to become the Republican candidate for president

      One nice little feature of founding father's racism might save them

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Since the musky one is not a natural born citizen of the United States he is ineligible to run for president.

    3. jmch Silver badge

      "the guy, while certainly a clever engineer, has liitle clue about how to actually run a company."

      The guy behaves like a twat, but looking at Tesla and SpaceX there is ample evidence that he is very good at running companies. Twitter might be biting off more than he can chew, but it will be fun watching the fireworks...

  20. AlanSh

    Don't the other investors get a look in?

    No, I don't use Twitter. Never have, never will.

    But if I were one of the other investors in the $44b takeover, I would be seriously worried about how my investment would pay out, given the hype, reduced advertising and layoffs affecting the company share price and morale. I haven't seen anything in the press about their opinions.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Don't the other investors get a look in?

      Don't forget that losses can be offset against tax liabilities. This is one of the reasons for "going private". If this wasn't the case probably only a fraction of the deals would happen and, while that might not be such a bad thing, that's the world we live in.

      So, Elon, just close it take the hit and start something similar with what's left after the bankruptcy.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Don't the other investors get a look in?

      The second biggest investor in Twitter is the Saudi wealth fund run by a member of the Saudi royal family. You don't piss them off. You might be invited to a Saudi embassy and not come out again. At least not all in one piece.

  21. breakfast Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Could have been a big plus

    It strikes me that this whole fiasco is a reminder of how weak Google's philosophy of just dropping products is. At this point Google Plus would probably have become the biggest social network if they had just bothered to keep it running and not done anything stupid to make it suck.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two, two, two jobs in one!

    Unless 3,500 people were sitting around with nothing to do, this is going to be a total shitshow for those that remain. Having been one of the unlucky ones to be kept in a similar workforce culling, the work those other people were doing doesn't just magically disappear. It gets dumped on what's left of the staff, with the expectation that you'll pick it up. And the justification for the massive work increase? "Just be happy you still have a job." Uh, right. Couldn't get out there fast enough, shifting all my workload to someone already overloaded. Rinse and repeat. Eventually it all just collapsed.

    1. dipole

      Re: Two, two, two jobs in one!

      In addition to extra work you'll be expected to be in office every day rather than WFH. Elon does not like WFH.

      I can imagine a few people hoping they get some sort of redundancy.

      No voluntary redundancy mentioned either.

      If you are in an expensive City/Office like Dublin and most of the staff there are foreign then you'd rather bail out with whatever statuatory redundancy they are obligied to pay you.

    2. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

      Re: Two, two, two jobs in one!

      I've experienced one mass cull of staff in my career. Those of us left were "encouraged" by a bullshit artist (although he called himself a management consultant) with choice motivational quotes such as:

      "Do more with less".

      And:

      "Work smarter, not harder".

      That company went bust less than a year later.

  23. Howard Sway Silver badge

    all staff will receive a message with the subject line "Your Role at Twitter"

    This is why there's been such confusion over whether people had been fired or kept on, as the email simply read "Kiss my ass!".

  24. goodjudge

    Remember when Photobucket was free and used by millions, then they suddenly introduced fees?

    Yeah, that went well...

    1. dave 81

      Re: Remember when Photobucket was free and used by millions, then they suddenly introduced fees?

      It's the way that they did that, and how utterly insane the fees were. But $8 a month to get a verified account, and piss off the woke? Yea, I am gonna do that just for the laughs.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Over 50 posts

    and no one has suggests that ex staff form a new micro blogging company called "Bitter" ?

    What the hell is happening to people ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Over 50 posts

      I would hazard these newly un-employed would rather start a site called "Shitter" at this point.

  26. heyrick Silver badge

    I'll add another to the pile of "I've never used Twitter but" voices, with a question to me that seems obvious...

    ...and that is, these people weren't sitting in their arses all day. What were they doing? Maintaining the infrastructure? Verifying people? Checking reported spam/trolls/etc? Developing new features, or maybe more efficient ways to do existing stuff?

    So who's going to do these things now that swathes of the workforce have been shown the door? I can't help but feel that handling the company (and employees) in that manner could lead to a crash and burn scenario in the future...?

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Good chance that a large proportion of staff were paper pushers who spent all day in meetings with each other and asking productive people to stop working to tell them what they're doing. A judicious cull of unproductive people in a very deep organisational structure could work wonders for productivity

      However in real life those who get fired are more likely new hires, more experienced people with higher salaries, and those too busy working to play office politics

      1. OhForF' Silver badge

        Too much to soon

        A judicious cull of unproductive people in a very deep organisational structure could work wonders for productivity

        That is probably true for all bigger organisations but management and HR are usually unable to find out who the unproductive people are.

        I don't think there is any chance Elon has done a fair assessment of who is productive or not in the available time.

        It is although quite risky if done on scale - culling too many will result in critical work not being done.

        50% of the workforce in a single culling is the opposite of too little too late.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Too much to soon

          " ...but management and HR are usually unable to find out who the unproductive people are..."

          perchance they are looking at everyone else except themselves??

  27. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    This is where his Lordship holds his balls and dances

    Musk has floated the idea of making Twitter's ~400,000 verified account holders pay $8/month to retain that status as a revenue-raising measure to supplement advertising revenue

    My reading of Musk's tweet - https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1587498907336118274 - "Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month" - is that he's not just proposing the verified pay for that privilege, but it can be purchased by anyone.

    Musk seems to have a complete misunderstanding of what "verified" means.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: This is where his Lordship holds his balls and dances

      Verified = linked to a credit card. That's enough verification for most people.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: This is where his Lordship holds his balls and dances

        So let's say all those parody MP accounts get verified along with the real ones. What's the point of verification? It's not telling you anything other than the account has access to a credit card with $8 of credit.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: This is where his Lordship holds his balls and dances

      That doesn't seem that unreasonable.

      If you are a Coca-cola or Nike, then paying a few $ to have access to billions of eyeballs - and getting a real account manager to call to get things fixed still sounds like a good deal vs buying superbowl advertising

      If you called NBC and said you want to run an ad for all their viewers and they suggested charging you only $8/month you would bite their hand off.

  28. Coastal cutie
    Facepalm

    A rival for the IBM board

    Well, someone seems to have decided that IBM should have some competition in the awards for A**hole of the Year and Biggest Breaker of Employment Law

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: A rival for the IBM board

      Well musky is going to be up against the likes of bozo johnston and lizz truss for asshole of the year award..... along with that BT ceo who increased his pay 33% while saying "you plebs can only have 4 %"(followed by "why they all gone on strike?")

  29. Trotts36

    Meh

    Is it too early to suggest they learn to code ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh

      Problem is all their source files would only be 140 characters long, so it would take the compiler ages to open all those tiny files.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      I would suggest they take up Ballet, since the ballet dancers all went of to re-train as coders :-)

  30. pimppetgaeghsr

    Musk taking a fat L and smug twitter blue checkmarks that pushed horrifically biased crap for years are all disappearing.

    Why is this a bad thing?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elon asking people not to blab is rich indeed given his propensity for foot-in-mouth stock manipulating statements...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Ah, but hat was the SEC and The Law telling him what not to do, and he's rich. This is sacrosanct Employment Contracts he's talking about. Far more powerful and easier to enforce, not matter what silly clauses may be in them, especially if you can't afford a decent lawyer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Thank you for continuing to adhere to Twitter policies that prohibit you from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere."

      So Pottymouth can fire himself for persistently disregarding company policy.

  32. Sparkus

    Every nascent backdoor at Twitter

    is going to be lit up over the next several weeks...

    Stay Tuned.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I only used to tweet on the bog

    Seemed appropriate.

    But that grew boring.

    I dumped that sh…

  34. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Tomorrow?

    " Fri 4 Nov 2022 // 03:44 UTC

    ...reportedly informed company staff that layoffs begin tomorrow."

    If you are going to post an article that close to midnight US time/UTC time, regardless of the local time zone of the author or publishing mechanism, it's probably best to use a day and/or date than something as nebulous as "tomorrow". At the time of publishing, for most of the world, the word to use was "today" in this case. Even if the majority audience is in the US, many would not have seen it that late on Thursday night on the East coast. Maybe El Reg isn't so much US centric these days as US West Coast centric :-)

    Having listened to the BBC R4 news report and interviews on the subject driving home on Friday night after a day on the road, it was a bit weird seeing the Reg article referring to "tomorrow".

  35. Dan 55 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Elon Musk car crash interview here.

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