Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk has defended sacking about half the company’s
workforce, saying he had “no choice” as Twitter was losing more than $4m (£3.5m) a
day. A tweet from Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, referred to
“approximately 50% cuts company-wide“
But Mr Musk said the social media giant’s commitment to content moderation was
Mr Musk, the world’s richest man, took over Twitter in a $44bn (£38.7bn) deal.
The billionaire insisted in his own tweet that all those losing their jobs were offered
three months of severance pay, “which is 50% more than legally required”.
As reports emerged on Friday that thousands of staff at Twitter around the world
were losing their jobs, questions were asked over the future of employees responsible
for taking down harmful material.
Online safety groups and campaigners have suggested Mr Musk might relax
moderation policies and reverse permanent Twitter bans given to controversial
figures – including former president Donald Trump.
These concerns were fuelled by Mr Musk’s comments on Friday, which sought to
blame Twitter’s “massive drop in revenue” on “activist groups” who were “trying to
destroy free speech in America”.
Read Also:Elon Musk denies report he is laying off Twitter workers early to avoid severance payouts
But Mr Roth’s tweet thread, posted later in the day, confirmed that most of the more
than 2,000 content moderators working on “front-line review” were not impacted.
He said the “reduction in force” affected around 15% of those working in Twitter’s
trust and safety organisation –
compared with what he said was a 50% cut seen across the company.
Mr Roth added that combating misinformation remained a “top priority” during the
US midterm elections. Most Americans will vote on Tuesday, in a key test for Joe
The president voiced his concern about the takeover on Friday, saying “Elon Musk
goes out and buys an outfit that sends – that spews lies all across the world… How do
we expect kids to be able to understand what is at stake?”
As the scale of the job cuts became clear, notices provided by Twitter to officials in
California revealed that around 983 staff were being laid off in that US state alone.
It concerns 784 employees in San Francisco, 106 in San Jose, and 93 in Los Angeles,
according to filings.