Twitter’s new proprietor and CEO, Elon Musk, has been making dramatic modifications since he finalized a deal to purchase the corporate for about $44 billion on Oct. 27. After shedding half the employees, he gave remaining workers an ultimatum to pledge working below his new hard-charging tradition or get out. Many, it appears, determined to go away.
Twitter’s saga with Musk, who additionally runs automaker Tesla and aerospace firm SpaceX, was chaotic even earlier than he took management. He signed a deal in April to accumulate the corporate however then tried to again out of it, main Twitter to sue him. After months of pretrial skirmishes, Musk closed the acquisition proper earlier than a court-ordered deadline.
Here is the newest information about Musk’s takeover of Twitter:
Nov. 17: Twitter customers worry the top of the platform is close to. Musk locks workplace doorways as many workers take severance provides. In the meantime, senators need FTC investigation
Twitter customers began tweeting farewell remarks as #RIPTwitter trended on the platform within the US and different elements of the world.
Fears a couple of potential collapse of the location got here after lots of of workers determined to go away the corporate earlier within the day. One former Twitter worker instructed The Washington Put up that there is not any longer “a skeleton crew manning the system.” “It’s going to proceed to coast till it runs into one thing, after which it’ll cease,” the worker stated. Musk tweeted a meme with Twitter’s brand on a grave stone.
The remaining 3,500 someodd workers left at Twitter had a option to make on the finish of the day on Nov. 17: Be a part of Musk’s hard-charging new “Twitter 2.0,” full with minimum-40-hour-workweeks and plenty of different grueling modifications, or depart with three months of severance.
As much as 75% of remaining workers reportedly went for the exits, in keeping with Fortune and Bloomberg, creating confusion about what number of remaining folks would have entry to the workplaces. together with what the Verge stated had been some “legendary” engineers and coders.
Across the identical time, the corporate reportedly locked the doorways to its San Francisco headquarters till Nov. 21, in keeping with the tech publication Platformer. Twitter, which now not seems to have a PR division, did not reply to a request for remark.
All of this occured after Musk softened his stance on how he wished to run the brand new Twitter, a minimum of considerably. An e mail despatched to Twitter workers on Nov. 9 stated distant work could be banned, however a message emailed to workers on Nov. 17 had Musk saying distant work will be obtainable if permitted, in keeping with a report from Bloomberg.
“All that’s required for approval is that your supervisor takes duty for guaranteeing that you’re making a wonderful contribution,” Musk stated within the e mail. He additionally wished workers to have in-person group conferences a minimum of as soon as a month.
Twitter can also be dealing with extra scrutiny from US lawmakers. A gaggle of Democratic senators despatched a letter to Lina Khan, the chairwoman of the US Federal Commerce Fee. Outlined within the letter are what the legislators described as “alarming steps” taken by Musk together with new options which have been used for scams, a rise in hate speech and the elimination of cybersecurity executives inside the firm, doubtlessly placing customers’ private knowledge in danger. The senators level out that this motion might imply the corporate is in violation of the FTC’s consent decree to guard this knowledge as a part of a settlement with the fee in 2011.
“We urge the Fee to vigorously oversee its consent decree with Twitter and to deliver enforcement actions in opposition to any breaches or enterprise practices which are unfair or misleading, together with bringing civil penalties and imposing legal responsibility on particular person Twitter executives the place applicable,” the senators stated.
Among the many seven Democratic senators are Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Twitter violated the consent decree again in Could when the FTC discovered the corporate used safety knowledge like cellphone numbers and e mail addresses to focus on promoting at customers. This led to a $150 million settlement paid by Twitter.
Musk appeared to finish the day poking enjoyable at his earlier warning Twitter could go bankrupt.
Twitter did not reply to an earlier request for remark both.
Nov. 16: Musk calls for ‘hardcore’ work tradition. Dorsey’s ‘nope’
Musk emailed all employees to define his imaginative and prescient for “Twitter 2.0,” which would require an “extraordinarily hardcore” tradition, with lengthy hours and excessive depth, in keeping with Pragmatic Engineer author (and former Uber engineer) Gergely Orosz. Workers should conform to this on Thursday or depart with three months of severance pay.
Throughout testimony Wednesday over a Tesla shareholder case alleging that his wage as CEO is extreme, Musk additionally reportedly instructed the court docket that he doesn’t wish to be CEO of Tesla, and that his chief govt management of Twitter is a brief association.
“I count on to cut back my time at Twitter and discover someone else to run Twitter over time,” he stated, in keeping with CNBC.
Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.
When a follower requested Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey if he’d think about returning as CEO, Dorsey responded with a agency “nope.” There is no indication that he acquired a proposal to return — the follower’s question got here after Dorsey engaged in dialog about Twitter’s future and expressed confidence that the location would survive. His earlier tenure as CEO resulted in Could 2021, and he left its board of administrators in Could 2022.
Nov. 15: Employees fired for talking about Musk on Slack
Workers who criticized Elon Musk in Twitter’s Slack channels had been fired in a single day by way of e mail, Platformer’s Casey Newton stated a tweet. They had been apparently instructed their “latest conduct has violated firm coverage.” It is unclear how many individuals had been affected.
Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.
Nov. 14: Musk desires higher Twitter video assist
Talking by way of video hyperlink, Musk instructed enterprise leaders through the G20 summit in Bali that he desires to see Twitter assist extra longer-form video to usher in extra content material creators. He additionally famous that he is been working “on the absolute most quantity … from morning til night time, seven days per week” for the reason that acquisition.
Nov. 13: SpaceX reportedly buys main Twitter advert bundle
SpaceX, Musk’s aerospace firm, ordered a Twitter “takeover” promoting bundle for its satellite tv for pc web service Starlink, CNBC reported. This can seemingly promote the service on folks’s Twitter timelines in Spain and Australia and might price greater than $250,000. It comes after some advertisers paused campaigns because of the upheaval at Twitter.
SpaceX did not reply to a request for remark.
Nov. 12: Hundreds of contract workers seemingly terminated
Twitter minimize 1000’s of contract workers, in keeping with Platformer’s Casey Newton, Axios and CNBC, with Newton reporting that round 4,400 of Twitter’s roughly 5,500 contractors had been affected. Most did not get any discover and discovered as a result of they misplaced entry to the corporate’s e mail and inside communications techniques, Newton reported.
The corporate did not reply to a request for remark.
Nov. 11: Twitter Blue subscription possibility vanishes
The choice to join the $8 a month subscription service Twitter Blue is now not obtainable on Twitter’s iOS app, as earlier reported by The Verge. The shift comes days after the service launched for Apple gadgets and previous to its Android launch. Trying to subscribe on desktop directs you to the iOS app.
CNET can affirm that this manifests in two distinct methods: the choice to subscribe has vanished from the sidebar, and tapping the hyperlink provides you an error message.
“Thanks to your curiosity!” it reads. “Twitter Blue shall be obtainable in your nation sooner or later. Please verify again later.”
It is unclear why the corporate paused signups for the service, however a lot of customers reportedly purchased verification to impersonate manufacturers and celebrities. An inside observe posted on its Slack stated it stopped folks from subscribing “to assist handle impersonation points,” in keeping with tech outlet Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer.
Twitter did not reply to CNET’s request for remark.
Nov. 10: Musk bans distant work and warns of chapter, legal professional says he is risking billions in FTC fines
Musk despatched his first emails to workers on Nov. 9, warning that “the financial image forward is dire.” He banned distant work except he personally permitted it, in keeping with Bloomberg, whereas The New York Occasions reported that he instructed staff “absolutely the prime precedence is discovering and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam.”
An legal professional on Twitter’s privateness group posted a message within the firm’s Slack warning that Musk’s give attention to monetizing its customers is making him take harmful steps, The Verge reported. It is apparently at specific threat of incurring billions in fines from the Federal Commerce Fee within the wake of a Could settlement concerning using private data to focus on advertisements.
Twitter’s chief privateness officer, Damien Kieran; Chief Data Safety Officer Lea Kissner; and Chief Compliance Officer Marianne Fogarty all resigned, The Verge famous. Kissner’s departure confirmed her departure in a tweet.
Musk additionally reportedly instructed workers chapter was a risk, Bloomberg reported, citing an individual accustomed to the matter. Two extra Twitter executives — Yoel Roth, the corporate’s head of belief and security, and Robin Wheeler, who led advertising and marketing and gross sales at Twitter — additionally resigned, in keeping with the report. Wheeler then determined to remain on the firm after Musk persuaded her to take action, Bloomberg reported. Roth, Wheeler and Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro did not reply to a request for remark.
Nov. 9: Musk tries to reassure advertisers amid confusion about verify marks
Twitter’s rollout of a new verification system is messy. Twitter began including grey verify marks and an “official” label to high-profile Twitter accounts however then scrapped among the modifications hours later.
In an hour-long stay audio chat on Twitter later within the day, Musk stated the brand new labels are an “aesthetic nightmare when trying on the Twitter feed” and “one other manner of making a two-class system.”
Esther Crawford, who oversees early-stage merchandise at Twitter, tweeted that the corporate would nonetheless be rolling out the “official” label however to authorities and industrial entities first. Twitter additionally began permitting folks so as to add blue verify marks to their profiles in the event that they pay $8 a month for a Twitter Blue subscription. Scammers are already utilizing the brand new system to create pretend accounts. Twitter stated it could droop accounts engaged in misleading techniques and impersonation.
Within the audio chat, Musk mentioned Twitter’s plans for a content material moderation council and selections by firms to briefly pause their promoting campaigns on Twitter.
“I do not assume having hate speech subsequent to an advert is nice. Clearly,” he stated. Musk additionally stated he thinks it’ll take Twitter a few months to create a content material moderation council.
He signaled, although, that he is not planning to decelerate with regards to altering Twitter.
“The speed of evolution of Twitter shall be an immense step change in comparison with what it has been prior to now,” he stated. “You realize, if nothing else, I’m a technologist and I could make know-how go quick.”
Nov. 6: Paid verify marks could also be pushed again, Musk cracks down on impersonation
Paid verification reportedly delayed till after election
Twitter is suspending the rollout of verification badges related to an $8 month-to-month subscription service till after the midterm elections, in keeping with The New York Occasions.
Impersonators get the boot
Musk warned that any Twitter account partaking in impersonation with out clearly specifying that it is parody would get hit with a everlasting ban. In response, some customers modified their names to “Elon Musk,” which led to their suspension.
Nov. 5: Paying for verify marks, listening to from Dorsey
Pay-for-verification plan exhibits up in iOS replace
Model notes for the most recent iteration of Twitter’s app for the Apple iPhone confirmed up within the App Retailer, with a What’s New part that pointed to the verification characteristic. The notes inform customers that “beginning immediately” should you “enroll now” for an $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription, “your account will get a blue checkmark, identical to the celebrities, firms, and politicians you already comply with.” It seems, although, that this system hasn’t really kicked in but. Learn extra right here.
Dorsey weighs in
With information studies saying Twitter had laid off about half its employees, co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey took to the service to supply phrases of encouragement and to position blame on himself.
“I personal the duty for why everyone seems to be on this scenario: I grew the corporate dimension too rapidly. I apologize for that,” Dorsey tweeted. He additionally known as Twitter staffers previous and current “resilient” and stated, “I’m grateful for, and love, everybody who has ever labored on Twitter. I do not count on that to be mutual on this second.”
In April, Dorsey expressed his assist of Musk taking on the corporate, however he additionally stated that in precept, he thought nobody ought to personal or run Twitter and that it ought to as an alternative be “a public good.”
Nov. 4: Musk says Twitter has had ‘large drop’ in income
Since Musk’s takeover, a number of main advertisers, akin to Tesla rival Common Motors, meals firm Common Mills and pharmaceutical company Pfizer, have briefly paused their advert campaigns on Twitter. Musk tweeted that Twitter has had a “large drop” in income, which he blamed on activist teams pressuring advertisers. Musk did not say in his tweet how a lot Twitter’s income has fallen, nor did he establish the activists. Within the tweet, Musk additionally stated Twitter hasn’t modified its content material moderation insurance policies.
Musk additionally made an look on the Baron Funding Convention, the place he famous that Twitter grappled with income challenges earlier than the acquisition and that he tried to get out of the deal.
His remarks got here after Twitter began shedding workers. Musk later tweeted that there was “no alternative when the corporate is shedding over $4M/day.” With out specifying how many individuals had been laid off or what proportion of the workforce, Musk added they had been “provided 3 months of severance.” Reportedly, about half of Twitter’s 7,500-person work drive was laid off.
Civil rights teams that met with Musk spoke out in regards to the layoffs.
“For starters, there is not any approach to hold election integrity in place if you’re reducing capability to do the monitoring in #TwitterLayoffs,” tweeted Rashad Robinson, president of racial justice group Colour of Change. The group is a part of #StopToxicTwitter, a coalition of greater than 60 organizations which are urging main advertisers to pause spending and spend money on content material moderation. Companions listed on the coalition’s web site embrace the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Public Citizen, and the Union of Involved Scientists.
The Volkswagen Group and others reportedly paused advert spending due to considerations that advertisements might seem alongside problematic content material on the platform.
Nov. 3: Musk appears to be like for tactics to chop prices, lawsuit filed
Musk desires to chop prices and make Twitter much less depending on promoting.
Reuters, citing two sources accustomed to the matter and an inside Slack message, reported that Musk directed Twitter’s group to search out greater than $1 billion in infrastructure price financial savings.
The corporate is different methods to generate income exterior of promoting, together with “paywalled” movies and paid direct messages, The New York Occasions reported, citing two folks with information of the matter and inside paperwork.
Musk is already making modifications to Twitter’s work tradition. Bloomberg reported that Musk has eliminated “days of relaxation” from Twitter’s worker calendars and plans to cancel the corporate’s distant work coverage. Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.
Twitter reportedly instructed workers in an e mail that layoffs would occur. A lawsuit looking for class motion standing, accused Twitter of violating the federal Employee Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires giant firms to present least 60 days of advance discover earlier than mass layoffs, as beforehand reported by Bloomberg.
Nov. 2: Musk reportedly plans to chop half of Twitter’s workforce
Musk plans to chop about 3,700 jobs at Twitter, or half of the social media firm’s workforce, Bloomberg reported. Affected staffers are to learn of their destiny by Nov. 4, sources instructed the information outlet.
Musk additionally plans to reverse the corporate’s current work-from-anywhere coverage, requiring remaining workers to report back to an workplace, the unidentified sources stated.
In a single state of affairs for lowering Twitter’s workforce being thought of, laid off staff shall be provided 60 days’ value of severance pay. Twitter customers have been bracing for layoffs since Musk introduced his bid for Twitter in April. One report indicated that Musk deliberate to chop 75% of jobs at Twitter.
Nov. 1: Musk suggests charging for verification
In a collection of tweets, Musk floated the concept Twitter cost $8 per 30 days for a verified blue verify mark as a part of its subscription plan. The corporate’s subscription service, often known as Twitter Blue, at the moment prices $5 per 30 days however does not embrace verification as a perk.
Twitter at the moment does not cost to confirm accounts with a blue verify mark, and the badge is meant to be given out to accounts that the corporate determines are “notable, genuine and lively.” The blue verify mark is supposed to assist customers decide if an account of a celeb, journalist or different public determine is pretend or not.
Musk tweeted that the value could be adjusted by nation and that the subscription would come with “precedence in replies, mentions & search, which is crucial to defeat spam/rip-off,” in addition to the “potential to publish lengthy video & audio.” He additionally stated customers would see “half as many advertisements.”
Earlier within the day, The Wall Avenue Journal reported that Twitter Blue subscribers will lose entry to ad-free articles from publishers like Vox, the Los Angeles Occasions and Insider. There have been numerous studies of various costs for a Twitter Blue subscription, with the corporate additionally reportedly having thought of growing the subscription worth to $20 a month.
It is unclear from Musk’s tweets if verified customers must pay for a subscription or lose their blue verify mark. Musk tweeted there could be “a secondary tag” for public figures, just like the one now used for politicians.
The corporate’s chief buyer officer, Sarah Personette, additionally revealed in a tweet that she resigned.
In the meantime, Twitter stated it has eliminated 1,500 accounts since Oct. 29 for posting hateful content material.
Oct. 31: Official CEO, board dissolved, layoff plans, no Trump resolution but, content material moderation restricted
Days after naming himself “Chief Twit” on his Twitter profile, Musk confirmed he is the corporate’s CEO by a securities submitting. Different modifications to Twitter’s management are additionally underway. A associated securities submitting exhibits Twitter’s board of administrators was dissolved the day Musk took over and recognized Musk because the “sole director” of the corporate.
He additionally reportedly plans to put off 25% of Twitter’s workforce, The Washington Put up reported, citing nameless sources.
Musk, who has beforehand stated he would reverse former US President Donald Trump’s everlasting ban from Twitter, remains to be getting questions on whether or not he’ll comply with by on that. Twitter booted Trump from its platform in 2021 following the lethal US Capitol Hill riot due to considerations that his remarks might incite extra violence.
“If I had a greenback for each time somebody requested me if Trump is coming again on this platform, Twitter could be minting cash!” Musk tweeted.
Twitter additionally restricted some Belief and Security worker entry to inside instruments, Bloomberg reported, curbing their potential to average content material and handle misinformation forward of subsequent week’s US elections. They’ll apparently nonetheless edit or take away posts that might lead to real-world hurt.
“That is precisely what we (or any firm) needs to be doing within the midst of a company transition to cut back alternatives for insider threat. We’re nonetheless implementing our guidelines at scale,” Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security and integrity, tweeted in response to Bloomberg’s story.
Oct. 30: Musk toys with checkmark modifications and Vine revival, tweets misinformation
Musk has been busy suggesting modifications to Twitter. He tweeted a ballot about whether or not Twitter ought to deliver again Vine, a short-form video app that Twitter shut down in 2017.
Twitter additionally reportedly plans to cost $20 per 30 days for its Twitter Blue subscription service, and verified customers would lose their blue checkmark if they do not achieve this in 90 days, The Verge reported, citing nameless sources. Platformer’s Casey Newton reported that Twitter is considering charging $5 a month to verified customers in the event that they wish to hold their blue checkmarks.
Musk additionally tweeted after which deleted a hyperlink to an article with a baseless conspiracy concept about final week’s assault on Paul Pelosi, the husband of US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in San Francisco. The article got here from an internet site known as the Santa Monica Observer. Reality-checking web site Media Bias/Reality Test famous the outlet publishes right-wing misinformation.
Oct. 29: Twitter battles a surge in racist slurs
Twitter is attempting to fight nameless accounts that began to tweet racist slurs hours after Musk took over Twitter.
Twitter head of security and integrity Yoel Roth tweeted that the corporate has “seen a small variety of accounts publish a ton of tweets that embrace slurs and different derogatory phrases.” He added that “greater than 50,000 tweets repeatedly utilizing a selected slur got here from simply 300 accounts.”
“Backside line up entrance: Twitter’s insurance policies have not modified. Hateful conduct has no place right here. And we’re taking steps to place a cease to an organized effort to make folks assume we’ve,” he tweeted.
Oct. 28: Twitter to kind content material moderation council
Advocacy teams have raised considerations that Musk’s management over Twitter would permit extra hate speech and misinformation to floor on the platform. Musk has vowed publicly he does not need Twitter to turn out to be a “free-for-all hellscape” however has additionally stated that he is “in opposition to censorship that goes far past the regulation.”
Musk stated the corporate would kind a content material moderation council with “broadly various viewpoints.” The corporate will not make any main content material selections or account reinstatements earlier than the council convenes, he tweeted.
A securities submitting on Oct. 28 additionally famous that Twitter’s inventory is being delisted on the New York Inventory Alternate. Twitter, a publicly traded firm, turned a personal one.
Oct. 27: Musk takes over Twitter, fires executives
Musk turned Twitter’s new proprietor and reportedly fired key executives on the firm, together with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of authorized coverage, belief and security.
Earlier within the day, Musk tweeted a letter to advertisers. The billionaire, who as soon as tweeted that he hated promoting, now posted that “promoting, when achieved proper, can delight, entertain and inform you.”
Musk met with workers all through the week, carried a sink into Twitter’s headquarters as a photograph op and adjusted his profile to “Chief Twit” earlier than information broke that the deal had been accomplished.
CNET employees contributed to this report.