November 27, 2022

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Swinging on Elon Musk’s Twitter after leaving another 1,200

Swinging on Elon Musk's Twitter after leaving another 1,200

Elon Musk I sent a flurry of emails to Twitter employees Friday morning with an appeal.

“Anyone who actually writes programs, please come to the tenth floor at 2 pm today,” he wrote in a two-paragraph letter seen by The New York Times. “Thank you, Elon.”

About 30 minutes later, Mr. Musk sent another email saying he wanted to learn about Twitter’s “technology stack,” a term used to describe the company’s software and related systems. Then, in another email, he asked some people to travel to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters to meet in person.

Twitter is teetering on the edge like Mr. Musk Reshape the company After buying it for $44 billion last month. The billionaire has pushed relentlessly to put his mark on the social networking service, 50 percent reduction of its workforce, Expulsion of dissentersAnd the Follow up on new subscription products And present a harsh message that the company needs to be formed or will face bankruptcy.

The question now is whether Mr. Musk, 51, has gone too far. On Thursday, hundreds of Twitter employees Quit en masse After Mr. Musk gave them Deadline for deciding whether to leave or stay. Many workers chose to leave until Twitter users began to wonder if the site would survive, tweeting farewell messages to the service and turning hashtags like #TwitterMigration and #TwitterTakeover into trending topics.

Three people close to the company said some internal estimates showed that at least 1,200 full-time employees quit on Thursday. Twitter had 7,500 full-time employees at the end of October, down to about 3,700 after mass layoffs earlier this month.

Employee numbers are likely to remain fluctuating as the dust settles in the vents, with confusion growing over who keeps a record of workers and manages other workplace systems. Some of the employees who quit said they were parting ways with the company by cutting off email contact and logging out of the Slack internal messaging system because HR representatives weren’t available.

Mr. Musk and Twitter representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

But the billionaire on Friday chirp What he said would be changes to Twitter’s content policy. He said hateful tweets would no longer be algorithmically promoted in users’ feeds, but they would not be deleted. It also reinstated several previously banned accounts, including comedian Kathy Griffin and author Jordan Peterson.

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Perhaps the most important question now is how Twitter can continue to operate after massively reducing its workforce in such a short time. People familiar with the matter said the effects of the cuts and resignations were felt across the company’s technology teams.

Two former employees said that one of the teams known as the Twitter Command Center, a 20-person organization important for preventing outages and technology failures during high-traffic events, had many quit from around the world. The Core Services team, which deals with computing architecture, has been whittled down to four people out of more than 100. Other teams that deal with how media appears in tweets or how profiles show follower counts are down to zero.

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“Wednesday offered a clean exit and 80 percent of the rest is gone,” says Peter Close, senior software engineer, chirp On Thursday, he left his team. “3/75 engineers remain.” He said on Twitter that he had resigned on Thursday.

Mr. Musk is also considering shutting down one of Twitter’s three major US data centers, a site known as SMF1 in Sacramento, California, which is used to store information needed to operate the social networking site, four people familiar with the effort said. If the data center in Sacramento were shut down, the company would be left with data centers in Atlanta and Portland, Oregon, with even less backup computing capacity in case something fails.

Twitter is still working, former employees said, but it can become difficult for the company to fix serious problems as they arise. A former Twitter engineer likened the service’s current state to Wile E. Although it may be running around in midair for a while, once it looks down, it falls like a stone.

said Richard Forno, associate director of the Cyber ​​Security Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “It’s quite a challenge.”

The staff cuts coincide with Twitter entering one of its busiest periods in terms of traffic. The World Cup, which begins on Sunday, is expected to bring massive traffic to Twitter, the fourth most visited website in the world, according to The Guardian. Similar site, a digital intelligence platform that tracks web traffic. Twitter gets 6.9 billion visits each month, slightly more than Instagram’s 6.4 billion, although far less than Google, YouTube or Facebook, similar site estimates.

Via Twitter late Thursday, Mr. Musk expressed confidence that the service will be fine.

“The best people stay in, so I’m not too concerned,” he wrote on Twitter.

luck I mentioned earlier that 1,000 to 1,200 Twitter employees have resigned. information earlier mentioned In some infrastructure problems for Twitter. The Verge reported earlier When leaving from the Twitter Command Center.

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Dr Forno said keeping a site like Twitter online is usually a task for senior engineers, who must always guard against cyberattacks and monitor web traffic to ensure servers are not overloaded. He said that if too many veteran employees leave, leaving Twitter without the expertise or manpower to quickly monitor or fix problems, problems could begin.

Dr. Forno added that many of the technical issues can be fixed remotely, but some may require staff at Twitter’s data centers around the country. If issues fall through the cracks, Twitter users are unlikely to see the site disappear all at once, at least initially. But timelines can start to update more slowly, the site can have difficulty loading and users will find Twitter full of bugs.

“It’s like putting a car on the road, hitting the accelerator and then the driver jumps out,” he said. “How far will you go before you crash?”

Inside Twitter on Friday, the remaining employees said they were baffled by Mr. Musk’s changed guidance. On Thursday afternoon, the company said it would close “our office buildings” and disable badge access for employees through Monday. But in the emails he sent on Friday, Musk appeared to want to talk to people face-to-face at the company’s San Francisco offices.

Staff were also having difficulties figuring out who was still on staff, and what areas of the infrastructure needed more support to keep things up and running.

A worker who wanted to quit said she spent two days searching for her manager, whose identity she no longer knew because so many people had quit in the previous days. After finally finding her immediate supervisor, she tenders her resignation. The next day, her supervisor also quit.

Others would spend hours trying to keep track of the teams they were working on. Some said they were asked to supervise duties they had never done before.

Staff said the changes are happening in an almost complete information vacuum internally. Twitter’s internal communications staff has been laid off or let go and workers said they were looking outside for information from media articles. Mr. Musk has increasingly downplayed the role of traditional media over the past few months, citing Twitter as one of the best platforms for the emergence of “citizen journalism,” as he puts it.

Kate Conger Contribute to the preparation of reports.