Elon Musk initiates Twitter layoffs blames activists for revenue drop

Elon Musk initiates Twitter layoffs blames activists for revenue drop

Elon Musk initiates Twitter layoffs blames activists for revenue drop

Summary : Elon Musk initiates Twitter layoffs, blames activists for revenue drop.

Elon Musk said Friday Twitter has seen “a massive drop in revenue” from civil rights groups calls on brands to pull ads as concern spread that mass layoffs will make it impossible to keep hate speech and misinformation off the platform ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Civil rights groups said they sought the meeting after becoming alarmed by a dramatic rise in hate speech, racial slurs and antisemitism following Musk’s purchase of Twitter.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson told USA TODAY this week that civil rights leaders were cautiously optimistic after the meeting.

“We have to be cautious,” Johnson said. “Because it’s one thing to agree verbally and it’s another thing to take action.”

Twitter employees tweeted Friday that they had been affected by the layoffs using the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked.

Elon Musk said Friday Twitter has seen “a massive drop in revenue” from civil rights groups calls on brands to pull ads as concern spread that mass layoffs will make it impossible to keep hate speech and misinformation off the platform ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.Musk, who blamed the cutback on advertising on “activist groups pressuring advertisers,” said the platform hasn’t yet made any changes to how content is moderated.

“Extremely messed up!” Musk tweeted Friday morning. “They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”

Musk met with leading civil rights group in a 45-minute Zoom meeting Tuesday. He said he would not allow banned accounts back on the platform until he’s established a clear process to vet them.He also said he would enforce the platform’s election integrity policies ahead of the midterms and include civil rights groups on a content moderation council that he is setting up. Musk has said he wants the council to reflect diverse viewpoints.Civil rights groups said they sought the meeting after becoming alarmed by a dramatic rise in hate speech , racial slurs and antisemitism following Musk’s purchase of Twitter .

NAACP President Derrick Johnson told USA TODAY this week that civil rights leaders were cautiously optimistic after the meeting.

“We have to be cautious,” Johnson said. “Because it’s one thing to agree verbally and it’s another thing to take action.”That sentiment quickly shifted Friday as Musk laid off half the company’s workers including the team responsible for moderating content on the platform.”When I spoke to him on Tuesday, he seemed genuine, but his actions have betrayed his word,” Free Press Co-CEO Jessica J. González said Friday during a press conference. “He’s shown in the past few days that he’s not going to live up to his promises.”

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The coalition’s call to advertisers came amid reports that mass layoffs at Twitter began Friday, just a week after Musk took over the platform. Twitter was sued Thursday over a plan to eliminate 3,700 jobs – nearly half of its workforce – claiming the company didn’t provide employees enough noticeunder federal and California law.An email sent to employees on Thursday, obtained by several media outlets, said Twitter planned to start cutting jobs on Friday, impacting nearly half of of the workforce.

Twitter employees tweeted Friday that they had been affected by the layoffs using the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked.

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Activists group expressed concerns that the mass layoffs would impede Twitter ‘s ability to moderate content, as hate speech has spiked on the platform after Musk’s acquisition.”Given the mass layoffs today and who is being laid off, it’s clear that Twitter ‘s ability to keep its promises to advertisers is extremely uncertain and unlikely,” González said. “We’re now escalating our call to pause on advertising globally.”Musk has said he is forming a content moderation council that “will include representatives with widely divergent views, which will certainly include the civil rights community and groups who face hate-fueled violence.” He’s also said no major decisions will happen before the council convenes.Since Musk’s Twitter takeover, General Motors, Pfizer and Volkswagen have temporarily paused campaigns on the platform, according to reports and the #StopToxic Twitter coalition.General Motors last week said it was temporarily suspending advertising on Twitter , as the car manufacturer is “engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership.”Musk posted a message to advertisers last week , assuring them Twitter won’t become a “free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences.” Twitter relies on advertisers for 90% of its revenue, but Musk has looked for other ways to generate revenue. The billionaire recently proposed an $8-a-month subscription plan to sell blue verification badges and other features.

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