Elon Musk removes Twitter contractors after mass employee layoffs

Elon Musk removes Twitter contractors after mass employee layoffs
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Illustration of a heartbeat line creating a partial Twitter logo between heartbeats

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

After laying off half of its staff earlier this month, Twitter on Saturday it began culling its vast ranks of contract staff, sources confirmed to Axios.

Because it is important: Like many companies, Twitter’s staff is made up of a mix of full-time employees and contract workers working for a third party.

Details: Twitter has cut an unspecified number of contractors in various fields, including content moderationsources confirmed to Axios.

  • The status of many contractors has been in limbo since Twitter halved its staff earlier this month, with some not even knowing who to report to as their counterparts within the company have been laid off.
  • Now, some are worrying about their final paychecks, as their teams no longer have full-time Twitter employees to sign their timecards, sources told Axios.
  • Contractor cuts were noted above Saturday by Casey Newton of Platformer.

Between lines: In at least some, if not all, cases, workers did not receive any direct communication from Twitter saying their work was done.

  • Instead, they found out by seeing that their access to Twitter’s computer systems had been shut down.
  • This parallels the scene where full-time employees found out they had lost their jobs, not in a promised email on Friday, but overnight on Thursday, when they lost access to email and other computer systems. corporate.
  • Twitter has since reached out to rehire some full-time employees after realizing their skills were critical to existing projects, including new features that were a priority for the company.
  • Meanwhile, some contractors are concerned about getting paid for the past two weeks, as several contractors ended up on teams without full-time Twitter employees, leaving no one to sign their time cards, sources told Axios.

The panorama: Twitter has been in a state of turmoil since Elon Musk took over, with products and features released and then withdrawn.

  • That includes a new version of its Twitter Blue subscription service that allows subscribers to have the same blue check mark given to verified accounts of politicians, journalists, government agencies and celebrities.
  • Twitter discontinued that earlier this week after a spate of impersonators used the subscription service to impersonate various brands and prominent athletes and politicians.

What they are saying: Melissa Ingle, a San Francisco-based content moderation contractor who specializes in political disinformation, was between the cut.

  • Ingle, who has two master’s degrees and teaches skills in data science, said she was surprised by the move and worried about supporting her family as the holidays approach.
  • “I am the person you want in your company,” he told Axios. “This is no way to treat people.”
  • Twitter has cut all of its communications staff and there was no immediate response to an email to the company’s press account.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with additional details on the contractors’ concerns.

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