Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has joined the billionaire’s recently acquired platform. Elon Musk to apologize for the state of the site, which has laid off thousands of workers.
Dorsey on Saturday posted a series of tweets in response to layoffs in Twitter’s workforce, which began Friday. Up to half of the company’s 7,500 employees could be laid off since Musk acquired the company for $44 billion last week.
“The people of Twitter, past and present, are strong and resilient,” Dorsey wrote. “They will always find a way, no matter how difficult the moment is. I realize that many are angry with me.
“I am responsible for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the size of the company too quickly. I apologize for that.
Dorsey added:: “I am grateful and I love everyone who has ever worked on Twitter. I don’t expect that to be mutual right now…or ever…and I get it,” along with a heart emoji.
Response to Dorsey’s comments has been mixed. Many users have blamed Dorsey for problems in Twitter after being bought by Musk.
“Phew. Too little. too late,” wrote a user.
another user wrote: “Dude, you suck.”
Several Twitter divisions have suffered deep cuts or have been eliminated altogether, including the company’s algorithmic ethics and human rights teams.
At least one class action lawsuit has been filed against Twitter on behalf of former employees who say they were not given adequate notice of their termination.
“Elon Musk has a history of violating California labor laws, as Tesla has been hit with a shocking number of sexual and racial harassment lawsuits,” said prominent attorney Lisa Bloom, who confirmed to the guardian who has been in contact with various Twitter employees.
“Your workers are all human beings with the right to respectful treatment. This time, a forceful class action lawsuit will finally teach him that even the richest man in the world is not above the law.”
UK-based Twitter workers facing job loss have been given three days to nominate a representative for a formal consultation on their employment.
Musk has defended the layoffs, tweeting that laid-off employees are receiving three months severance pay as the company reportedly loses more than $4 million a day.
However, several companies have announced that they will stop advertising on Twitter out of fear that misinformation and hate speech will proliferate on the app as protections against each are reduced.
Audi, General Motors, General Mills and other advertisers have stopped ads on the site.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other groups have also pressured advertisers to stop spending on the site amid concerns about hate speech.
Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, issued a declaration urging Musk to “ensure that human rights are central to the management of Twitter.”
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