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Minutes after the deadline for Twitter CEO Elon Musk's demand that engineers sign up for 'extremely hardcore' work hours and conditions expired, offices are locked up, access passes don't work, and fears are growing that World Cup traffic will kill the service.
On Friday, Musk sent an email to 3,700 employees, the remainder of nearly 7,600 pre-purchasers, about the need for a new focus on work to launch Twitter 2.0. In particular, Musk demanded from everyone “hardcore” dedication to work and long hours of work.
He set a deadline of Monday evening to agree, otherwise he will be fired and on exit he will receive three months' severance pay. The deadline has passed and the situation seems grim.
According to numerous reports online and, ironically, on Twitter, a large percentage of Twitter employees are rejecting Musk's demand for longer and harder work hours at the company.
In a report compiled by The Verge, departing employees expect the service to break even more than it has recently. Layoffs could be as high as 75% of the 3,700 remaining employees after two weeks of chaos.
What I hear from Twitter staff; It appears that approximately 75% of the remaining 3,700 Twitter employees did not choose to stay after the “hard” email.
Even though the deadline has passed, everyone still has access to their systems.
– Kylie Robison (@kyliebytes), November 17, 2022
If 75% is correct, there are about 900 employees left, compared to 7,600 who were employed just two weeks ago.
Shortly after the news broke, Twitter closed its doors. AppleInsider confirmed this with an employee who told us they only stay until they can find another development job.
NEW: Twitter just notified employees that all office buildings are temporarily closed and access to badges has been suspended. No details on why.
— Zo&Atilda" Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer), November 17, 2022
The same employee told us that the action was initiated by Musk to prevent disgruntled employees from sabotaging critical systems. Offices will reopen on November 21, and employees, both current and former, have been instructed not to disclose sensitive information about the service.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the World Cup begins on November 20. The highest level of publications in the service was observed during previous World Cup tournaments, especially immediately after a goal was scored and at the end of the match. We were told that this period has historically been incredibly difficult for the company to keep the service running smoothly.
“It seems like all the people who made this place incredible are leaving,” one Twitter employee told The Verge on Thursday night. “Twitter will have a very hard time recovering from this, no matter how hardcore the people who stay.”
On the evening of November 10, Twitter decided to activate the $8 Twitter Blue subscription, which gave customers the same blue checkmark as verified users. Over the night of Thursday to Friday, Twitter reinstated the “official” checkmark it had previously launched and killed, and shortly thereafter disabled the ability to buy Twitter Blue.
It is not yet known if people who paid $8 for the first month will return to the old blue Twitter in the next billing period. It's also not clear why Twitter didn't retain the blue checkmark for verified accounts and add a different color or shape for paid subscriptions.
A day later, Musk sent employees a demand for extreme work hours and a significantly more demanding work environment, which he committed to Twitter 2.0.