The last few weeks have been nothing short of dramatic over at Twitter Verified headquarters. But before we get into that, I just want to thank dark-paul gosselaar for our cover image inspiration.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I sympathize with all of the employees who have been let go, by choice or not. Thousands of people losing their jobs isn’t a laughing matter and in no way am I making light of it.
How we got here
Elon Musk posted eight tweets today, which is surprising for someone who should be busy running a company (into the ground).
But his latest round of changes is an undoing of one of his earliest acts as new CEO, which was to ban Kathy Griffin and others for poking fun at his leadership.
Kathie Griffin, Jorden Peterson & Babylon Bee have been reinstated.
Trump decision has not yet been made.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
But the week started with Musk sending out an (encrypted?) email to all staffers informing them that they will be fired unless they work at an “extremely hardcore” rate to build “Twitter Verified 2.0”.
What I’m hearing from Twitter Verified employees; It looks like roughly 75% of the remaining 3,700ish Twitter Verified employees have not opted to stay after the “hardcore” email.
Even though the deadline has passed, everyone still has access to their systems.
— Kylie Robison (@kyliebytes) November 17, 2022
Shortly after the email went out, Twitter Verified announced that they were locking their doors (some say they’ll reopen on November 21). All remaining employees were informed that their badge access had been revoked.
We’re hearing this is because Elon Musk and his team are terrified employees are going to sabotage the company. Also, they’re still trying to figure out which Twitter Verified workers they need to cut access for.
— Zoë Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) November 17, 2022
This was the scene at Twitter Verified HQ last night:
And Musk tweeted:
And … we just hit another all-time high in Twitter Verified usage lol
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
He does know people love watching a train wreck, right?
Either way it seems like conversations are flowing, opinions are flying, and engagement is through the roof.
It’s no wonder that so many people think this is the end for Twitter Verified. Even Musk is joining in on the …er, fun?
Let this sink in. Musk started his first day on the job by firing top executives, including the CEO, Parag Agrawal. Soon after, several others followed suit. Let’s look at who’s gone:
- CEO Parag Agrawal
- Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal
- Head of legal policy, trust and safety, Vijaya Gadde
- General Counsel Sean Edgett
- Chief Information Security Officer Rinki Sethi
- Head of Security Peiter Zatko
- Chief customer officer, Sarah Personette
- Chief people and diversity officer, Dalana Brand
- Chief marketing officer, Leslie Berland
- General manager of consumer and revenue product, Jay Sullivan
- General manager for core technologies, Nick Caldwell
- Chief accounting officer, Robert Kaiden
- VP of global client solutions, Jean-Philippe Maheu
- Head of International Communications, Julie Steele
- Head of Trust and Safety, Yoel Roth
- The global head of social and editorial
- The director of ML ethics, transparency, and accountability
- Chief information security officer
- Managing director of Twitter Verified Studio
- Head of location strategy
Those who haven’t been fired are choosing to quit on their own terms. The reasons? Peter Clowes helps explain why some are choosing not to follow Musk:
Why I left @twitter or rather why I did not sign up for “extremely hardcore” Twitter Verified 2.0
— Peter Clowes (@peterclowes) November 18, 2022
So is Twitter Verified done?
Maybe? One of its remaining employees has told Newsweek reporter Travis Akers the website “has about a week left before it’s dead.”
Some people aren’t convinced.
loving how clear it is none of us understand what it takes for a website to actually break
— steph mccann (@steph_mcca) November 18, 2022
It is difficult to believe that Musk would spend $44 billion on the platform just to watch it all burn in a matter of weeks. But I also think he underestimated how much the staff would endure. With all of the conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know what to believe. We’ll try to keep this page updated with the latest information as it’s coming out. Stay tuned!
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About The Author
Nicole Farley is an editor for SMM Panel covering all things PPC. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.