Laid-Off Twitter Employees Sound Off About Company’s “Red Wedding”

“Well Twitter…it’s been real, and it’s been fun. But the end hasn’t been real fun,” wrote one former employee from the company’s Global Wellness team last night. He was among the estimated 3,700 of the company’s 7,500 or so employees being laid off by new owner Elon Musk this week.

Others offered telling pop culture references.

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“Has the red wedding started?” one employee wrote on Slack, according to the New York Times, just minutes before the company sent an email announcing the layoffs.

Former employees reported differing language in the notices they were sent. Some samples:

  • “We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward.”
  • “…we write to inform you that your role at Twitter has been identified as potentially impacted or at risk of redundancy.” 
  • “During this time, you will be on a Non-Working Notice period and your access to Twitter systems will be deactivated.”

Many exiting employees were notified via email. Or as one put it, “The official (and very dehumanizing) layoff email has been received.” Other employees were simply locked out of the system and left to assume their services were no longer required.

“Looks like I’m unemployed y’all. Just got remotely logged out of my work laptop and removed from Slack,” wrote one.

Twitter also locked all employees — whether laid off or not — out of its offices.

“To help ensure the safety of each employee as well as Twitter systems and customer data,” read one notice, “our offices will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended.”

Employees in New York, California and the company’s Dublin, Ireland hub were impacted.

The seemingly-important Ethics, Transparency and Accountability team lost about 20 people, which is the entire headcount, according to former member Joan Deitchman.

“Yep, the team is gone,” she wrote last night. “The team that was researching and pushing for algorithmic transparency and algorithmic choice. The team that was studying algorithmic amplification. The team that was inventing and building ethical AI tooling and methodologies. All that is gone.”

Others laid off include the company’s Global Head of Social & Editorial & his team of 17, Twitter’s Global Head of Culture & Community and its Head of U.S. Creator Content. Additional departments impacted include Community, Learning Design, Entertainment Partnerships, Engineering, iOS dev, Global Wellness and Global Comms.

See a selection of employee announcements and comments below.

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