Twitter has temporarily closed its offices as more staff leave the social media giant amid concerns about the site’s ability to stay online during the World Cup.
The company’s move to keep its doors closed until Monday was apparently prompted by concerns that departing employees could “sabotage” the firm.
The latest unrest came after hundreds of workers walked out ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk signing up for longer, more intensive work hours to build a new “super tight” Twitter.
Billionaire tycoon, who It bought the platform last month for $44 billionThose who do not sign up will be fired.
Twitter’s boss sent an email to employees on Wednesday asking them to fill out a questionnaire to confirm they would stay with the company under its new rules, and they were given three months of severance pay late Thursday.
The number of employees choosing to leave seems to have surprised Musk and his team.
The entrepreneur later dropped his requirement that everyone be in the office, and his initial refusal to work remotely angered many employees.
Musk’s email to employees
Musk also softened his earlier tone in another email to employees, writing that “your manager must take responsibility for ensuring your best contribution to the agreement.”
He added that workers would “have one-on-one meetings with colleagues at a reasonable cadence, ideally weekly but at least once a month.”
Since taking over Twitter less than three weeks ago, Musk has cut half of the company’s 7,500 full-time employees and also laid off contractors responsible for content moderation and other critical tasks.
Many took to Twitter to say goodbye to their colleagues, and hundreds of employees confirmed their departures on private messaging channels.
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As a result, there are concerns that the platform may struggle to stay online because many of the people tasked with maintaining it will leave the company and it may take a long time without key engineers to fix problems that arise.
With #RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter trending on the platform, users are considering leaving the site, and some have started referring their followers to their accounts on other platforms.
Tesla and SpaceX executives continued to tweet amid the ongoing turmoil, mocking the concerns raised about the company by posting memes and making light of the situation.
“How do you make a small fortune on social media? Start with a big fortune,” he joked.
He also said the controversy had brought more traffic to the site, saying overnight the company had “hit another all-time high for Twitter usage.”
But industry expert Matt Navarra has warned that the platform is becoming increasingly difficult as the engineers responsible for maintaining the site leave as a major event – world cup – starting this weekend Qatar.
He said: “Teams that are critical to a number of Twitter infrastructure systems are now completely empty – these teams have been completely wiped out.
“So if something goes wrong or breaks or there’s a sudden spike in activity, Twitter’s ability to fix or fix it is greatly reduced because the teams don’t have qualified engineers right now.”
A number of Twitter users, doubting the site’s ability to stay online, have started pointing their followers to their accounts on other platforms.
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Mr Navarra believes an imminent power outage is unlikely.
He said: “There is a code freeze and Twitter is currently operating on autopilot with its IT systems and is a strategic move to protect the stability of the platform while Elon Musk figures out the next step.
“But with the World Cup just around the corner, it will be a real test of Twitter’s resilience and ability to sustain the platform in a busy time.
“So if it’s time to go offline, I think the biggest risk at the moment is at some of the big moments in the World Cup.”