Elon Musk responds to Twitter employees concerned about his acquisition
Elon Musk responded to a video that appears to show Twitter employees worried about his acquisition of the company.
In what appeared to be a leaked video of internal Slack conversations, Twitter employees raised a number of concerns about Musk’s direction for the company. Staff members appear to have raised concerns about Musk’s comments about trans people and his other positions.
Musk responded with a single word: “interesting.” He gave no indication of where he stood on the questions asked or whether he intended to respond to staff.
Musk’s comments come amid another controversy over employees who spoke out at another of his companies, SpaceX. Employees are said to have written to management this week expressing concern about Musk’s “disgraceful” behavior, and reports suggest at least some of those employees have since left the company.
The Twitter conversations came as Musk had a live chat with Twitter employees about his plans to acquire the company. He met with employees virtually to convince them of his plans, in a conversation that suggested he might lay off some employees and that there will be changes to the types of tweets the platform promotes.
“Confidence is like confidence. I tend to be very literal in what I say… You don’t have to read between the lines. You can just read the lines,” Musk said, according to a tweet from Nola Weinstein, Twitter’s global director of brand experiences and engagement.
Ms. Weinstein did not immediately respond to a message seeking further comment and subsequently deleted all of her tweets about the meeting. Twitter declined to comment.
According to multiple news reports, Musk also addressed potential layoffs at the company, saying that right now “costs outweigh revenues. It’s not a great situation.”
He also touched on growth, saying he’d like to see Twitter hit 1 billion users, roughly four times its current user base, and anonymity, where he had previously caused a stir when he said he wanted “everyone” to be in the verification service. .
At the meeting, he clarified that this doesn’t mean everyone on Twitter uses their real name like they do on Facebook, as pseudonyms could allow people to freely express their political views, according to the New York Times.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced the general meeting in an email on Monday, saying they could submit questions in advance.
The meeting is a “clear step in the right direction toward the chances of a deal, and a smart strategic move given that Twitter staff have been left in the dark for the past several months and have many questions during this volatile period of uncertainty.” . Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said.
One of Mr. Musk’s key points at the meeting was making Twitter “so compelling you can’t live without it,” Ms. Weinstein tweeted.
Musk, who has more than 98 million followers on Twitter and is one of the platform’s most prolific users, also said that some people “use their hair to express themselves, I use Twitter,” according to Weinstein.
Musk also praised Chinese apps like TikTok, which he says are good at keeping people engaged and not “bored,” according to various reports, and WeChat, which he says could be a good model of what Twitter could be.
Musk reached an agreement to acquire Twitter in April, but has since repeatedly fallen out with the company over the number of bots or fake accounts that exist on the social media platform.
Musk said he would suspend the deal on May 13, though it seems unlikely he could do it alone. He said he needs more data from the company on those bot accounts, even though Twitter has been leaking its bot estimates, and its admission that they may be understated, to investors for years.
Twitter employees might have other reasons to be nervous about Musk’s impending inauguration. The hot-tempered billionaire has received a fair amount of criticism for the company, from its moderation and security policies, which he describes as a threat to “free speech”, to its anonymous user accounts, which he would like to remove, to being banned. of the former president. Donald Trump that he promised to undo.
Musk has also targeted Twitter’s work-from-home policy after once calling for the company’s headquarters to become a “homeless shelter” because, he said, too few employees actually worked there.
The comment also served as a thinly veiled jab at San Francisco, which has a large homeless population. She said during Thursday’s meeting that, according to Ms. Weinstein, she prefers to work in person.