Twitter plunged into unprecedented disorder on Thursday as employees in droves protested against new owner Elon Musk’s ultimatum with resignations, leaving the company’s future uncertain and prompting speculations about a possible global outage.
Twitter, without stating any reason for the move, has locked the staff out of offices until November 21.
“Thank you for your flexibility,” reads the message sent to the staff by Twitter. “Please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere.”
The protests were sparked by an email Musk sent to the team earlier this week. He told the employees they had to commit to working long hours and would “need to be extremely hardcore”.
“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” Musk had written. “This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”
Since the mass walkout, employees, who refused to be part of the cultural reset, have been tweeting their farewells on Twitter using the hashtags #RIPTwitter, #GoodbyeTwitter and #TwitterDown, which have climbed up the Trends. Twitter’s internal Slack is said to have been streamed with farewell emojis, too. However, with mass resignations looms the threat of instability, as departed staffers also include engineers who were responsible for preventing service outages.
DownDetector has since reported a number of issues on Twitter, indicating the problems may have already started for users of the tweeting platform.
The employees also shared links to alternative social media accounts in case they were no longer on Twitter.
Hoping this doesn’t happen ⬇️ but just in case: it’s been wonderful tweeting with y’all! 🐣
As a backup, follow me on Instagram, same handle: @AOC – it’s really me there, as it is here.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 18, 2022
In response to the explosive resignation episode, Musk tweeted he was not worried, saying “the best people are staying”.
The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
Since Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter after being sued for trying to walk away from the proposed deal, Twitter has seen mass layoffs, resignations, and disintegration of key teams, including those responsible for security, privacy and tracking abuse on the platform. Musk’s erratic decisions have rocked the influential social media firm like never before, with a number of critics and industry experts saying both the right to freedom of expression on and stability of operations at the platform are facing serious threats under the billionaire’s leadership.