Twitter enters death spiral, as staff reject Elon Musk’s ‘hardcore’ ultimatum

The very future of Twitter is in doubt tonight, following reports the company’s workforce has largely rejected an ultimatum from new owner Elon Musk to commit to a culture of “long hours” and “extremely hardcore” work.

First hand accounts from Twitter staff and reports from around the web suggest a large number of the company’s employees, who’d survived Musk’s mass culling of thousands of staff less than two weeks ago, have now chosen to walk away rather than buy into the new regime.

The company has reportedly (via Reuters) closed its offices until Monday, cutting badge access for all staff, sources said, because it has struggled to keep a handle on who exactly is going and staying.

Meanwhile, there are reports (via The Verge) from various sources that hundreds have joined a private Twitter Slack channel called “voluntary-redundancy”, while one former employee said that of 50 Twitter staffers in a private chat on Signal, 40 are walking away with a severance package.

The New York Times reports that hundreds of people have opted to leave, with Musk reaching out to “critical” workers to try to convince them to stay. Many now-former Twitter staff have chosen to go public, with a selection of the posts below:

Twitter employees in the US had been asked to commit to the new culture by ticking a ‘yes’ box on an internal Google form by 5pm ET on Thursday. Those who responded in the negative (or not at all) would effectively be resigning their positions.

Within the memo sent to all remaining staff at midnight on Wednesday, Musk spoke of a ‘fork in the road’. He wrote: “Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”

He went on: “If you are sure you want to be part of the new Twitter, please click yes in the link below. Anyone who has not done so by 5pm ET tomorrow (Thursday) will receive three months of severance.”

There’s been no public comment Twitter’s communications team yet, namely because the CEO and owner already fired them all. The hashtag #RIPTwitter is the number one trending topic on Twitter. Meanwhile, the boss himself has this to say.

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