Elon Musk fired a Twitter engineer because people lost interest in his tweets, report claims

The report comes at a turbulent time for the Twitter CEO

Richard Hall
Friday 10 February 2023 16:19 GMT
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Musk Tesla Tweet Trial (2023 Associated Press All Right Reserved)

Elon Musk fired a Twitter engineer after they told him people were losing interest in his tweets, according to a report in Platformer.

The Twitter CEO, who bought the social media giant for $44bn in October last year, was reportedly consumed with the declining views of his tweets for weeks before finally calling a meeting of advisors and engineers to deal with the matter, according to the tech newsletter.

“This is ridiculous,” he said, according to Platformer, which cited “multiple sources with direct knowledge of the meeting.”

“I have more than 100 million followers, and I’m only getting tens of thousands of impressions,” Mr Musk added, according to the report.

One of the company’s principal engineers then reportedly explained to Mr Musk that there was a very simple reason for his declining views: people were losing interest in him. There was no algorithm bias against him, the engineer added.

“You’re fired, you’re fired,” Mr Musk reportedly told the engineer, whose name was not reported by Platformer because of “the harassment Musk has directed at former Twitter employees.”

The report comes at a turbulent time for the social network, which in the last week alone has faced a major outage and come under fire from the European Union for a lack of transparency on fighting disinformation.

Platformer previously reported that Twitter’s daily revenue was down 40 per cent year-over-year in January 2023, following a flurry of changes implemented by Mr Musk that prompted an increase in hate speech and misinformation. Those changes included mass firings from departments all over the world, including in content moderation, and the reinstating of neo-Nazis and other accounts previously banned from the platform.

Another report found that fourteen of the top 30 advertisers on Twitter stopped all advertising on the platform after Mr Musk took charge. Previously, advertising sales accounted for 90 per cent of Twitter’s revenue.

The Independent has requested a comment from Twitter.

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