Elon Musk fires Twitter’s human rights team as part of sweeping layoffs at platform

Massive cuts came a week after world’s richest person completed $44bn purchase of company

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 04 November 2022 20:08 GMT
Elon Musk’s Twitter Layoffs Begin
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Elon Musk fired Twitter’s entire human rights team as part of sweeping layoffs the billionaire implemented at the social media platform.

The billionaire fired employees across Twitter on Friday, a week after the world’s richest person closed his protracted $44bn deal for the San Francisco-based company.

The mass layoffs came as Mr Musk admitted that “a number of major advertisers have stopped spending on Twitter” since his takeover, with firms such as GM, Audi and General Mills pausing their advertising after the takeover.

Shannon Raj Singh, the former human rights counsel at the company, took to Twitter on Friday to confirm that she and her team had been ousted.

“Yesterday was my last day at Twitter: the entire Human Rights team has been cut from the company,” she wrote.

She described the team’s role at Twitter as working “to protect those at-risk in global conflicts & crises including Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and to defend the needs of those particularly at risk of human rights abuse by virtue of their social media presence, such as journalists & human rights defenders.”

Twitter, which had 7,500 employees, has not confirmed how many have been let go, but The New York Times on Thursday night reported it was expected to be around 50 per cent.

Mr Musk finally completed his purchase of the company on 27 October and immediately fired top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and legal chief Vijaya Gadde.

A court had given him until Friday 28 October to close his April agreement to acquire the company after he earlier tried to back out of the deal.

Mr Musk, the world’s richest person, agreed to buy the company for $54.20 a share in April, but by July had indicated that he had changed his mind, citing bot and spam issues.

He renewed his attempt to acquire the company earlier in October.

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