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Musk Making Big Changes at Twitter, Layoffs Underway - Says Activists 'Trying to Destroy Free Speech in America'

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Elon Musk is making major changes to Twitter since fully acquiring the company, last week. Reports indicate he could imminently lay off an estimated 25% of the workforce and include paid subscriptions on the platform – all in an effort to revise the site's approach to "content moderation" and spam.

Reuters reports that Twitter temporarily closed its offices on Friday and blocked workers from accessing internal systems as the layoffs are expected to play out today.

Musk, who declared himself "Chief Twit" after closing his $44 billion takeover of Twitter, had initially been expected to let go 75% of the company's workforce, according to The Washington Post. His plans are still in their early days, so it's unclear if or when that number will pan out.

But an internal email sent to employees Thursday and obtained by NBC said that the company would notify workers of their status via email.

"We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is, unfortunately, necessary to ensure the company's success moving forward," the email said.

The impending firings immediately prompted a class action lawsuit against Twitter for allegedly failing to give a 60-day warning of mass layoffs. However, Musk has not confirmed any job cuts.

But widespread reports confirm the termination of former CEO Parag Agrawal, former chief financial officer Ned Segal, and former policy chief Vijaya Gadde, as well as Twitter's board.

Meanwhile, Musk, who has dubbed himself on the platform as the "Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator," is also making changes to the site.

Twitter employees in charge of taking down hate speech, and other violations found themselves frozen out of moderation tools Monday, according to Bloomberg.

According to the report, employees involved with Trust and Safety were prohibited from altering or penalizing accounts that break rules on misleading information, offensive posts, and hate speech, just a week ahead of the midterm elections on Nov.8.

Employees expressed concern that the change will prohibit them from monitoring and enforcing moderation policies ahead of the elections.

But Musk tweeted Friday that not much has changed as far as content moderation.

"Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists," he wrote. "Extremely messed up! They're trying to destroy free speech in America."

Musk has recently asked his team to review the company's conduct policy, specifically a section that penalizes users for "targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals."

According to Rolling Stone, Musk announced the formation of a "content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints," but has not released details on what that would look like.

Musk has also proposed a subscription-based model for the site at an $8 price tag, with the goal of giving "power to the people".
Twitter currently verifies certain users free of charge and indicates their status with a blue check mark.

His Twitter Blue idea will give users access to premium features, the ability to organize and edit tweets, and verify accounts. Users will also receive priority in mentions, replies, and searches, receive half as many ads and be able to tweet long videos and audio.

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.