Elon Musk’s Twitter reign has reportedly seen yet another new chapter, with over 4,400 of its 5,500 contractual workforce worldwide being let go over the weekend. According to reports by The Platformer and other publications, the move has reduced Twitter’s contractors by over 80% and is expected to impact the social media platform’s content moderation team — as well as its core infrastructure staff.
As with its previous round of layoffs that saw Twitter’s employees being reduced by half of its previous 7,500 members, contracted workers reportedly received no internal communication, or intimations prior to being let go. Posts, ironically on Twitter itself, detailing the plight of the laid-off workers stated that most individuals learnt about the potential cutdown in the contractual workforce from external sources such as media reports — and later discovered the termination of their employment after their internal communication channels such as Slack, and access to company infrastructure, stopped working.
On November 4, in the company’s first round of layoffs, chief executive Musk laid off nearly 3,700 employees around the world, which included almost all but 10 of Twitter India’s staff. At the time, Musk stated that the company was left with “no choice”, claiming that the step was required since the company was losing $4 million per day.
The new owner of the platform also claimed that employees who were let go were given 90 days severance package — “more than what is legally required”.
On Friday, November 11, Mint reported that Twitter’s employee costs in India tripled in FY22 to ₹136.8 crores (about $16.8 million) — up from ₹43.2 crores in FY21.
Since the company began letting go of its staff, reports have stated that Twitter has also called back a number of individuals who were let go, after realising that the firing may have taken place without a proper handover of operations. Such a move may have potentially put core Twitter infrastructure at risk.
While it is unclear so far, Twitter’s firing of its contractors is also said to have affected those work on key infra within the platform. As of now, it is not clear what such a move may translate to.