According to reports from Bloomberg News, the world's richest man, Elon Musk, plans to cut half of Twitter's
Early on Friday, Twitter sent an internal email to employees informing them that cuts would begin at noon. The company has gone so far as to suspend employee badge access and lock its offices.
With limited exceptions, workers not being let go will now be required to work from the office, reversing the social media company's existing work-from-anywhere policy.
Musk has previously denied claims that he was going to cut Twitter staff. On October 30, Musk responded to a Twitter user alleging that the tech executive planned to lay off a portion of the platform's employees. The user included a screenshot of a New York Times article laying out Musk's hypothetical plan to fire workers in order to avoid paying them stock grants.
"The layoffs at Twitter would take place before a Nov. 1 date when employees were scheduled to receive stock grants as a part of their compensation," the quoted article reads. "Such grants typically represent a significant portion of employees' pay."
In a reply, Musk tweeted, "This is false."
The first round of layoffs, included in the total above, was announced a day after Musk's tweet and covered about 2,000 Twitter employees. At the end of 2021, the company had more than 7,000 employees.
Along with the layoffs, Musk has also announced plans to overhaul Twitter's verification and subscription systems to bring in more cash. Under the new structure, users would pay $8 per month for Twitter Blue and access to verification, meaning anyone would be able to pay to be verified. Verified subscription users would also get special perks, like priority ranking in replies, searches, and mentions, and half as many ads as other users.
The proposed system has received immediate, widespread criticism from Twitter users, including major accounts like Stephen King and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
While the situation with its new owner is unique, Twitter isn't the only tech company instituting cost-cutting measures on labor. Lyft