Elon Musk fires contractors for Twitter following major layoffs

Twitter began purging its enormous ranks of contract employees on Saturday after cutting the staff by half earlier in the month.

Why it matters: Like many businesses, Twitter employs both full-time employees and contract workers who are employed by a third party.

Twitter has laid off an undetermined number of contractors working in a variety of departments, including content moderation.

  • Since Twitter lay off half of its personnel earlier this month, many contractors' position has been up in the air; others have no idea to whom to even report after learning that their internal counterparts have also been let go.
  • Since their teams no longer have any full-time Twitter workers to approve their time cards, several employees are now concerned about receiving their final payments.
  • Casey Newton of Platformer earlier on Saturday saw the contractor layoffs.

Between the lines: If not in all instances, at least some employees did not receive a direct message from Twitter informing them that their shift was over.

  • Instead, they learned when their access to Twitter's computer systems was disabled.
  • This is similar to the situation when full-time employees learned they had lost their jobs overnight on Thursday when they lost access to email and other company computing systems, not from a promised email on Friday.
  • Since then, Twitter has contacted certain full-time workers to re-hire them after recognizing that their expertise was essential to ongoing initiatives, including new features that were important to the company.
  • Meanwhile, other contractors are worried about receiving payment for the previous two weeks because some of them ended up working on teams without any full-time Twitter workers, leaving no one to approve their time cards.
The big picture: Since Elon Musk took over, Twitter has been in a state of upheaval, with new features and products being introduced and then quickly removed.

  • Included in this is a new iteration of its Twitter Blue membership service, which enables users to receive the same blue checkmark granted to verified accounts of public figures, journalists, governmental organizations, and celebrities.
  • After a wave of impersonators exploited the paid service to pose as popular athletes, politicians, and corporations, Twitter put that on pause earlier this week.
What they say is this: One of those eliminated was Melissa Ingle, a content moderation contractor with a San Francisco headquarters who specializes in political disinformation.

  • Ingle, a data science instructor with two master's degrees, expressed astonishment at the relocation and worry about how she would support her family as the holidays drew near.
  • "This is no way to treat people," I told you, "I'm the one you want working for your firm."
  • An email sent to the company's press account received no quick response since Twitter has eliminated its entire communications team.

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