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Trump reinstated and Kanye West returns as more layoffs loom: Twitter LIVE

Is this the end?

Twitter logo thanos snap
(Image: © Future)

New reports indicate Twitter is at risk of breaking imminently following a mass exodus of employees, as the Elon Musk takeover saga continues.

Last week it was reported that "lots" of employees had not signed up for Elon Musk's Twitter 2.0 hardcore edition that would see workers putting in long hours and an end to remote work. Now Reuters cites an employee who claims Twitter could break "overnight" (any minute now) and that there is no one at Twitter left to fix it.

Now, Elon Musk has reinstated Donald Trump after running a poll. Other controversial figures including Jordan Peterson and Kanye West have also returned to the platform. Apple's Phil Schiller has quietly left.

 Here's the latest as the situation unfolds.


Elon Musk

(Image credit: Recode)

Reuters reports that hundreds of employees have decided to leave Twitter, following an ultimatum from Musk that they sign up for "long hours at high intensity" or leave. 

Musk has already fired half the workforce, and there doesn't seem to be much hope for the remaining 3,000. While Elon says "the best people are saying" and that Twitter usage is at an all-time high, at least 110 employees have said publicly they've had enough. 

According to the report, more than 500 employees have written farewell messages in Twitter's internal messaging tool. 42% of workers on Blind, an anonymous employment network site, said they were leaving Twitter in response to Musk's ultimatum. 

The Twitter logo on an iPhone after the Thanos snap

(Image credit: Shutterstock/XanderSt/iMore)

How did we get here?

  • April - Musk bought Twitter in April, with even his offer and subsequent negotiations proving rocky, as there was plenty of back and forth about how many users Twitter actually has. 
  • May/June - the deal goes on hold over Musk's concerns about how many fake and spam bot accounts are on the platform
  • July/August/September - Twitter Sues Musk in court, Musk countersues
  • October - Musk resubmits his bid and a deal is finally struck on October 28
  • The first firings - Musk immediately removed CEO Parag Agrawal and director of policy Vijaya Gadde
  • November - Musk arrives at Twitter HQ and posts his infamous "let that sink in meme"
  • November 4 - Twitter begins mass layoffs
  • November 9 - Twitter unveils its controversial new Twitter Blue service, which will charge $7.99 and give users a coveted blue verified checkmark
  • November 10/11 - Twitter is riddled with paid accounts posing as high-profile brands, including Eli Lilly, with a parody account tweeting that it was making insulin free, wiping billions from the company's stock value
  • November 11 - Twitter suspends Twitter Blue rollout
  • November 15 - Musk fires an engineer who publicly corrected him, and plenty of others who criticized him internally
  • November 16 - Musk issues Twitter 2.0 email, calling on employees to commit to "long hours at high intensity" or else take three months of severance. 
  • November 17 - Hundreds of employees start to leave the company, with 75% of its remaining 3,500 workers possibly choosing to leave, including some "legendary" engineers and coders
  • November 17 - Twitter locks everyone out of its San Francisco headquarters

Twitter logo

(Image credit: Twitter)

According to The Verge "multiple" critical teams in Twitter "have now either completely or near-completely resigned."

Someone is projecting slanders against Elon Musk onto Twitter's San Francisco HQ, calling him a 'Space Karen' amongst other things. 

Elon doesn't seem too worried... 

Twitter HQ

(Image credit: Gia_Vang)

A very interesting development overnight saw Twitter alert employees that "all office buildings are temporarily closed and badge access is suspended." According to Zoe Schiffer, this is because "Elon Musk and his team are terrified employees are going to sabotage the company" and because they need to know which Twitter workers they need to cut/keep access for because so many have been fired. The offices will reopen on Monday. 

"Please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere," employees were warned. 

Please don't leave me

According to one source, "far fewer than expected" developers have hit yes on Elon's Twitter 2.0 call, causing him to relax his remote working policy. Gergely Orosz reports that Elon "having meetings w top engineers to convince them to stay." 

The World Cup is this weekend, one of the biggest sporting events of the decade, will Twitter be able to cope with the surge in traffic and tweets?

World Cup logo on an iPad Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Employees "hung up" on Elon Musk during last-minute call

NYT reports that Elon Musk and his advisers held meetings with "critical" employees to try and stop them from leaving hours before Thursday's Twitter 2.0 deadline. "He sent out confusing messages about the company’s remote work policy, appearing to soften his stance on not allowing people to work from home before warning their managers," according to the report. 

Musk and his team held calls with undecided employees in a conference room in San Francisco. "As the 5 p.m. deadline passed, some who had called in began hanging up, seemingly having decided to leave, even as Mr. Musk continued speaking." 

Another employee put up a tweet criticizing Musk that got an engineer fired from his job up on the giant television in Twitter's common space. 


Twitter had 208 job postings on LinkedIn yesterday, now they have just one. Might be for CEO, who knows... 


Catching up

If you're just joining us, overnight some 75% of Twitter's remaining 3,700 employees refused Elon's call to join Twitter 2.0, demanding long hours at high intensity. Twitter has apparently locked all of its employees out of the building until Monday because of concerns they might try to sabotage the company. There are numerous reports that there are now no employees left at Twitter to fix it if it breaks, with some predicting it could stop working at any time... Elon has tweeted some memes. 

Save your memories

Learn how to download all of your old Tweets and archive them here... SAVE THE MEMES

iPhone 14 Review

(Image credit: iMore / Stephen Warwick)

Could this be a sign of things to come, Twitter outage reports increasing...

Twitter outages

(Image credit: iMore)

Think this just about sums up events so far...

A very different company...

"The designers leading Elon Musk’s Blue verified project are out, along with the lead web engineer. Many Twitter employees who maintained critical infrastructure have resigned. This is going to look like a very different company tomorrow," Zoe Schiffer reported overnight. Big changes are coming. 

At least one user says Twitter's archive and data download feature doesn't seem to be working... 

If not Twitter, where?

One possible alternative to Twitter being touted right now is Mastodon, a decentralized social media platform. It just passed 7 million users and is reportedly adding 10,000 new users per hour...

In trouble with the law

Aside from all the turmoil, Twitter may face an investigation from the FTC, as seven Democratic senators called on the body to investigate whether the company has violated a consumer privacy agreement since Elon Musk took over, following reported changes to some of the company's data security practices, the New York Times reports. The agency said previously it was tracking developments at the company "with deep concern."

Twitter Profile Settings User name

(Image credit: Future)

Less than 2,000

Following reports of Twitter locking employees out of its offices until Monday, one former employee told the BBC "I think when the dust clears today, there's probably going to be less than 2,000 people left," and revealed everyone in their team had been sacked. "The manager of that team, his manager was terminated. And then that manager's manager was terminated. The person above that was one of the execs terminated on the first day. So there's nobody left in that chain of command."

Twitter Blue engineers get the boot

Twitter Blue was a major debacle in the early Elon Musk Twitter saga. Turns out the whole team designing the project, and the lead web engineer got laid off Thursday. 

For better or worse?

We asked our Twitter followers whether the platform was better or worse following Elon Musk's takeover. 65% said worse. What do you think?

The end of Twitter as we know it (and I feel fine)

Someone parodied R.E.M.'s It's the end of the world into a Twitter thread about the demise of the plaftorm... Check it out!


Pretty much...

Chances of Twitter being knocked offline have "dramatically increased"

So why all the panic and hysteria? While it might survive the next few days, social media expert Matt Navarra says Twitter is under increased strain, and with a World Cup just two days away, the odds of it being knocked offline have "dramatically increased."

"There are reports of teams that are critical for a number of Twitter's infrastructure systems now being completely empty - those teams have been completely decimated," he told PA. He says there has been a "significant shift" in the risk because of the latest exodus of workers. 

iMore's twiteer feed in Twitter app on iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Meanwhile in Europe

Elon Musk's Twitter 2.0 demands are much more complex for workers across the pond, with working hours and the like enshrined in strong workers' rights protections. One Europe employee told Gergely Orosz "Elon's email is as legally binding as me sending him an email saying 'FYI I'll work 3hrs per day from now on, k thx," so they'll just keep working as before "until I get some official notice of what really is happening."

Microsoft to the rescue?

We joked about Tim Cook and Apple buying up Twitter, but a much more likely saviour is Microsoft given its history with LinkedIn. Our friends at Windows Central revealed five reasons why Microsoft should buy Twitter last week, but the readers aren't so sure. 51% of voters think Microsoft should buy Twitter, but 48% say no! Check out the results!

"The best people are staying"

Overnight, Elon Musk told Barstool's Dave Portnoy he wasn't "super worried" about Twitter's exodus because "the best people are staying." It came as early speculation emerged that Twitter might shut down without the sustaining support of its workforce. 

Too little too late?

An early issue in the Elon Musk saga was an influx of Twitter Blue accounts with paid checkmarks imitating high-profile figures and brands. Twitter blocked new accounts from joining Blue, but not before rogue parody tweeted wiped billions from certain companies. Now, Twitter says that new accounts will have to wait 90 days before signing up to Twitter Blue. The service is only available in a few countries and only on iOS, not Android or the web. 

Elon is awake... More memes

Elon Musk is awake, and he's back to sharing memes. This time, he wants to remind you that FTX lost quite a lot of money recently... 

Exclusive: "We're witnessing the very rapid and messy death of Twitter 1.0"

Speaking to iMore, social media expert Matt Navarra tells us that he believes "we are witnessing the very rapid and messy death of Twitter 1.0 and the transition and birth of Elon Musk's Twitter 2.0."

He said the transition would be "uncomfortable for most people involved," and that Musk hadn't fully anticipated the level of rejection towards his extremely hardcore ideas. In the short-term, Navarra says it's unlikely the lights will be knocked off in the short term, but that longer-term there is a much greater risk now that many of Twitter's key teams have been laid off. "I'm sure he'll find a solution" to fix the gap in manpower and skills." Twitter isn't going to die, Matt Navarra says, it's going to be reborn, but whether people like it is a different story. The bigger risks for Twitter include the World Cup, which will test Twitter's resilience and capacity, and the challenges and problems for advertisers and brands including toxic content and impersonation, both of which are harder to combat with its decimated team. "The Elon Musk show continues, and I'm sure he very much likes it and wants it that way."

Twitter logo sweating

(Image credit: Future)

Twitter loses payroll entire payroll department

As part of the large exodus of staff Thursday, Twitter has lost its entire payroll department according to Insider. A report says that Twitter's payroll department, U.S. Tax Team, and its financial reporting team have all resigned. Accounting was "less impacted." The report raises concerns about employees getting paid in the future. The next round of payments for next week have been approved, but not beyond that. "What happens in another two weeks?" the person asked. "When everyone who can approve something is gone." Another said "we'll never see our money."

"Why I left Twitter or rather why I did not sign up for "extremely hardcore" Twitter 2.0. 

Peter Clowes is a Senior Software Engineer at Twitter who joined the company in April 2020. He took to Twitter overnight to reveal why he resigned from Elon Musk's hardcore Twitter 2.0 regime. His LinkedIn profile includes a wry new experience note, "layoff survivor."

"It’s not because I want Twitter to fail or think the site is about to collapse. Some think it will, maybe but I dunno. I wasn’t in infra and those people were incredible, the systems are resilient... I want Twitter to succeed, I want it to be better than ever. I spent a couple years of my life building a small piece of it. I hope it is still chugging away for a long time! I didn’t leave because I hate it. I definitely didn’t agree with many of his decisions or how they were carried out but I also understood and respected others. I don’t know him and if someone tells me to hate a stranger I say “no thanks”.

"I left because I no longer knew what I was staying for."

"Previously I was staying for the people, the vision, and of course the money (lets all be honest). All of those were radically changed or uncertain... 

If I stayed I would have been on-call constantly with little support for an indeterminate amount of time on several additional complex systems I had no experience in. Maybe for the right vision, I could have dug deep and done mind numbing work for a while. But that’s the thing… There was no vision shared with us. No 5 year plan like at Tesla. Nothing more than what anyone can see on Twitter. It allegedly is coming for those who stayed but the ask was blind faith and required signing away the severance offer before seeing it. Pure loyalty test."

"Finally, there was no retention plan for those that stayed. No clear upside for sticking it through the storm on the horizon. Just “trust us” style verbal promises. But tweeps overall were untrusting after the 7 months of acquisition drama, recent tweets, and leaks etc."

Where will you go if Twitter fails?

"This is the end of Twitter as we know it"

Ryan Broderick, the writer of the Garbage Day newsletter, just told a Twitter space that this is the end of Twitter as we know it. 

Billions lost:

The Twitter Blue debacle cost some companies a lot of money. An impersonation of Eli Lilly which announced the company was going to make insulin free cost it more than 3% of its $328 billion market cap. Likewise, Lockheed Martin tumbled more than 5% to a $121 billion market cap after a fake account announced it was halting weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the U.S..


A Twitter employee shared a video on Twitter showing a group of coworkers counting down to Elon Musk's Twitter 2.0 deadline and their imminent firing from the company. 

"Everybody here, we're all about to get fired from Twitter. I've been ... nine years and nine months now..." 

Good luck joining Twitter 2.0

Maybe Twitter under Elon Musk sounds like a good time, but good luck joining. The company currently has no job listings available... 

Twitter no results screen

(Image credit: Future)

All time high...

Elon Musk has been quick to point out several new all-time high user records since he joined the platform, most recently overnight

Kick It Out Chair warns of World Cup abuse

The chairman of soccer's anti-discrimination body Kick It Out says he is "deeply concerned" that layoffs in Twitter's trust and safety team could spell trouble ahead of the World Cup.  

The Guardian reports that Sanjay Bhandari fears "that industrial-scale levels of hate during the World Cup will go unchecked by Twitter.” He criticised Twitter's moderation for being "opaque, inconsistent and understaffed at the best of times" and worries that Twitter will struggle to cope with a massive influx of engagement. There have been separate concerns that the huge rise in activity could spell disaster for Twitter, which has decimated many of the teams critical to keeping the site running. 

Interesting times

Just the Friday morning email people want to get ... 

In all seriousness

Bryan here; I'm not convinced Twitter is suddenly going away, although I wouldn't be surprised to see it shut down in the short term, either deliberately by Musk or through internal sabotage. Regardless, something's going to have to give. I'd suggest the starting point would be for Musk to stop with the constant tweets. From there, bring someone else in to run the day-to-day. 

Who got paid?

That is an interesting take. Perhaps all was lost, so Musk was the golden parachute they grabbed to get the cash. Unfortunately, the move ultimately means many folks are out of a job either through furloughs or because they decided it was time to run out the doors. 

Which way is it, Elon?

It's an interesting point to make and very much correct. Do the security cards even work anymore for anyone to get in the buildings?

We have it covered

Our  Joe Wituschek makes us smile at iMore either through Slack or by reading his tweets. Right on, man. 

He wants to know!

Elon Musk is asking a simple question right now on Twitter: "What should Twitter do next?" If you have an opinion that doesn't include nasty words or Musk criticism, it's probably a question worth answering in the pubic square. 

That's a lot of people

Fortune Magazine's Kylie Robison states that between 1,000 and 1,200 Twitter employees have now called it quits. That number could perhaps climb even higher as the day goes on. It will be interesting to see where these people go, given that many tech companies are cutting back on hires. 

Political agitator Ben Shapiro on the weekend's events... 


(Image credit: The Wall Street Journal)

The Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay has a great piece online asking whether the end of Twitter would mean going back to talking in real life. 

Here's a taste of Gay's take: "It feels cozy, honestly, the idea of turning inward, among friends, without the temptation to share every last remark with the universe. Don’t get me wrong: I still want to know your thoughts about the Oscars and the Super Bowl halftime show. I really want to know how you are doing in line at the airport. Next time, tell me in person." on the mess. 

Elon's latest

Elon has announced a "freedom of speech" policy for Twitter. The key takeaway: "Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter."

Reinstatements not named Trump

Musk has announced Twitter reinstatements for Kathie Griffin, Jorden Peterson & Babylon Bee. Still no word on whether former President Donald Trump will be allowed on the platform, especially now that he's once again an official presidential candidate. 

Fly if you can...

Not only has Elon Musk asked all engineers to reports to the 10th floor at 2pm, and email him a bullet point summary "of what your code commits have achieved in the past 6 months," he also suggested in an email for remote engineers that he would rather speak to them in person and said "if possible, I would encourage you to fly to SF to present in person..."

A number have events have, of course, occurred throughout the evening. For one, Robin Wheeler, the advertising executive who Musk had reportedly begged to stay just weeks ago, has been fired from the company according to Casey Newton. 

Musk has also sent a company-wide email that tells employees that they should be ready for random code reviews with the new owner. That report came in from Platformer editor Zoë Schiffer.

Musk himself has taken to the platform and ran a poll if former President Donald Trump should be reinstated to Twitter. At the time of this being published, the poll sits at 56% in favor. Underneath that poll, he tweeted “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which translates to “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

Musk appears to be hinting that he could leave Trump’s reinstatement to Twitter users themselves.

Twitter as the town hall, powered by Polls

It certainly looks like Musk's user poll to decide whether to let Donald Trump back onto the platform is doing well. Chief "Twit" noted that the poll is getting 1M votes an hour, but there's no disclosure on how many of these aren't from the bot accounts Musk almost ended his Twitter deal over. 

Regardless, it will be interesting to see if Musk takes the town hall approach seriously, and what comes of it.

Elon does a late night code review at Twitter HQ

Elon tweeted out pictures of his code review at Twitter, showing himself with a bunch of Twitter employees at the HQ building. There's also a flow chart of the Twitter services, which seems to be indicating how the platform operates, although it seems very basic in nature, and has folks questioning why it was called a "code review."

Twitter logo sweating

(Image credit: Future)

1,200 more employees might have left Twitter after Musk's last ultimatum

A new report by the New York Times estimates that 1,200 more employees might have left Twitter after Musk's last ultimatum which asked employees to prepare for tough times ahead, or leave. NYT estimates that Twitter had 3,700 out of its 7,500 employees remaining after the mass layoffs, and the latest number seems to have dwindled down to around 2,500.

Donald Trump returns to Twitter

It looks like Donald Trump is back on Twitter. After running a poll to make the decision, Elon Musk has reinstated former US president Donald Trump's account. Musk quoted "Vox Populi, Vox Dei" once again while making the announcement, as the poll concluded 51.8% vs 48.2% in favor of Trump, with over 15 million votes on the poll. Donald Trump is yet to tweet from his newly reinstated account.

Elon Musk

(Image credit: Recode)

Twitter could lay off more employees on Monday, this time in Sales

A new report from Bloomberg says that Musk is planning more layoffs at Twitter on Monday. It appears that Musk will be laying off folks on the sales and partnership side of the business this time around. Twitter currently has been reduced to about a third of its workforce numbers since before the Musk takeover, and it looks like we may see that number further reduce.

Another major executive, Sarah Rose, head of US content partnerships, leaves Twitter

It looks like Twitter can't stop bleeding talent from all directions. After Donald Trump's return to Twitter and reports that Musk is planning for more layoffs, Twitter's head of US content partnerships, Sarah Rose, has decided to leave Twitter after eight-and-a-half years at the company. This is an important role from a monetization standpoint, so it'll be interesting to see how the departure affects Twitter's moneymaking plans.

CBS News pauses and resumes advertising on Twitter

Advertiser panic on Twitter has been widespread since the Musk acquisition, and the latest example is CBS News. The outlet paused its advertising on Twitter, and then hours later resumed it. The advertising was suspended citing security concerns, and NBC News PR has said that it is monitoring the situation even after resuming activity on Twitter.

Kanye West makes a return to Twitter as his account seems to have been "unblocked"

Kanye West, better known as Ye, has made a return to Twitter. His account was suspended for violating Twitter's community guidelines around hate speech  a few weeks ago, but later reinstated after Musk's takeover. Ye hadn't tweeted since then, however, but seems to have returned to the platform as Twitter reinstated other suspended accounts including that of Donald Trump.

Twitter features seem to be breaking, slowly but surely

Twitter isn't imploding as rapidly as expected, but that does not mean the platform is safe. It appears that many users are seeing broken functionality across Twitter. An example is the latest string of copyright violations being perpetrated by a bunch of users that are posting entire films and TV episodes as a series of clips on Twitter. It took a long time for most of these violations to get caught. Additionally, users are reporting other issues across the site.

Phil Schiller

(Image credit: Apple)

Phil Schiller quietly leaves Twitter

Apple's head of events and the App Store Phil Schiller quietly deactivated his Twitter account over the weekend. With Twitter now pushing its Twitter Blue subscription through platforms like the iPhone and iOS, Apple will score 15-30% in commission on those sales, possibly setting up an Epic Games-like showdown with Twitter and Elon Musk. 

Trump says no...

Donald Trump said over the weekend that he has no interest in returning to Twitter, despite Musk's poll and the former president's subsequent reinstatement. "I don't see any reason for it," Trump told a panel at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting, Reuters reports. Instead, Trump says he'll stick with Truth Social. 

Donald Trump Twitter Account

(Image credit: Future)

Twitter fails on racist abuse as World Cup kicks off...

New research reportedly shows that 99 out of 100 racist tweets aimed at football players were not removed by Twitter in the week leading up to the World Cup. The Guardian reports Center for Countering Digital Hate research that reveals "100 tweets reported to Twitter. Of those, 11 used the N-word to describe footballers, 25 used monkey or banana emojis directed at players, 13 called for players to be deported, and 25 attacked players by telling them to “go back to” other countries. Thirteen tweets targeted footballers over their English skills." Only one of the tweets, which all mentioned players by name or tagged them, was removed. Many were posted beneath official tweets from clubs or news sites. 

Head of ad sales gone... 

According to Platformer's Casey Newton, Elon Musk fired Robin Wheeler, Twitter's head of ad sales, just days after she tried to resign and Musk begged her to stay. 

Twitter UK Md quits

Twitter's UK MD Dara Nasr has reportedly left the company, according to Campaign.

Musk draws the line at Alex Jones

Elon Musk has reinstated Donald Trump and restored the accounts of Kanye West and Jordan Peterson. However, when asked about Alex Jones, Musk seemingly reneged on his promise to end lifetime bans, giving a hard "no" to Twitter users on the subject and citing very personal reasons for the position. 

Jack White departs Twitter

Jack White deactivated his Third Man Records record label account after Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump at the weekend. In a scathing Instagram post he wrote:

You did a lot of amazing things with Tesla, Elon, and you deserve a lot of compliments in that department (i personally supported the hell out of that venture), but you've gone too far and are now using your power to promote horrible, violence inducing liars, who are taking the country and the world backwards and endangering the democracy that made you rich and successful in the first place. I am a believer in free speech, but for example i’m not about to let the KKK hold a rally at our record label's performance stage. 

Here come more layoffs.

Now confirmed, it seems that more layoffs have hit Twitter's sales team this morning. Elon Musk reportedly held a short-notice all-hands meeting on Sunday night with the sales team, but didn't mention layoffs...